November 25, 2009

Backwards Pass: Not to play the tired hand, but....

Oh shut up.

Anyways, if you haven't seen it or heard about "Thierrygate", then you must've been born yesterday or you are French, and like Wenger, you "din't see eet". Well, Frenchies, can you translate "hand of god" for me?

I really didn't feel the need or urge to say anything about the whole France - Ireland fiasco, simply because it was everywhere and obvious. Ireland feels bad, Thierry feels bad, excuse for a manager Domenech feels nothing in his empty chest and head, all of Europe feels bad, Swedish football fans apologized to Ireland, even God admits this is one big mess (by this: France).

Don't get me wrong. Unlike almost ALL of the bloody sports media, I am not going to pull a "my father's father was Irish." I don't feel like griping about it, and I'm not an Irish sympathizer/French hater by any means.

But this. THIS. Is unacceptable.

The Swedish referee who missed Thierry Henry's now famous handball insists he was not at fault, but the incredible fallout after the World Cup play-off incident still almost caused him to quit football.

First of all, did I read that correctly?

"I realise that it was not my fault," he told Swedish newspaper Sydostran. "It was an unfortunate event that had big consequences for Ireland, but it wasn't the fault of the refereeing team."

Oh snap.

You know, it takes an entirely separate level of boneheaded idiocy to first, ignore what your eyeballs see, ignore the fan reaction, ignore the player reaction, and still give a goal. But to try and distance yourself from any sort of blame does not protect you. If this man has a working human conscience, then he must surely understand causation. He let the goal stand, and millions around the world feel cheated. Hmm, is there a connection?

I know referees have gotten a lot of stick over recent years, to the extent of death threats and forced retirings (Ovrebo, I'll never forgive you). But moments like those seem to come out of sheer frustration, anger, and humiliation. Eire's situation is beyond that. Nothing can be done, no replay would be fair enough. Automatic qualification would not bring the same satisfaction. At this point, the only justice to the footballing world would be for Martin Hansson and his team to recognize that they fucked up, apologize, and stay out of the World Cup Finals. Trying to remove yourself from blame is to say that you played no part in the result, that you may as well have been home smelling paint and wanking anyways. That is the last thing football referees need to be doing right now to earn back credibility and respect in a crucial time when technology and cameras are threatening to turn referees into a yellow shirted tradition.

Martin Hansson, this isn't about you. It never was, and never will be. It's about football. Ireland as a whole is man enough to take it on the chin (which is no mean feat for the Irish), so kindly put yourself above it all and do some right in this twisted football world.


  1. Henry the jugler of the year, may be he should try his luck in the circus..shame

  2. I think that you're being a bit harsh here, Denny. The guy has been hung out to dry by most of the world for a handball that was pretty difficult to see from his angle. If he didn't see it, he can't call it, no matter what everyone on the field or in the stands tells him.