Ireland Was Robbed!

November 19, 2009 at 6:17 am | Posted in General Football | 6 Comments

How bitter defeat to the French must have been to the Irish.  First of all, they got seeded to play against the strongest side in of the second-place finishers from the European Groups.   How such a strong team as Ireland got seeded to play against the French is a mystery to me.

Ireland went down 0-1 at home to the powerful French, then pulled that goal back in the second leg in Paris.  They looked set to go to penalties when Thierry Henry ran onto a deep free kick which he handled before crossing to Gallas for the winning header in the 102th minute.  To call it a handball does not do justice.  Henry not only handled, but caressed the ball lovingly, before crossing it to Gallas.  Every Irish player to a man had his hand up to signal a handball.  It was one of those cases, (like Maradona’s handball against England in 1986), where everyone in the stadium except the Referee and his linesman saw it was a hand ball.

This disgraceful incident will surely cause FIFA to bring video replays in to the game.  A quick review would have demonstrated there was a clear handball and the goal should not stand.   Too many unjust results are occurring and this kind of thing stains the World Cup.

In the past I have been against technological intrusions into the game but this instance has changed my mind.  The noble Irish team was robbed in Paris and something should be done about it.


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  1. I agree, it was a shitty handball. That said, there are a few things with your post that need addressing:

    1. Ireland were not robbed. They weren’t about to win but then lost. They were about to be dominated in extra time then go on to penalties. Yes there is injustice, no they didn’t have anything taken from them.

    2. The goal was in the 102nd minute not the 118th, with 18 minutes left in extra time.

    3. There is no reason to label the Irish team noble because a French player cheated.

    There isn’t an Irish player on the pitch that would have admitted to the infraction and called the goal back. Cheating is a part of the game, whether it’s simulation, diving, playing offside, etc… I can think of two times (only two, really) where a player changed a match because of foul play on their part: Robbie Fowler purposefully missing a penalty that shouldn’t have been awarded and Daniele de Rossi (I think) telling the ref that a goal he scored shouldn’t have counted because he handled the ball. That’s two, and I’ve been watching the game for a while.

    To put it in perspective, can you imagine an Irish defender handling the ball in the box then telling the ref that France should be awarded a penalty? Not a chance. Same thing.

  2. It was a disgrace to the game plain and simple. The ultimate taboo in football is a redirecting-NBA-like handball. It is not the same as offside, dives etc in that it shows a contempt of the basic premise of footbal. He showed my 8 year old son that cheating wins.

    I hope that France is disposed of quickly south africa


  3. Henry has now said that a replay would be the most fair way to proceed, and I agree. However, FIFA rules don’t allow for it.

  4. Diving to get a penalty, or purposefully using your hands in your own 18-yard box are the same in that they will usually lead to goals. I’m not sure that this is any worse.

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