Posted by: lyonenglishnetwork | November 22, 2009


I’ve been a bit slow to blog about this one, but almost certainly the incident of the week in football has been Thierry’s Henry handball against Ireland to put France through to the world cup finals in South Africa next year, and Ireland back home.
When England play France, perhaps the Irish will support France but when Ireland play France, the English support Ireland.
England have a history of going out of world cups on hand-ball incidents.
In a world cup knockout match in 1986, Maradona, deliberately handballed the ball over the England goalkeeper and into the net.
Argentina went on to win the game, and I remember the next morning I cried because the Mexicans were burning the flags of all the home nations who had gone out of the world cup. (OK, I was eight, but still…)
Maradona famously went on to label the incident “the hand of god” after the game.
On yahoo this week, the headline was appropriately the “hand of frog.”
The incident brings up the question of what should be done in this kind of situation. Should there be a video referee ? Given that there is currently no video referee, shoud the video referee have gone up to Henry and asked him if he had handballed it. He clearly knew from the reaction of the Irish players that something was wrong. Perhaps Henry would have been honest and said that he had handballed it, but if he had done, half the French nation would have thought he was crazy. As it is, there was no beeping of horns in Lyon this week.
Even my wife, who doesn’t follow football, is pretty much ashamed of France. Successively, FIFA and the French FA have refused a replay, so what is to be done.
Anyway, if Domenech is still the coach come the world cup, I can’t see them going further than the group stages.



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