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The Hypocrisy of Morality

The moral high ground is, more often than not, the last bastion of the loser in sport. The notion of "fair play" is something of a deity in football. Much as God is revered when "miracles" happen yet apparently blameless/ helpless in the face of disaster, so football fans will wheel out the shield of fair play. The FAI this week begged and pleaded with FIFA to "uphold the integrity of the game" by giving them a replay. Strangely enough, when Ireland beat Georgia at Croke Park earlier in the Qualifying campaign courtesy of some incorrect officiating, I don`t recall them offering Georgia a replay. When Damien Duff dived for a penalty in the 2002 World Cup I`m not sure I recall the same media or FAI uproar. I`m also not sure why the FAI have demanded Thierry Henry apologise for his handball on Wednesday night, yet have somehow not asked Robbie Keane to do likewise- Keane, you will remember was twice penalised for deliberate handball in the match. Is it only intent to cheat when you get away with it?

You might argue that it would be natural for an Arsenal fan to feel defensive for Henry, yet I don`t seek to defend him. He cheated, there`s no question of that. But the hysterical reaction to his handball exasperates me, but it doesn`t surprise me. Frankly, people are idiots. The individual person is smart on occasion, but people are stupid, panicky, hysterical and lack the ability to think independently. The furore surrounding Henry is eerily similar to that of Eduardo`s earlier in the season. Manufactured moralising by an institution like the media. It`s like Myra Hindley telling children not to talk to strangers. Quite apart from the hypothetical argument that had the Irish won in the same fashion or had Rooney or Terry handled the ball to gift England a first World Cup for forty four years, the reaction would clearly be different, there are other issues to look at. Firstly, say the goal was scored in a different way. Let`s say France have a corner, there`s jostling in the box, Henry gives Richard Dunne a little nudge before rising to head the ball home. The referee does not spot the infringement and the goal is given. Is there the same sense of moral outrage? Is Henry publicly admonished as a cheat? No better than Ben Johnson or Maradona? Probably not, because we see players do this all the time. But is it still not intentionally breaking the rules to gain an advantage? You know, like handling the ball in the box?

It is EXACTLY the same. Yet the reaction would be entirely altered for the same principle. Yet for the past thirty six hours, I`ve heard various hybrids of frothy mouthed bile and hatred, mixed with naval gazing self pity. What is so utterly depressing, and this is not just true of football but of life in general, is how easily people are led and informed by the media, their sense of justice served to them like Pedigree Chum whilst they chow down on it like the subservient little puppies they are. You have to ask what right the media has to morally judge anybody given their despicable machinations. Handball is a crime on a par with paedophilia apparently, but intentionally deceiving an England manager into thinking you are an Arab Shiekh so you can get a revealing interview is fine? As I said, Fair Play is a concept wheeled out when it suits us- in that respect, it`s football`s answer to political correctness. It is informative that none of the Irish players have laid blame at Henry himself, instead castigating everyone from the referee to adidas. (Damien Duff came out with the adidas gem and Damien Duff has a boot endorsement deal with…..? Come on, keep guessing). It`s because they know that in the same scenario, they would have done absolutely the same thing. Ireland have every right to be sickened in losing a game of that magnitude in that manner. I am still bitter to this day that our 49 unbeaten run was curtailed by a cynical piece of cheating at Old Trafford by Wayne Rooney (where was the media`s moral compass then?) But I also know that that 49 match unbeaten run was at times preserved in an unsporting manner (Pires v Pompey anyone?)

The request to replay the France versus Ireland match was a ridiculous and pathetic one that would make most sports fans cringe. Replaying this game would set such a disruptive precedent, if every game that suffered a dodgy decision were to be replayed, we would never get past the first game of the season. The FAI cite the replay between Bahrain and Uzbekistan was different as the replay was awarded owing to a technical error. i.e. The referee saw the incident (encroachment on a penalty) but awarded the wrong decision (an indirect free kick to the perpetrators rather than a retake!) Ireland were desperately unlucky, but the whailing and whining of the FAI and the moral outrage of the media and it`s dribbling zombie consumers is entirely hypocritical. My favourite gem would be from Tony Cascarino, who lectured, "it would never have occurred to me to stick out my hand and guide it back into my control. I wasn't that devious." This of course the same Tony Cascarino who revealed in his autobiography, 1 year after collecting the last of his 88 caps for Eire that he wasn`t actually qualified to represent them. "I was a fake Irishman. A fraud." This is the sort of hypocrisy I`m talking about, Fair Play when it suits you. I feel for Eire, but it`s time to suck it up and move on. It is an absolute bona fide certainty that any one of the Irish fans who crammed into Croke Park and who were so vocally resplendent in Le Stade de France will watch their club team benefit from a similarly cynical act to gain a goal. Gauge how your reaction alters when you are the beneficiary. Henry, like Eduardo before him, is the latest sacrificial lamb to be offered to the brainless masses. But the responsibility now lies with the authorities to equip referees with the means to limit their mistakes, otherwise there will simply be more and more of this tiresome moralising as yet another non British/ UK scapegoat is stretched on the wrack. Kurt Cobain once memorably crooned, "Teenage angst has paid off well/ now I`m bored and old/ self appointed judges judge/ more than they have sold." Too true.LD.

