Thursday, November 19, 2009

France have the luck of the Irish to qualify for the World Cup

Thirty-one of the thirty-two places at the World Cup in South Africa next year have been decided.

The remaining place will go to either Uruguay or Costa Rica, who are about to play the second-leg of their qualifying tie.

Uruguay won the first leg 1-0 away and must be favoured to become the fifth South American nation at the finals.

Earlier today, Portugal, France, Greece and Slovenia confirmed their places at South Africa with wins in their qualifying play-offs in Europe, while Algeria beat Egypt 1-0 in Sudan to become the sixth African qualifier.

Portugal won 1-0 against Bosnia-Hercogovina to make it 2-0m on aggregate, while Greece stunned the Ukraine with a 1-0 away win after the first leg in Athens had finished in a goalless draw.

Greece, the 2004 European champions, last played in the World Cup in the USA in 1994.

Slovenia beat Russia 1-0 at home in Maribor, making it 2-2 on aggregate, but Slovenia scraped through courtesy of their away-goal in the 2-1 loss in Moscow.

France earned a place in South Africa with a controversial 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland in Paris, which gave them a 2-1 win on aggregate.

Thierry Henry clearly handled the ball in setting up the equaliser for William Gallas.

The Swedish referee ignored the heated protests by the Irish and allowed the goal to stand.

Ireland may have been fortunate a little earlier in the first period of extra-time when France had a good claim for a penalty turned down after a challenge by goalkeeper Shay Given.

The thirty-one teams that have qualified are:

HOSTS: South Africa

AFRICA: Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria

ASIA: Australia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea

EUROPE: Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland

SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, Brazil, Chile Paraguay

NORTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA: Honduras, Mexico, United States of America

OCEANIA: New Zealand


Richard Bennett said...

that referee is going to have a place in football folklore he really won't want. Henry has also tarnished his reputation, there is no way back from that.

clear example of the need for some technology use for such massive decisions.

Anonymous said...

As they say "any publicity is good publicity" or something like that. I am hoping that is the case as I have a signed Thierry Henry jersey that hopefully will now be worth more in years to come.

Amazed said...

this decision is no different to any other decision that is wrong. It is simply more obvious in the effect that it has on the outcome of the game. Those that would have technology for this decision would have technology for every decision made because ANY wrong decision anywhere on the park can lead to or deny a goal. get over it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Henry set out to handle the ball as it approached him - it just hit his hand (a clear handball). However, as the goal went in and in the heat of the moment he was faced with the choice between saying/doing nothing (the easy option) or rushing to the ref to set the record straight. It's easy to say we would have owned up playing here on a Sunday afternoon but probably quite another if your entire country is watching.

I don't condone his actions but I do think that staying silent when the ref gets it wrong is different from cheating - such as taking a dive in the box, or trying to get someone sent off. Poor old Irish though, they deserved to go through.

Richard Bennett said...

it is the perfect argument for limited technology to be used when there is a break in the game. the ball crossing the line for a goal or not (1966) or where a direct incident leads to the goal in this instance. the game has stopped naturally and the moment is available to the officials to make a decision which is informed if they wish. surely any official who suspected the goal could be illegitimate would consult the vision to settle the matter.

decisions about fouls, throw ins etc in general play are up to the officials judgement as play flows but this is clearly different. the fact that it has determined who goes to the biggest sporting event in the world or who dosen't only makes the incident more unjust on the most massive scale.

the other point is that the whole game is not potentially tarnished by it but is in the eyes of any sports lover.

technology for every decision is not practical not warranted and just plain stupid. this "henry" incident would not be an incident if technology was allowed to be used to decide fairly in an appropriate situation such as the legitimacy of a goal.

the issue of intent is not neccessarily important as I beleive Henry is not setting out to do that but, did he control the ball with his hand (twice not once) to benefit himself and the team?........clearly the answer is yes. handball!

Amazed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amazed said...


if there was a handball - missed by the refeee and his assistants - and the ball went from end to end for say 3 minutes without a stoppage and then a goal was scored - would you use technology then to go back and look at the decision?

