Henry and Franny Lee

November 19, 2009

Ah football! There’s a lot of it about recently and you might have noticed that the Irish recently played a match against our French cousins.

A rather important match too, I understand, with qualification for next year’s World Cup as the prize. The stage was set for a truly titanic confrontation and it didn’t disappoint as we are left with one of the biggest footballing stories of the year. No, it wasn’t Forest’s charge up the Championship table (That’s next week), it was Thierry Henry flagrantly cheating.

WHAT!!!!??? Henry?? Cheating??? Say it isn’t so. But it’s true; Henry deliberately handled the ball to stop it from going out of play and then handled it again to direct the ball to his foot so he could cross for Gallas. I know, it’s scandalous isn’t it? An outrage of the highest order, so I think that the Irish should invade France in retaliation.

Of course, Henry is foreign so he’s more likely to cheat isn’t he? I mean, foreigners eh? You’d never catch one of us doing that, would you?

Get real, cheating is absolutely rife in the game at all levels and in all nationalities, unfortunately, it’s a feature of the game. Let’s not pretend that cheating only started in 1992, with the advent of the Premiership. Cheating has always been a part of the game and always will be, indeed, one of the games greatest ever divers was an Englishman, Mr Francis Lee of Manchester City, who somehow managed to convert 15 penalties in one season.  If anything, English players are some of the worst divers on the planet, Stephen Gerrard and Michael Owen sometimes fall over like they’ve been shot by a hidden sniper in the stands, but then again, they’re both Scousers, cheating comes as naturally as breathing to them.

Henry cheated, yes, that’s true. But calls to have the game replayed will fall on predictably deaf ears. Why should they? If this match is replayed, you risk opening the floodgates. Will Birmingham demand a replay against Liverpool after Ngog did his “Klinsmann”? Will the England team of 1986 demand a replay?

It’s hard on Ireland to be sure, but FIFA must resist the cries of injustice and allow the result to stand. Poor refereeing, injustices and cheating players are a part of the game and these things, as the old cliché has it, even themselves out over time.

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