Talk about getting it wrong.
It wasn’t just that French captain Thierry Henry handed the ball to help him score the winning goal against Ireland, but two French attackers were off-side … all in the same play.
The Irish are pissed. They get dumped while the French move on to the World Cup in South Africa next year.
And they’re demanding a re-play. Will they get it?
If FIFA caves because of the exactness of the TV replay, will that establish a precedent? Will all future games be ultimately adjudicated in a ‘war room’ as now happens in NHL hockey and on the field in football and now even baseball?
God, I hope not.
Re-plays have added what seems like hours to televised sporting events, time to change channels and catch up on news. But if you’re stuck in the stands, these replays-to-make-the-right-call have added what feels like days to the spectating experience and as often as not they end in a confusing call by invoking little know rules to justify the call.
Soccer is as old as the Catholic church (sic). And just as the Catholic church has resisted all change to maintain its credibility, so soccer should remain the Beautiful Game by retaining it’s always-on action and not succumb to modern pathologies that always reward etched-in-stone rules over free-flowing organic spirit.
But don’t expect many Irish to buy this argument. Not oday.