Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
FIFA better act soon
by Paul Kennedy, November 20th, 2009 6:45AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MY VIEW] What should be done in response to the Thierry Henry handball that led to the deciding goal in France's World Cup playoff series against Ireland?

Everyone seemed to have an opinion Thursday, including Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who said he supported the Football Association of Ireland's plea for a replay.

It will never happen.

The truth of the matter is that FIFA is lucky that it was Ireland that was robbed.

Yes, Irish hearts were broken, and it couldn't happened to a nicer bunch of fans. As recently as 1996, FIFA awarded them its "Fair Play" award for their sportsmanship.

What if it hadn't been Swedish referee Martin Hansson missing Henry's handball -- or rather handballs -- on the edge of the endline but Seychellois referee Eddy Maillet missing a similar call in the hotly charged Algeria-Egypt in Khartoum?

Imagine the consequences.

For months I have thought about the Confederations Cup final in Johannesburg in June. A sure goal by Kaka against the USA wasn't given because the referee and his assistant didn't see that the ball had crossed Tim Howard's line. What if the score had held up 2-1 in the USA's favor? And what if it had been the World Cup final and not the Confederations Cup final?

Imagine the stink.

(The referee that night at Ellis Park? You guessed it. Martin Hansson of Sweden.)

Television, the Internet, cell phones. They all allow the painful truth to spread quickly. Not only were there the images of Henry handling ball, not once but twice, before laying it on to William Gallas, there was the interview Henry gave admitting he handled the ball.

The problem these days is that it isn't simply a referee missing a call that a stadium full of fans saw. It's a referee missing a call and the whole world knowing. Almost instantly.

FIFA has the tools to fix the problem. It better act soon. Next time it might not be Ireland that is robbed ...


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Where to Watch European Soccer    
The new European club season has started up. Here are places Soccer America readers recommend where ...
Quick Arsenal blitz drops Guzan's Aston Villa    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] The unbeaten start of Brad Guzan's Aston Villa to the English Premier League season ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Friday] No. 7 New Mexico had to settle for a 1-1 tie with Drexel before ...
Wooten scores second late winner in two weeks    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] German-American Andrew Wooten scored his second game-winning goal in two games to lead Sandhausen ...
Dempsey teams up again with XO    
[VIDEO PICK: Music] The FIFA 15 release party in New York featured its cover boy, Clint ...
New and the old square off in semifinals    
[USL PRO: Semifinals] Two first-year clubs -- Sacramento Republic FC and La Galaxy II -- and ...
Attention on battle for first place -- and fourth    
[NASL: Fall Week 11] First place will be on the line Saturday when the San Antonio ...
Nasco nightmare gives RSL Rocky Mountain Cup    
[MLS: Friday] Joe Nasco, the former Georgia police officer who made his MLS debut this summer ...
Riquelme still brilliant at 36     
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme has always been one of the most delightful ...
What They're Saying: Danny Murphy    
"Basically, half his finger was off and you could see his tendon. Glass shattered -- it ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives