The hand of Frog

by Ashleigh Rose

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Congratulations FIFA, they’ve got the World Cup they wanted now haven’t they, and I hope their proud of how they got it. It was a ridiculous decision to seed the World Cup play-offs in the first place, and ultimately prevent the the hard-work in qualifying of teams like Ukraine, Bosnia and of course the Republic of Ireland. Then there was last night’s controversial goal that rubbed even more salt into wounds.

Let’s get the simple facts of the way, Ireland were robbed last night. Yes they should have taken their chances in the Stade de France, but at the end of the day they wont be at the World Cup next year because of the most blatant handball since Maradona in 86. From a player who you’d expect much better from. France know it, Thierry Henry knows it, and Michel Platini knows it, but none of them will care this morning.

It’s easy to pass the blame on the referee but he couldn’t of called the handball from his position and neither could the linesman, so it’s hard to fault the officials who overall had an excellent game. So blame is purely put at the feet of Mr Va Va Voom. He cheated plain and simple, and as TV replays has shown after the game, Henry admitted himself that to Richard Dunne himself. Not once, but twice his hand controlled that ball to set-up Gallas and how he can now come out publicly and say ‘I didn’t mean it’ is further insult to the Irish, who on the night were the better team.

Of course calls for video evidence will now rear their head again, as well the more simpler extra refs behind the goals – which would of ruled out last night’s incident but nothing is going to make-up for the way Giovanni Trappattoni and his team are feeling this morning. Suggesting a replay will fall on deaf ears too, as it’s not in the rules and FIFA wont be changing them and putting one of their glamour teams at further risk, and in their minds devaluing next summers event.

As for Henry, it’s a dam shame. Here is a player who is viewed in this country as arguably the greatest import the Premier League has ever seen. However his exploits with Arsenal will now be put second when fans recall his career, and will remember this incident first and foremost. When one of the games most respected players conned Ireland out of at least a penalty shoot-out for a place World Cup finals.

Ok yes some will say that Henry was doing what ever he could do, to drag his team to South Africa, and if the boot was on the other foot you wouldn’t care how it happened. But that still doesn’t make it right though does it?

But to FIFA and the bigwigs that all won’t matter, the World Cup they wanted has been assured and who’d now bet against the lucky French from now going all the way, when they wont have deserved to be there in the first place.

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  • Claire Tully

    This is a shameful day for football.

    Heartbroken in Dublin :'(

  • colinmilk

    The irish economy will miss out on a fortune as well that should not be forgotten by the hand of frog!

  • SWood

    Definitely a shameful day and FIFA have certainly got the team they wanted through – don’t expect Platini or any of the others to change the current stance, although if it was the other way round and Keane had handled the ball I’m sure that the “goal” would have been disallowed or a replay offered!!!!

  • Darren

    I’ve heard figures in the region of 2 billion?

    All I would say is welcome to England’s world!

    Campbells disallowed goal v Argentina WC 1998
    Lampards disallowed goal v Portugal Euro 2004

    Man it hurts, so I feel your pain!

  • Ash

    Darren but at least they were AT a World Cup finals. To not even get there cos of a chat is heartbreaking

  • Matt Quinn

    Devils advocate….

    Didnt Robbie Keane get penalised twice for handball in the French box last night?

    Isnt that exactly the same as Henry handling the ball for the goal?

    The only difference being that Keane was caught and Henry wasnt. Henry is no different to any other player the game today. If the ref had missed one of Keane’s handballs last night, do you think Robbie would have stopped playing and admitted the foul? I doubt it.

    Mind you, i do feel sorry for the Irish. They played fantastically and thats what they should remember. That a team with Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews outplayed a team with Henry, Anelka, Gourkouff etc… Be proud!!!

  • dexylongshot

    Well, front page news, Ireland cheated out of World Cup. I feel sick. A terrible decision by the officials. Henri has admitted he touched the ball, although he says he didn’t mean it, lying frog. He touched it twice palming it nicely to set up the Gallas goal. The replay showed the French were offside as well (although they wasn’t interfering with play), that a load of b*llocks as well. You can blame Henri, Fifa and the Refs but Henri did what Rooney or Owen would do, my problem with Thierry is he said it was an accident which it wasn’t.
The blame firmly lies with the refs who up to then had a good game. The linesman said to Kilbane at the time that he was 100% sure it was NOT handball- more B8llocks! Maybe the Sepp Blatters were leaning on the refs somehow to get what they wanted, the bigger teams getting through. It was bad enough with the seeding fiasco before the play-offs. That decision has apparently cost Ireland 20 Billion. Thanks FIFA.

    Bring on the Goal line technology, just like the the Rugby. All goals at least should be reviewed live. Then it is all fair and square and people can accept it, the last World Cup Rugby (in Paris) and England had a very touch and go appeal for a try. The refs and officials reviewed it while me and Jim Baker bellowed that it was a mile over. Once we saw the re-runs a minute later, it wasn’t (just), well there was more to it than that but at the end of the day, the cameras don’t lie, it was not a try and I accepted it straight away, fairs fair. I would have accepted Owens dive against the Argies 2002 and I would have definitely accepted Diegos being written of. 
Technology is the way forward, let’s hope this goal helps it come into being part of the modern game. There are French media on Talksport saying that the general feeling in France is that they are ashamed of the way they qualified.

  • SWood

    Darren, you can include in that list Maradona’s hand of god
    That has hurt for a number of years and last night was Henry’s hand of the devil

  • Nick Weaser

    Great article. I 100% agree with everything said – the one seeded team from the playoffs that didn’t get through, Russia, will hardly be keeping Blatter and his lot up at night (although the money coming from there may have been useful).

    What gets me is Henry saying that he admitted handling the ball during the game. Really?! He seemed to celebrate the goal like they had WON the World Cup. And as for sitting down next to Richard Dunne at the end of the game and rubbing his knee, now that really gets right up my nose…….

  • jimmythegent

    Did anyone see Stephen Hunt walk past Henri at the end, I was hoping Hunt would belt him.

  • Darren

    of course, how could I forget that!

    Maradona vs Henry Round 1 – Who’s was worse?

    FIFA have stated that Video Technology will not be introduced, there were over 844 qualifiers played in 5 continents. The rules of the game have to be equal in every country. So I guess it’s a case of you win some, you lose some.

    Even the French are embarrassed and the atmosphere in Paris today is a somber one to say the least

  • Matt Quinn

    In Paris are we, Darren? Ooo la la.

  • dexylongshot

    That’s funny, FIFA stating details of the games rules being equal in every country. I watched a world cup early qualifier round in 2004 in The Cook Islands in the South Pacific. True, it had FIFA officials and 2 lineman with their nice FIFA issue ref garms on. What wasn’t equal in my eyes was dogs running on the pitch, locals cutting across the corner flags on their mopeds so for FIFA to come out with the equal line is a load of old onions!! Domenech is in a press conference now, bobbing and weaving on the ropes.

  • jackieemu

    my dad, a british farmer was right all along the french are nothing but dishonest rude people…

    ‘buy british and irish is his motto’…never more pertinent than now!

  • Darren

    Justice for Farmers!

  • jackieemu

    as a side issue

    11p for a pint of milk my dad gets gets…it costs him 11p to produce it! supermarkets get about 45p…you do the math…
    disgrace…this is off topic ever so slightly but if we hate the french (and the major supermarkets) more at least british farmers may survive a bit longer…

  • Claire Tully

    Well Matt. There’s a big fupping difference.

    It’s called a GOAL.

  • Thai Guy Woods

    Thats why we here in the States cannot take your game seriously,how can a match with so much riding on it be decided by an illegal cheating maneuver , officiated by 3 referees that have to keep up with 22 players built like race horses for 90 minutes and in this case 120 minutes… seems laughable & farcical to us!!

  • Matt Quinn

    Claire, i still think my point was valid.

    Keane was penalised for handball twice. Henry got away with his handball.

    Therefore it was a reffing mistake that put Ireland out… not Henry cheating (or at least not doing anything different to what Keane was trying to do)

  • Kyle

    im sure all the irish laughed when maradona knocked england out the world cup with hand ball, whats goes around comes around….

  • rosscoe

    Love Terry Henry’s comment after the game which sums up the frogs in general.

    “I’m not the ref”

    Roughly translated means

    “I’m a cheating french c*nt and may as well have punched the ball across the goal without the ref seeing it, up yours – tough sht. I’m not brave enough to say I’m a cheat – I’ll just pass the buck onto the ref”

    Which is quite similar to:

    “I’m a gutless Frenchman with absolutely no ar$ehole, who would rather wave a white flag while the Germans ravage my country, and then pass the buck and let the British fix it for me – twice.”

    anyone else seeing a trend here – or is it me?

  • Iain

    IS that conspiracy theory guy from a couple of months back still around. I would LOVE to see what he has to say about all this.

  • Matt Quinn

    Im blatantly stealing this from a different site but…..

    This is karmic retribution for John and Edward.

    (although i rather like the little scamps)

  • shane

    i dont blame henry any player would have done it the referee and the linesman have to take the blame
    video replays have to be brought its the best thing that has ever happened rugby
    and as bad as maradonas handball was we were played off the park that day , were already losing and it was in the world cup ireland dont even get to one
    south africa will be a lonely place without the irish fans

  • Matt Purkis

    At the risk of being majorly flamed has anyone thought that if /when this happens(ed) to us that the scots, welsh and irish absolutely love it? Love it as in declare national holidays and celebrate in the streets? If Henri wants to do a Magic Johnson and basketball dribble the ball around the paddy defence and condemns them to picking potatoes next summer then who am I to argue.