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday November 20 2009

Time: 1:54PM

Your Comments

I love the fact that this website offers me sane, intelligent and logical views. I too saw the footage against Geogia as seen here. Watch how Keane blatantly catches the ball out of the air and then get a penalty which i still dont understand what for. Looking over reports its brushed of as the luck of the Irish. Not cheating, not tarnishing the game, no appologies or offers to replay the game? Hypocrisy and the fact its only little Georgia so it does not matter. And all these people sitting on their moral high ground watching super slow replays suggesting it was pre meditated and that the first handball could of been accidental but the second showed he deliberately controlled it. We are talking less than half a second. And lastly the idea that this handball is any different just because their was so much at stake. Surely we can not hand pick incidents from games which are seen to be more important just because it was someones dream to play in the world cup. Replay the game? How about we replay the game that cost us our unbeaten run because Rooney dived, or the Liverpool CL game because we didnt get the penalty etc. Bring in technology by all means but you cannot benefit from mistakes one week and brush it off and then cry when it goes against you
Appologies for the lack of punctuation.
Thank you, LD, thank you. It is absolutely extraordinary to watch the level of hysteria, vitriol, bile and hypocritical self-pity these last few days. I just watched Arsene's interview on the official site and he focuses entirely on the REAL problem -- the lack of video assistance for the officials. He says clearly that France won the tie thru a goal that should not have stood and that Ireland feel rightly aggrieved because of a serious problem that FIFA refuses to address. THAT is where all the focus should be, not this hypocritical nationalistic sanctimonious hyperventilating, the demonizing of a player into the second coming of Adolph Hitler and this selective standard that's directed only toward "them" and not "us." I don't know what the hell is it with this season but we've now seen 3 high profile incidents (Eduardo, Ngog and Henry) in which the moralizing media has gone in overdrive--which would not have happened if the player were from one of the home nations or if the game did not involve a home nation. A replay? Why not replay the 1986 England-Argentina game, then, ffs? Remember that phantom goal in which the Reading players (incl. an Irishman, Stephen Hunt) celebrated wildly even tho they knew there was no goal? They certainly didn't tell the referee. I recall MOTD saying essentially "well these things happen." So now Henry (like Eduardo) is akin to a mass murdering Hitler. Why people continue to view athletes as "role models" for their kids is beyond me. Basketball player Charles Barkley ruffled the feathers of Dan Quayle and the US sports media by saying "I am not a role model" and "A million guys can dunk a basketball in jail; should they be role models?"
This is a letter I've just seen printed on another website, Great To See People Aren't Getting Carried Away Please ask Thierry Henry to desist from associating himself with UNICEF. He brings shame on your great organisation and is a terrible example to innocent children around the world. Given half the chance he would probably cheat them out of the pennies they earn stitching his Nike boots etc Daragh
Little Dutch
You have to be kidding LD. Was somebody actually THICK enough to write such drivel? Thierry Henry -such a monster he ought not to be allowed near anything to do with children. How sad can some people be? I have read some utter tripe these past two days. Most of it from the kind of people who obviously think that soaps like Coronation Street are real. They are the kind of nitwits who abuse actors in the street over a storyline on TV. Everyone here knows my sentiments about Thierry Henry. First let me say how DISMAYED I was watching the replay of the incident at the time. He did the wrong thing (for the right reasons under pressure of a situation of Domenech's incompetent management) and let HIMSELF down. But he put his country first (as every other player on the planet would do) and if the hacks in this country think that ONE error eradicated 15 years of exemplary service to sport, they have another thing coming. As with the Eduardo affair, SOME PERSPECTIVE please. Time for Technology.
