Was what Thierry Henry did right?

November 20, 2009 § 15 Comments

There is a update at the end, make sure you read it, before commenting.

France is one of the power houses of Football. But well with a crazy coach with even crazier ideas, they have been struggling to win matches. But Wednesday night saw them qualify for the world.

And in process one of the games best players, Thierry Henry did the unthinkable- deep into extra time, he pushed the ball with his hand, on to his foot and then crossed for William Gallas to head the ball in. Controversy sparked, now the entire world is debating on the issue. (you can watch the video below).

It is quite shocking that he did it. Yes we all know(irrespective of whether you a football fan or not) about the most famous handball, the ‘Hand of God’ by one Diego Armando Maradona. But then there is a lot of difference between the two.

Maradona has the notorious reputation  and had it even before then. But Henry was known to be one of the finest footballers in the world.  But all of a sudden, he is the villain. This is what he had to say-

What can he do anyway? Yes, it was wrong, but at least he admits his mistake, that should tell you something about the man. But then what he did cannot be undone and the Irish are furious. You have school teachers’ associations condemning him and well basically everyone is crying foul(quite literally).

But all the pundits, are now made to answer questions such as “would you have done it to get your country to the world cup?” and it is piquant to say the least to watch them answer, because some where we all know how it is. At 32, this would be his last chance to win the world cup(he of course has the winner’s medal from 1998). As a captain, with media pressure etc, things might have forced him to do it.

Was it a conscious decision? No one plans these things. And what should he have done, gone to the ref. and said that he had handled the ball? What if it had been a reflex or a reaction out of desperation?

I am not trying to defend his act here, but then people should take a step and try to think about it. He is a hero, an icon and an ambassador of the game, surely they might be some explanation?

What he has achieved till date, is quite remarkable(if you want to know more, see here). This one moment will taint his reputation and many will hear about him as the one who cheated, rather than the wonderful person he is.

Personally, I have a huge fan of his(that’s why this post). And well, when you like someone, you don’t want to see them as someone who cheats etc. Maybe that is why I am thinking about the probabilities, maybe that is why this is a debate, this why many wish to see otherwise.

Many things happen, but if he were to lift the world cup coming summer, I will be jumping up and down for sure. But who knows, the only real justice is poetic after all. And well, still it was only an assist and not a goal, someone else, still had to knock it in.

Anyway this might go on forever and we will surely not hear an end to this any time soon. Should FIFA introduced video evidence, yes. IF you know that you will be caught anyway, you might not abstain from things. It is understandable that FIFA doesn’t want to have it, because it will slow the game down. But there is enough tech. out there right now to have it all done pretty fast.

Maybe like in tennis, we can have a certain number of appeals. The manager/captain of the team can decide to do it. There will be confusion of course, because, the game pretty fast and by the time someone decides if they should appeal, the ball might be in their goal. But for such freakish moments, well video evidence will surely help.

Well to conclude, well he did celebrate after that. We all have our own view as to what is right and wrong, but the majority of us(yes even me) feel it is wrong. Should he write to FIFA and say the game should be replayed? Apologies are well, carrying coal to Newcastle( even if they are in the championship 😛 ).

Once a murderer you are always a murderer. But are all murders committed for the same reason? Do we have a   mens rea here?


Update:- Just read over here and after reading it, I think it is wrong of him to make such statements. Of course laws have loopholes, but then isn’t it about the intent behind the law? To me if a person think about exploiting a law and not trying to understand the basis(and well if the basis is wrong, in my view it can be broken), there surely is some bad intent there.


P.S:- I have two posts ready in my draft(Felt that I had to post this before them). One of them is a tag, any takers? 😛


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§ 15 Responses to Was what Thierry Henry did right?

  • […] visheshunni visheshunni.wordpress.com #football #henry […]

  • A cheat is a cheat is a cheat. It is always possible that the French might have, seconds later, still scored. It is possible that even without the hand, the French could still have scored. But the fact is that they scored and won by breaking a rule, and the Irish were cheated out of something.