  • Dan Church

    Personally, i think (like i do in all cases like this) that there shouldnt be a replay, the result should stand, whats done is done. However, i do think that in light of irrifutable evidence of cheating, Kermit should be heavily fined and banned for his countrys next 5 competetive matches….as indeed should Anelka for his Tom Daley impersonation. And its not just cos its the frogs, but anyone caught blatently cheating. It wont happen though, they gave it a go with Eduado and then chickened out cos they feared a backlash !!!

  • dexylongshot

    Ian, what conspiracy theory, was it an article on here??

    The French make the Irish pay Jedward Matt…. good point.

  • dexylongshot


    Sorry still in tears and not thinking straight. I’m boycotting baguettes until France get knocked out next summer, hopefully by a Fabios Red & White army, Fab will put things for right for his fellow-countryman Trap.

  • Iain

    Hey, yeah there was an article about the Manchester Derby and how it was a massive conspiracy against all thats well and good. Went on about 400 comments. Was a good read.

    Just that there were some pretty drastic reactions to that, so I’m excited to see what they would make of this!

    Personally I think its just a bit crap all round, but If it were England that had won, I’d be a bit ashamed (As the French population mostly are today) but still happy we’d made it to the world cup.

    I feel I should add though, France are RUBBISH! Absolutely RUBBISH!

  • ant wellard

    Damn right both Purkis and Quinn. Rather a lot of sour grapes.
    Stop Press – Footballer Cheats, Officials Useless Shocker
    Just because it was against Ireland it’s a travesty, if it was Keane doing the same thing and getting away with it he’d a be a ‘cheeky Oirish chappy’ and darling of the nation.

  • leon

    What Henry did was disgusting, especially when it mattered so much. The irish were robbed, and deserve a replay or for the match to go down as a draw. France is nothing like it was 10 years ago, FIFA need to get over that, Zinedine made it happen for them in the middle, since the new era they have been a lack lustre shadow of their former glory days, get France out T-shirts anyone?

  • leon

    Oh and how come referees are so easily bought these days?

  • Dan Church

    This is the one Iain…..
    Patrick….we need you !!!!!!

  • Mike

    I love the Irish fans they’re great. Went to the Ireland Nigeria game at the Cottage a few months ago and the Ireland fans were fantastic- even for a friendly!
    I didn’t see the game, but am very disappointed Ireland have been knocked out… but is their midfield really good enough to play at the World Cup?

    I do think Trapatoni has done a great job nevertheless, but fear this could be his last as Ireland manager.

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  • Ash

    Their midfield is surely better then Algeria’s and New Zealand’s!

  • Darren

    And Greece’s come to think of it, although I heard Samaras was instrumental in the brillliant 1-0 victory in Kiev last night

  • dexylongshot

    Well, Ireland had the better of France for most of the night not to mention losing to anyone in their group and drawing with the world champions twice (93rd minute equaliser, lucky Italians). They would do well at the World Cup like 1990 ,94 & 02. Ah man 02, I loved Mendieta until he scored that 6th penalty and knocked them out.

  • Darren

    there is hope, so fear not.

    “There is precedent for the invalidation of such results. In 2005, the bureau of the Fifa World Cup organising committee reached a decision to invalidate the result of a World Cup qualification match between Uzbekistan and Bahrain on the basis of a ‘technical error by the referee of the match’.

    Source BBC

  • Dave

    In reply to Thai:

    I live in the States and what’s laughable and farcical is the amount of times an official sticks his head under the hood for two minutes plus to review a play only to see them still get the call wrong. Obviously I’m talking football here, the baseball technology is even worse.


  • Claire Tully

    Course we did Kyle. The fact I didn’t even EXIST then has no influence on that….

  • Darren

    can we have the Holland World Cup qualifier played in 1993 replayed pleased. Everyone knows Ronald Koman should of been sent off for the foul on David Platt when he was clean through, yet he stayed on the pitch and went on to score the goal that put us out!

    No other team in International football has had more decisions gone against them then England, we are glorious losers, when we lose, there’s always an issue.

  • edwardo

    its a terrible shame any form of cheating and I feel sorry for the irish. However I worked briefly for an irish firm in 1986 and they absolutely loved the hand of god. Kept them happy for months. Maybe this will help them grow up and get the mighty chip off their shoulder or perhaps the other way and reinstate their default victimhood status, who knows… Frances economy is dozens of times bigger than irelands so theres no chance of a replay. this writes large for the EU too. France will always come first over smaller states. shame for football.

  • arnaud

    you’re all funny.

  • Dave the Save

    It happened and its true,the Irish didnt really care when England have been cheated in the past so deal with it and move on.

    Build a bridge and get over it!!!!!!

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