Henry should be ashamed of himself. This was the most disgusting thing I've ever seen, I'm going to set up a facebook group called 'Henry must die'. We need to make an example of him so that the poor children in Africa don't sleep hungry tonight.
Saf 91
Before I get a mass flaming my way, I was joking...... People forget that France should have had a penalty and a one-man advantage. But don't let facts get in the way of a chance for the Daily Fail to get on their high horses!
Saf 91
thanks for that video link paul, I'm sure Robbie Keane ran off and did 5 cartwheels and shot his hand-guns off after converting a penalty that was rewarded for a tackle that occurred a good 5 feet outside the box... I agree with the FAI, Georgia should definitely get a replay after that result!
To be fair, I think the reaction of most Irish fans has been more magnanimous than that, but it is an insight into how easily people allow themselves to be whipped into frenzy. Ironically, I'm minded of a perfectly good goal Henry scored away at CSKA Moskva a couple of years ago which was disallowed for handball when we were trailing 1-0 in the 86th minute.
Little Dutch
And he got booked LD.
Sorry to break the subject a bit, but I thought any Gooners who didn't see Eboue's wondergoal vs Germany should take a look. He really wants RvP's place doesn't he...
I actually like Henry as a player but have to say he learnt off a club and a manager that put the c in cheat.
I don't recall Wenger managing Robbie Keane? But that's largely because Keane is utter gash.......
Little Dutch
Couldn't have put this matter better; great write up and spot on about the moral high ground being held by mainly the (Britsh) media. I saw the following excerpts from Henry's interview while suggesting a replay may be a fair option, though not in his control: "It was an instinctive reaction to a ball that was coming extremely fast in a crowded penalty area. "As a footballer you do not have the luxury of the television to slow the pace of the ball down 100 times to be able to make a conscious decision. "It is impossible to be anything other than that. I have never denied that the ball was controlled with my hand. I told the Irish players, the referee and the media this after the game." The man has shown honour, though I know there will not be a replay of this game owing to the precedent it will set. Henry’s handball incident is not and won’t be the worst case of soccer cheating we’ll ever have. Players dive to get opponents sent off (Rivaldo- WC 2002 Brazil v Turkey); Drogba pulled down Wes Brown just as he was going for the JT header that gave Chelsea their 1-0 victory; players claim throw-in decisions when they know better; they roll the ball forward to gain a few meters for a free kick; Robbie Keane is a serial hand ball offender (only, he gets caught, usually); you'll find players holding/jostling in the 18 yard box, before set pieces; I could go on and on. I disagree that this incident should remove from the genius that is the man, Henry, as the British media will have us believe. The WC is a big stage with high stakes and if the goal to get a team there has to come from a refereeing error, I don't know many who would refuse the offer. I don’t think the Irish would complain had the shoe been on the other foot. Another reason for video technology, then?
Roy Keane just keeps going UP and UP in my estimation! "What goes around comes around." What a brilliant press conference absolutely FLAYING the FAI. What a hoot!
Yeah! Loved it too. He was (as they say) keeping it real.
It wasn't right but its football, you win some, you lose some, you get on with it. He's a quality player who has rarely done wrong in his time and now he is being crucified for something which any player in his position woul've done. The only people who can be blamed in a way is FIFA, if they had let cameras be brought into the game cases like this would be a thing of the past.
One United 92
LD - Thank christ for some perspective on the internet. This last couple of days has seen my respect for various writers plummet through the floor. The bandwagon jumping majority following the headlines blindly are the bane of my life - seriously, what utter idiot, what utterly stupid, mindless, foolish, sheep like, callow, brainless excuse for a man (cascarino, uscock) would seriously entertain the tripe spewed out by the media this week? It's a ******** disgrace. Think for yourselves people.
Gunnerman, you make a point that's struck me as well: I'm used to idiocy from the likes of Cascarino but there are other writers who've usually proven to be more sober and measured, more grounded in the f-----g real world -- yet they too have joined this moralizing crusade. Henry is now the biggest cheater in the sport, people are saying he always WAS cheater and did so throughout his career, and that he should now be banned for life.
All football supporters should go right on over and read this brilliant commentary from Bobby McMahon, my favorite football pundit: He's a Scottish football pundit living in Canada who works for the Fox Soccer Channel. He's so much better than so many of the pundits in the British media. You may not agree with his take on video technology but the rest of his attack on the fulminating moralizing, the attacks on Henry are absolutely spot-on.