    FIFA says it can’t be undone, but it should. Football, and qualifying for the World Cup, means too much to too many people, and perhaps a re-match should be considered.

    Just shows us that when sports bodies get too big for their own good, the sport suffers.

    Quirky Indian

  • bobbygee says:

    It is what it is.Maradona and the Hand of God goal. Get over it and move. This will now become part of the lore of the game. http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  • kanagu says:

    When you are in pitch, leave everything to umpire… if he didn’t say foul then its not… lot of times offside were given wrongly…

    it applies to all the sports… umpire is the king… its upto him see whether its a mistake or not…

  • Ordinary Guy says:

    what he did was dishonorable to the game!!!!

    all this comparison to the hand of god is stupid!!!

    we are glorifying this act!!!!!

  • It’s crystal clear that there was a handball in there… it doesn’t seem to be an accidental handball, Thierry used his hand to control the ball. While it could have been a reflex action (and most probably was) as the ball was about to go out of play, any player could have done the same thing.

    I blame the referee and the linesman. How on earth did they miss this one, at such a crucial stage of the game with a do-or-die situation for both teams?

    But to be fair to the officials, it wasn’t an easy one, was it? The handball is visible only from certain angles, and we have the benefit of slow motion. Perhaps the officials geniunely missed it.

    Then the blame lies with FIFA. There must be a system of video evidence and replays to avoid such controversies, especially in crucial matches like these where a single wrong decision can mean so much. I’m all for video replays being brought into the game, even if it slows things down a bit. I mean, players and teams should have a chance of appealing such obviously incorrect decisions, especially in such a crucial game like this.

    As for Henry, his initial reactions after the goal were a disgrace, but it’s a good thing he accepted his mistake… but he had no chance at all hiding it as the entire world can see this. And now, he should keep his mouth shut instead of saying nonsense.

    Is this a conspiracy by FIFA to get their largest earners to the WC? It probably isn’t… but I guess Ireland have a right to ask for a replay. FIFA’s response would determine the future of the game in the absence of video evidence. Makes more of a case to rush in the video replays into the game.


  • Nita says:

    I think of one loves a particular star one always finds reasons and we ourselves find reasons for our own actions too! I think mostly the referees are good.

  • […] Was what Thierry Henry did right? « the light shines the brightest […]

  • Swaram says:

    Even if what he does done tll now is remarkable, a mistake is a mistake. Hmm .. its nice that he did admit but still it wil obvious that it sparks off controversies.

    So, the next one is gonna b a tag?

  • […] Was what Thierry Henry did right? « the light shines the brightest The issue over whether football should embrace the technology available was re-ignited on Wednesday night when France’s Thierry Henry used his hand to control the ball before crossing for William Gallas to score the goal that ended … […]

  • Are u sure there was no match fixing?? 😛

    Destination Infinity

  • @QI: I agree..maybe replaying the game, is the way forward..

    @bobbygee: welcome here…

    @kanagu: but mistakes happen and then they are humans as well…sometimes what’s in the game is too great…

    @OG: maybe 😛

  • @Raj: yes, the ball is in FIFA’s court and they are making a mess of it ..

    @Nita: Refs are good, but then in football, it is not possible for them to get everything right…

    @swaram: yup..and you are tagged 😛

    @DI: nope, there was no match fixing…

  • Reema says:

    even the finest screw up sometimes 🙂

  • Srini says:

    Fine post. And I loved it. Yes, as you say, we all do not want to see men we look up to, to do this sort of things, don’t we? But I believe that the most difficult, and probably the most mature part of growing up, is to understand everybody has flaws.

    As for right and wrong, I suppose more times than not (from what I have seen) it comes down to convenience. When I do it, I can at best explain it away or at worst apologise; whenever others do it is crying foul. So your take on others’ responses is right on the money.

    And it takes anyone a lot to admit mistakes. Whether it is adversity or prosperity, intgerity is something high-priced on my list and I was shocked to hear someone recently shove it away as just a concept. :D. But then that too is a view of an individual human and therefore of a part of the world.


    (sorry for the essay. lolz)

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