Amazed said...

FIFA have been aware of the need to attempt to improve the percentage of correct calls within and around the penalty area.

see this document for a current trial of two additional assistant referees currently in place in a top level competition.

Richard Bennett said...


in the situation you describe in open play no I don't think an incidental handball is relevant to the goal after 3 minutes of play.

however in the instance as was the case with the "henry handball"the goal is scored as a direct result of the infringement and play has stopped my suggestion is that the game benefits from the opportunity for a referee who suspets it is not a valid goal but couldn't definetly say so can consut a replay to decide.

as a preference I am a beleiver in the old adage that you play the game based on the on field decisions and the refs whistle however I do think that it is also where appropriate if improvements can be made do so without over officiating the game. it is a matter of not just being seen to be fair but doing so when this type of incidet occurs.

Brian Young said...

The "goalmouth incident" should never have happened anyway. When the ball was crossed from the right, at least one of the French forwards was in an offside position in the centre of the goal area; this was shown clearly by the television camera. The linesman was a metre behind the play & failed to raise his flag. A whistle for the offside would have avoided all the ensuing fuss. Still, there is no guarantee that Ireland would have scored another gooal & won the tie anyway. C'est la vie!

Anonymous said...


If a referee doesnt see the touch by the forward and gives a corner, and they score from the corner - should technology be used to review anything?

One of the issues is where do you draw the line as to which decisions get reviewed?

One of the great things about our roundball game is that the same laws apply whether its a world cup final or a new town eagles vs glenorchy knights match.

we dont want it to be moving towards the ridiculous situation of grid-iron , so dont start.

Richard Bennett said...


I am only suggesting it is an opportunity to decide correctly and fairl if a goal is legitimate, in other words as a direct consequence of an obvious infringement. the henry incident is the classic example and the 1966disputed goal in the world cup final as another classic example.

I note tonight on sbs thiery henry is supporting a replay and sir alex is advocating the introduction for technology in this type of situation.

if something happens which is maybe a missed infringement in general play such as has been suggested it is not a situation for adjudication by technology because the defending team is given their natural opportunity to stop a goal which in itself may be scored legitimately.

anonymous is correct it is where to draw the line and my suggestion is when the direct act of scoring may not be legitimate and play has stopped because the ball is in the net does the ref have an opportunity to view the replay.

I am far from suggesting the use of technology to decide anything but only the direct act of the potentially disputed goal. the game is not stopped it has anyway and the ref still makes te decison bt it is an informed one. as a player I do not want to see ay stop start decision aking during general play and neither I am sure do any other participants.

Brian I would not hesitate to support the french team in south africa becaue of the way they can play and they should really beat the irish more often than not but I will now not feel happy supporting the french next year. lets ope the socceroos nock them off and o an irish jig!!!!!!

probably get a fine from fifa though I suspect.

simo said...

Ireland should of finished the game off long before it occurred for once I agree with Keane!, Roy not Robbie. For the Irish some of the things they have said are just plain ridiculous, Robbie Keane said they were cheated, they may of been but he knows he would do the same thing if it would take his team to the world cup just like what Kevin Doyle said. The Irish FA president or another high up said that only one team should be at the world cup, them! The goal was scored in the 104 minute France had time to score, also they had a penalty appeal turned down, Keane and Duff have came out calling Henry a cheat to cover up their own failure to score in good positions.
Finally to Henry I don't condone cheating but I know that it goes on, I know from experience that players are told to go down on purpose in the box if they are touched. I feel sorry for Henry, the first touch of the arm did look unintentional but the second one was his instincts kicking in, Robbie Keane would of done the same most players have had that moment where your just want to control the ball with your hands its our instincts, in Henry's case his instinct to win after all he is a winner and a mighty fine goal scorer who has that instinct to win and score goals which sets him apart from other players but in this case has set himself apart from players, Diego aside, for the wrong reasons

simo said...

acjeP.S no need for video technology the two extra linesman that are being tried out in the Europa League would of worked fine in that situation