I knew this article was eventually coming, and you didn't disappoint LD. Spot on like usual.
Jaelle, Bobby is the only pundit on the whole continent who's worth a damn. He's a Gooner too!
gk107, damned straight!
I was waiting for this article to appear on Vital Arsenal. How the whole world is full of hypocrisy, how the bandwagon is in full forward motion and that basically Ireland need to get over it because Duff dived in 2002 or whenever. When will you realise that it really doesnt matter how many people do it, whats wrong is wrong and deserves a backlash, no matter how big or small of an event it is. When its a whole nations world cup hopes being dumped on by another cheating ex-Arsenal Frenchman, tell me what kind of action did you expect? You keep writing articles like this year after year it seems. Eduardo dived, but because Gerrard or Rooney did it whenever to little press then Eduardos a victim. Eduardos the biggest cheat in the world. God save Eduardo etc etc. Everyones just sick of it thats the bottom line. "People are idiots" no your an idiot, so is Roy Keane. And your reaction is entirely predictable. "Its like Myra hindley telling children not to talk to strangers" Are you seriously that in need to sound clever? You need to realise that everybody is angry at what happened both in France where there has being national moral outrage to the obvious hurt in Ireland. And your viewpoint is in the vast minority. But then i guess were all idiots and "manufactured by the media".
HY, "everyone" is angry? Certainly not people in most of the football world - fans in Latin America, Africa, Asia certainly aren't hysterical and demanding that Henry be banned from the game for life. What you don't understand is that LD is reacting to the insane level of hysteria, the totally over the top fixation on something that happens ALL THE TIME as if it was the only time it's ever happened, as if Ireland is the only country to ever have suffered injustice in football. You really think LD would've written this article if the reaction hadn't been so extreme, so vitriolic, so full of bile? Apparently Henry is THE biggest cheat in the history of football. "Eduardo's the biggest cheat in the world"??? Is that you saying that? If so, how can you expect anyone to take you seriously? If you think it's only gooners saying these things, you're flat out wrong. Pundits in South America are saying essentially the same thing -- this is football, it can be cruel, but this is no reason to make this into a diplomatic incident. You really think this is so serious that the Irish and French governments have to get involved and make this into a DIPLOMATIC INCIDENT????
Couldnt have put the last sentence better myself HY (clap, clap).
And since when is the majority viewpoint the only valid one???
Henry did nothing 99.9% of other professionals would have done!
The majority of people in the game are not outraged at Henry they are outraged at FIFA and their insistence that we use a method of officiating that started in the 1800's. Their refusal to help the officials is the biggest crime here but it easier to string up one man than a whole corrupt organisation that refuses to drag football into the year 2000.
france sure as hell dont deserve to be at the world cup and i cant wait til they exit in the same way im glad we never won the carling cup last season as burnley deserved to be in the final not us and we didnt cheat in that game we were just played off the park. shocking how bad france played over the 2 legs and to cheat at the end for the win does make u sick for the pikeys but these things do happen. if it was henry, anelka or even the great ex frog zidane i would still be outraged
And HY, why don't you ever address LD's basic point: the selective moral outrage, the basic hypocrisy in the reaction to these incidents? You never reply to that double standard. WHY is it only CERTAIN incidents where suddenly everyone remembers morality in football and totally ignore it otherwise???
Lolidays! Hudders was sat there waiting for this article, his indignation and blood pressure rising so much he didn't even read the bloody thing properly, surprised he could see what was being typed as those knees were jerking so furiously.
HY, nobody argues that cheating is bad and that it shouldn't be removed from the game, it's just embarrassing that the British media (and spuds apparently) waits until it happens to an English speaking entity before there is some sort of moral crusade against it. And you just confirmed these Anglo-centric connotations behind this crusade when you claim that 'everybody is angry.' Well I can safely say that no one gives a ***** where I live.
it wa as double hand ball, which makes it even more of a cheat, he knew he done wrong when he sat down next to dunne, he didnt seem an look happy that thats he sgoing to world cup. im sayin this not as a spurs fan but as an irish fan, even the french media an fans agree it shud be a replay, an there pretty sick that this has got them to the world cup, he will always be known as the handball cheat, le cheat sorry
Henry and Myra Hindley? what a pile of pseudo intellectual cobblers. Henry cheated; for god's sake stop getting on your political high horse about it and move on. By overreacting you become the reactionaries you despise. Arsenal fans, you don't have to defend him anyway. He left you for a bigger club and would happily score against you in a big match if he had to: Before grinning in that strange, sheepish way he has perfected. Seriously: so this is what people in the modern times we live in actually bother to concern themselves with? Incredible.
