Ok, 18/11/09 Paris, let’s cut to the chase.
Superb Ireland, fantastic effort and great support from the fans, well done.
And what happens, Thierry Henry intentionally handballs a pass that gives France a goal and takes them through to the world cup.
The referee could have asked Henry if he cheated, but chose not to. The linesman could have called it but didn’t. The rules of the game were not enforced.
Law 5 – Though shalt turn a blind eye if it suits the interests of FIFA?
I guess it’ll all calm down, but Ireland was the best team, out-played the opposition, and were totally professional – true heroes and deserved the opportunity to go to penalties.
The French coach after the match…
“It was hard, laborious and indeed miraculous”
Or maybe as FIFA described it: “a stroke of luck”
The French are going to the world cup, and they have a ‘stroke’ to thank for it.
FIFA Fair Play? contact FIFA
Get over it, it’s just a game? – FIFA and their sponsors wouldn’t agree. With hundreds of millions of euros on the table there’s no blind eye turned when copycat merchandise appears on the scene. Mon Dieu!
Threat to revenue?
Adidas, for example, are investing 315 million Euros in the World Cup in exchange for product placement, and they expect merchandise sales to exceed $1.8 billion. This is the 60th year since Adolf Dassler registered Adidas in the commercial register, and they want their celebrations to be a success. “Football is the heart and soul of Adidas” and with their key market tainted by unsporting actions it does little to complement their image. Adidas Fair Play Cologne?
The business of professional football is as much about building brands, selling celebrity, capitalising on controversy, and pumping up the excitement as it is about kicking a ball. The change in rules to give bigger countries a better chance of qualifying indicate FIFA’s priorities – to ensure as many wallets as possible are on their way to the world cup. More money spent means bigger sponsorship in future years.
If players want more honesty in the game they should insist FIFA implements video arbitration, extra sideline officials, or stricter punishments (or a combination of each). Furthermore teams should be able to qualify for competitions based on their abilities, and changing the rules to lock out ‘underdogs’ in favour of bigger profits is NOT fair play.
And to finish with Thierry Henry’s own words…
“It was just necessary to exploit what was exploitable”
(Think about those words, in the world of football they go deeper than face value)
A sad day for the game, and sorry to say not a proud one for the French either.
Original pre-match posts:
We’re in the World Cup qualifier play-offs and it’s Ireland vs France before we can get to South Africa. The first tie is in Dublin on the 14th November, and the second in Paris on 18th November.
I believe we could trip up the French, but it isn’t an easy one. What we need is big Irish support both home and away. Support in Dublin is guaranteed, but the Paris stands could be looking very blue!
First we’ve got French coach urging the French fans to grab all available tickets and keep the Irish down to the 10% allocation, and on top of that Ooh-la-la O’Leary goes and ramps up Ryanair charges for the day! (300+ Euros return compared to 50 euros a week later).
i’m not so sure about an Irish airline making it harder for Irish fans to support the team. I can get it if from the business aspect, but how about a bit of Irish solidarity for a great event that only happens once in 4 years.
I like Ryanair, flew with them a couple of weeks ago and will again. I just think Micky boy looks better in green, and he should drop the fare and get as many Irish fans over there as possible!
Once every four years – come on Michael!
Ok, quick update 14th Nov: 1-0 to France in Dublin tonight – Ireland played well in the first half but France got the upper hand in the 2nd. The goal was deflected in so a bit lucky, but France had most of the possession in the final 45 so maybe justified. The lads showed great heart, good composure, and all’s not lost, but it’ll have to be a mighty effort on Wednesday to pull it off – it’d be a coup but we CAN still do it!!!