jinkin jimmy dimmock
how are we overreacting? we're just pointing out that this isn't the first time someone has cheated, but it is the first time there has been a crusade against one who has hit the ball with his hand. now, why is that? this is the question we would like answered.
so 123spuds, even french fans think there should be a replay, eh? well I suppose as an Irish fan (as you described yourself), surely you should be petitioning UEFA to have your qualifier against Georgia replayed as Ireland were awarded a penalty for a foul that occurred at least 2 metres outside the box when they were 1-0 down, and went onto win the game 2-1. Surely the Irish players cheated when they didn't explain to the ref that this foul was not a penalty, correct? (and if you didn't see that incident, please watch the video that paul_ownz posted at the top of this thread)
Is it me getting all paranoid? Or is something seriously wrong with the British media and the rabid majority with media access? Why does it seem to me like Arsenal and Arsenal related matters are reported with a bias that borders on hatred? HY is usually one of the more rational spuds, and I was just commending him for his objectivity yesterday, today he pops up with a comment totally at variance with the thematic preoccupation of the article to which he is purportedly reacting. Why are we so hated? I live in Nigeria, and no one around here gives a rat arse about this storm in a teacup. Yes, Henry cheated. But did he invent the art? I did'nt hear anyone outside the Gooner family beep when Rooney dived to end the unbeaten run, I cannot recall anyone preach when Owen dived for the England penalty in 2002, why does it seem like every sanctimonous bas-tard discover their bully pulpit when someone connected to Arsenal or a Johnny Foreigner do something they overlook, excuse and condone on a daily basis? Must be my funny ciggies doing my head in again!
It's amazing how completely biassed the media in this country is. The levels of hypocrisy are astounding and so too is the covert xenophobia. Why are some players cheats whilst others who do they exact same thing, are not? Has anyone even seen Henry Winter's "Say it isn't so, Joe" article? Can't believe how people can be so fickle especially when you consider the nature of what Thierry did and that it's no different to what happens in every football game that's played everyday. Henry hasn't suddenly invented something new.
Er, Argentina vs England 1986. It might not have quite as bad, but it was on the scale. No, stop defending Henry. What he did was very wrong, and it was absolutely against the spirit of the game. He realised what had happened straight away and should have immediately stopped the goal from being allowed. But he admited it 'later'. Bit late to cleanse your conscious now mate. Look, regardless of the fact that the media are a bunch of racist, prejudiced bigots with as many double standards as its possible to comprehend, the Ngog incident and now this confirm that it's time we said enough is enough. We have to deal with cheating. It's become endemic and is absolutely blatant. I think what you are really saying in this article is: we are arsenal fans and this shows people hate us and we don't like it! Well, all i can say from my own experience of dealing with 'real' people is this: they don't like the French, they don't like the 'top four clubs' because they are just so utterley contemptible, and they don't like thierry Henry cos he a bit of an arse who is always going on at us about shaving.
jinkin jimmy dimmock
Let's put it into perspective jinkin jimmy, what did Henry actually do? He handballed. How many handballs do you see in every football game you watch? Regardless of his affiliation with Arsenal, let's look at him as just another player for a second. How many players, unless the ref blows the whistle actually stop after they've controlled the ball with their hand? Henry cheated, yes. But any player in that situation, 99 percent of them and Damian Duff even said as much, would have done the same. No one is condoning what Thierry did. It was wrong, full stop. But the level of vilification and the extent to which the media are trying to make him a pariah are also very wrong. He has done nothing new and handling the ball is already a punishable offence, if the referee sees it. There need to be better ways of enabling the match officials but short of that nothing more can be done. Some of the tripe I've read, ban him from playing in the World Cup, for a handball, is ludicrous. It has been taken out of proportion and this is what people are saying.
but why is it now when enough is enough? why wasn't it enough when Ireland were awarded a penalty for a foul that clearly occurred outside the box against Georgia in these very qualifiers. Are you just as mad that Keane, Given, and Duff took a penalty that so clearly wasn't? and who is defending henry? I think everyone is saying he cheated. I think perhaps you are missing the point entirely.
Just a thought, but why are the British and their press crying more than the bereaved?
Ok, well Keplaz, as a matter of fact i don't disagree with that. I still think a discussion needs to be had though, which includes all fans, because we don't want a situation where a football player feels he is justified in cheating, cos it's 'part of the game now'. Statements like that are utterley corrosive and we should'nt have to put up with it. On the issue of the press and their double standards; well, they're just a bunch of ****s arent they?
jinkin jimmy dimmock
Has Henry recived any personal ban for doing this?
jinkin jimmy dimmock
no, do you think Robbie Keane will receive a ban for his two deliberate handballs in the same match?
Cheating is wrong and fair enough something does need to be done but the only the thing that can be done is to improve the officiating. Times have changed and players are becoming fitter, old school referring just won't work anymore and if there had been better methods in operation on Wednesday, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. Short of that I don't really know what else can be done. But no one condones cheating, the major problem is that most of them don't get seen and that when it does get spotted, who you are determines what, if any punishment you get.
What if the onus was on the player. What if Henry had been 'asked' if he had done it. He would have said "yes, i did, in the heat of the moment". The goal is chalked off: correct decision and the winning goal is later scored fairly and legitimately. But what if he'd lied? Instant six match ban. His world cup is over, basically. It's always the refs fault. My god, the players are like children!! Henry is from France: from an existentialist point of view he could have simply been honest and chivalrous, and played fairly, and that goes for Keane aswell, who i don't personally have that much time for. Can we not look at this in an objective way, rather, as football fans who are concerned by the deterioation of moral values in the game and ignore the idiots who clearly have socio-political and cultural axes to grind!
jinkin jimmy dimmock
henry fans boys look at this, , holding hes face an get elbowed in the chest
So you think we should go around asking players if they committed an infraction all game long? For instance, on EVERY corner/free kick you would have to go around asking each and EVERY player if they pulled a shirt or gave a little nudge, because those would all be instances of cheating? Or on every throw in or goal/kick decision for that matter? I understand what you're saying, but that is totally impractical. Part of the appeal of football is how it is a constantly flowing game. And on the subject of video replay, living in the US where all of our sports have adopted this in some form, there are still plenty of situations that are left unresolved. In my view, poor decisions tend to even themselves out, and at the end of a season/qualifying campaign, each team will find that they have received the same amount of both good and bad calls.
Keplaz, it was a double hand ball , he clearly knew what he was doing to gain an advantage, an im sure deep down he has regretted, casue he will be remembered for what he done
i was a neutral watching the game,and i was disapointed and a bit embarrassed with henry for doing what he did,but after reading several comments,and a spot of reflection my views have turned to "so what" he handled the ball,nothing in football has changed and nothin will game please
fran merida
That's one obvious problem TPowell, and i accept that this would need some careful and serious reflection.
jinkin jimmy dimmock
You spuds prove time and time again that you live in cloud cuckoo land. Everyday children are dying, innocents are being murdered and we live in the grip of a global economic maelstrom. Yet one player WITH 15 YEARS EXEMPLARY service to sport and charities makes an instinctive human judgement for his country and he's lynched like Ian Huntley? You need to grow up you xenophobic, racist bigots. Read the text of Roy Keane's conference. I live in Ireland and EVERY WORD of that is TRUTH. What will Thiery be remembered for? The greatest contribution to football in the EPL and hours and hours of footballing enjoyment. He is a BETTER human being than you bunch of hypocritical, judgemental idiots could ever hope to be. And why don't you ask Given why HE failed to own up to the ref that he tugged Anelka's boot for a certain penalty? Thierry should have owned up to the ref on the spot to the detriment of his country? What planet do you live on? Not a player alive would do it. Irish players including handballing, diving Keane FAILED to score the second goal they needed. All this is just one big fat excuse for failure. Deal with it.
If Roger Federer was match point down vs Nadal in the Wimbledon semi-final, and Nadal hits a shot which is called out, but which RF clearly knows was in, would it be cheating for RF to play on? No. His will to win would overcome his sense of justice, and his will to win is a key ingredient in making him so successful. It would be a shame that it had to happen as it did, and what he has done is wrong, but it isn't his fault as such. Henry's situation is the same, and when you add to the fact that by the time Henry had had the time to put his consciousness into the situation his team-mates were running off in celebration, and almost his entire nation was filled with joy, you can understand his reluctance to through that all away, plus the chance to play in one final World Cup, in the few seconds it took before kickoff to resume. It doesn't make it right, but it makes it understandable, and clearly if you are honest to yourself his actions in the circumstances do not make him super-humanly evil, as the press and some idiots are making him out to be. Of course, Wimbledon now employs video technology for these decisions, and the fact that football is still ignoring this route is now just rediculous.
Anyone remember this? I can't remember there being such shock and outrage after that incident. I don't believe Scholes is more dishonest than any other player but that was a more blatant attempt at cheating than Henry. It's stupid to consider Henry as more of a cheat than other player when most players would have done the same in his position if they thought they could get away with it.
I think it speaks volumes for the game when an outstanding players instinct is to cheat. When Henry had no time to think and assess the situation he cheated to gain an advantage. It also speaks volumes about FIFA when they can't face facts. The reason players take the chance on cheating is because if its missed by the officials they get off with no punishment. I don't see how video technology when used in the correct manner can hinder a referees ability to make the right call.
If we are going to apply the word "cheat" SO CHEAPLY, then every single player at every level of the game is a "cheat" because all of them have broken the rules at some time or other. As for Eric Cantona taking a pop and saying he'd have hit Henry, he has a bloody nerve. He Kung-Fu kicked a paying spectator in the HEAD. Far, far, far, far worse than Henry's action on Wednesday.
LD you are full of your own crap leave the indeapth stories to the adults
JLH4ever, thnks for your posts and angles to this issue; I'll be surprised if it satisfies these Spuddies who come to Arsenal sites to receive education. Bowiecokemirror thanks for the reference to Scoles 'cheating', for good effect. Indeed, Robbie Keane has, since, praised Henry for his courage and honour in accepting he cheated, after the game (ostensibly, because Robbie won't do so). For those who still don't understand that LD's article was not to condone cheating but to point out the hypocrisy of all the groundswell of 'moralist' opinions against such a great man, know that you cannot be more "catholic than the Pope". 'Nuff said.
Lol not to change the subject but what is that on Paul Merson's face????
JLH4E hes not being lynched like hes Ian Huntley though is he? Your the one whos overreacting here surely. Hes getting rightly criticised from all angles of the sporting press. Arsenal fans like you are the most pathetic in the land. And your childish whining comment on how saint Henry "is a BETTER human being than you bunch of hypocritical, judgemental idiots could ever hope to be" sounds like a teenage take that fan, defending Mark or Howie when someone with sense called them shizer. Im sure Thierry Henry is a darn nice fellow, not like either of us have ever met the guy, but the fact remains he just cheated a country out of the World Cup finals. What reaction did you expect?
HY, two handballs and a blatant penalty, would people have made a big deal about them if France had won? Fact of the matter is cheating goes on in every game, pederson did one of the most blatant dives you will ever see against us, yet MOTD simply laughed it off, why? Because we won? Does that make it any less of a cheat?
Julieloveshenry4ever LOL So everyone who wants to have a reasonable discussion about what happend is xenophobic, racist, blah, blah, blah. EVERYONE!? WHAT, look here, and, oh what's the point....i really can't be arsed. Just give in to your subjective bloodlust if thats what makes you happy. And please ask the doctor for a higer dose of the medication next time you see him.
jinkin jimmy dimmock
Am I missing something here or are all spuddies so thick? So, it is okay to 'cheat' so long as you have not "cheated a country out of the WC finals". Nice one HY. Last time i checked, Georgia is a country and Ireland cheated them out of the WC finals with the penalty that wasn't. France is a country, yet Keane had two handball incidents in the same game; attempting to cheat them out of the WC finals. As they say, what goes around comes around, bro.
osfc, perhaps you should leave the big words up to the adults, ok? HY, please justify why it's wrong for Henry to touch the ball with his hand while it's alright for Robbie Keane to deliberately handle the ball twice in the same match (isn't a deliberate handball a bookable offense)? And jinkin jimmy has resorted to nonsense, for those who are interested.
...bookable offense; and 'twice' meant Robbie shouldn't have finished the game.
exactly Naijagunner! France should demand a replay!!
Yeah! Perhaps, we get Graham Poll to, he can get 2 yellows and still be on the pitch. Lol.
Naijagunner there is a difference between the Georgia incident in so far as the ref gave a penalty for a handball against the defender that was questionable ie no Irish player did anything to gain an advantage. And TPowell Keane was punished in the game for his handballs so wasn't able to gain an advantage, is it cheating? No more so that the Henry incident. So I dont think it was right in either case. I dont see why Arsenal fans continue to defend Henry when his actions are symptomatic of what is wrong with the game ie players cheat because if they get away with it they wont be punished after the event.
Durk, what difference? The only player who handled the ball in the area was Robbie Keane. The fact is I cannot, for the life of me, fathom why the Ref gave the penalty, cos the earlier tackle occured way outside the box. The Ref waved away all entreaties of the Georgian players to consult the asst. Ref, who did not flag for an infringement. I guess you find it is okay because it was, afterall, only little Georgia. He could have held up his hands to own up. But, no. Robbie grabs the ball and couldn't wait to take his penalty, like the cheat he is. The point is in the hypocrisy of all the Henry-bashing, considering it is not the first time a Ref makes the wrong call and it favours a side.
When did i see its ok to cheat "so long as you have not "cheated a country out of the WC finals". Nice one HY" im as im sure all of us hate cheating and are obviously against it. Pedersens dive against you last season (apart from being comedy genius) was just as bad as Henrys against Ireland. But the strength of the moral outcry tends to lie in the seriousness of the situation - Like when a drunk driver gets caught speeding at over 70m and serves community sentence yet another drunk driver who kills another family in a head on car crash serves 15years. Whats the difference? Because the outcome was so much more dreadful the reaction follows suit. With Pedersen Arsenal won the game comfortably, Pedersen was laughed at. But rightly or didnt matter. Henry cheated a side/country out of the World Cup and gets crucified by the media. Rightly so i might add. Both are cheats, just now and again when the spotlights that bright on one it just brings into focus how much cheating really does go on, and hopefully some good will come out of it with video evidence finally looking like it will be used.
Naija that penalty was given for handball against the Georgian defender, when Robbie Keane had his back to him so how could he see it? The referee quite clearly has a conversation with his linesman in the video via their microphone system. The difference as I see it is that in one instance you have the ref make a call on a handball decision in which no Irish player had control over any of the variables as opposed to Henry, who made a conscious decision to handle the ball to gain an advantage-that is the difference and to see it any other way is to do so for the sake of an argument.
Dirty cheating gooner scum who is being protected by dirty gooner C***S. you should all be ashamned that he everplayed for you.
ok so the rest of the world may be stupid, thick, idiotic, choking on their own bile and blah and blah. still doesn't take away the tag of cheat, much as much you try to scrub it away bleach it, dye in wool and justify it with what goes around and all those theories. lame! sure everyone cheats. still, ten million wrongs do not a right make. don't get all pseudo intelligent and logical. having said, i do agree with the only sane point in the article. the onus must rest with the governing body. platini instead of taking out an inquisition against english teams, is deafiningly silent on this one. the solution has to be technology. other sports have used it to good effect. cricket in a big way, tennis to an extent. football can, and must. i believe adidas already has a techinology in place where the ball itself becomes some kind of monitor to ensure all those ghost goals never happen. heck, forget space age ball tech, slo-mos are sufficient themselves. why is there such reluctance. until then we'll have to live with ghost goals, cheating hands and articles on l'arsenal forums that tag the rest of us as brainless, idiotic, nincompoops.
johnny come lately
meanwhile sunderland 1 l'arsenal 0. hypocrisy of the premier league wot?
johnny come lately
How grimly predicatble that most of the Spurs fans on here haven't bothered to read the jist of the artcle. Show me where I have said Henry didn't cheat HY, then some of your points may be justified. I haven't justified Henry's act as correct because everyone else does it, it's the reaction I'm analysing not the handball itself. It really wouldn't have taken much to work that out. But instead you have done as you usually do and charged in froth mouthed and let your anger get the better of your intellect.
Little Dutch
It's amazing how hard it can be, blinded by partisanship, for some to see the the absurdity of the pious over reaction to this incident. HY says the reaction is justified because of it's importance but sees no paradox in that the reaction to Given deliberately bringing down Anelka in the box is muted at best. Isn't that a decision that is at least as important? In regard to the potential outcome at worst Henry corrected an injustice in the game. It's right that Henry should be condemned for cheating but no more than Given or anyone else in the past, present and future that has or will have taken advantage of weaknesses in the way the game is officiated. It should be those weaknesses that we allow ourselves to get hysterically angry with and not the more natural human ones.
Great read probably one of the best on VitalFootball.

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