Wednesday, May 23, 2018

French lucky to qualify for World Cup

HENRYRepublic of Ireland suffered what can only be described as a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the French. They put in a superb performance in Paris, only to be cheated by a previously respected footballer.


As far as I was concerned I didn’t think France looked like scoring on the night and it took some superb handling skills from Thierry Henry to get France out of the mire.

I think Thierry has been taking handling lessons from his good friend and NBA star Tony Parker. To get away with handle it once was hard but to do it a second time was something else.

Now I know that the referee didn’t have the same views that us television viewers had but surely one of the other officials must of saw the skillful handling. This incident in such a big game will bring back the argument about more officials and video technology. If the referee was allowed to see the replays we saw then there would be no doubt that the goal would have been disallowed.

Respected star

I always thought of Thierry Henry as a good guy, who is very professional. My view of him has completely transformed in those two touches of the ball. He has admitted that he handled the ball but said it wasn’t  deliberately. How can he handle it twice and it not be deliberate? Its strange what a place in the World Cup finals can do to a person.

Good performance

Its a shame that this incident took attention away from Ireland’s superb performance. I have to admit they surprised me with such a good showing. Infact the game probably shouldn’t of even got to extra time because Ireland had enough chances and enough of the play to win the game in normal time.

Poor French

The French side were really poor last night and that really surprised me. Their performances in qualification wasn’t exactly convincing but I thought that they were still a good side. However they played just like I thought they would, a team of individuals instead of a team. The complete opposite of their opponents last night.

Poor coach

I think a part of the problem is their coach Raymond Domenech. Now regular readers of my articles will know my feelings toward the inept Domenech. He just isn’t good enough to coach players with the egos the size of the French. This victory was a get out of jail free card for the former Lyon boss.

If France would have lost there’s no doubt he would of been out of a job today. Its almost like he is hated in France but I see were his critics are coming from. His squad which contains Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry, Karim Benzema, Franck Ribery and Patrice Evra failed to clinch automatic qualification.

I don’t see how that is possible. Any world-class boss would have had the French qualified with two games left. You only need to look at England for an example of a world class coach Fabio Capello coming in and inspiring an under-achieving team. Fortunately for Domenech and his bank account their qualification for the World Cup has probably kept him in a job till next summer.


The incident involving Thierry Henry has raised the question of whether the game can be replayed. Lots of the Irish players have talked of a replay but I’d be very surprised if FIFA will grant their wish. The Irish FA have got in touch with their French counterparts about a replay but I doubt they’ll be grant their wish either.

Even if the French Football Federation agree to a replay they will then have to deal with stubborn FIFA, who quite frankly make some baffling decisions. They fixed the play-offs so that the bigger nations would get to next years World Cup by seeding the draw and they have their wish with the likes of France and Portugal qualifying through the play-offs. They wouldn’t take the risk of losing France in a replay, so I think Ireland will miss out.

Its a shame that Ireland suffered a defeat in such a bad fashion. Its easier to take defeat when your defeated by a better team on the night or a flash of brilliance, but to lose in such circumstances is truly devastating. I’m afraid it says a lot about the French national side that they got so desperate they had to cheat. Come next June in South Africa I don’t think the officials will be so forgiving.


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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24 Comments on "French lucky to qualify for World Cup"

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Abraham Ugochukwu
Abraham Ugochukwu

I know that many fans are bitter about Henry’s misbehaviour, but it’s not fair to rob Thiery Henry of his respect. We all misbehave at some points in our lives. Let football fans not condemn and destroy Henry’s reputation because of one misbehaviour in a remarkable career!


I fully agree with that. Mr Henry said to irish players “sorry, good game” as all premierleague players do every saturday.Sorry for the irish who deserve to win… Hey, what about Italia ?

Pull your head in mate. Henry is a great player and a superstar. How do you know if his an honest man or not? Who are you to judge his character? Please, take a pill… Same thing happened in the 86 world cup and it got labelled the hand of God. This time we will call it the hand of Frog. Have you ever played for your country? Better still, have you ever played the game? With comments like that, I strongly doubt it. Was it Henry’s fault that the refs didnt pick it up? What were the linesmen doing?… Read more »
To be fair he is hardly attacking Henrys personality or character. The fact of the matter is that he did cheat, he handled the ball in what looked like a deliberate manner and got the win as a result. But it was one low point in a career of many highs. I agree with everything in this article. With the performance the Irish put in, they deserved to go through to the world cup, and it must be sickening for them to lose in such a way. I read this blog religiously and often agree with this writer, I hope… Read more »

Henry is a great player, but I do not understand why he had to do what he did TWICE. I have no love for the Republic of Ireland, but they were blatantly the better side and were robbed, due a distasteful handball.

I’m still in favour of bringing in replays to help referees in certain circumstances.

I read the blog, religiously. And I agree with you guys, Henry has had a career with tooooo many highs to be marred by this one low. I dont think Henry did it on purpose, he might have had the wrong reaction:Instead of kick the football, hit it with your hand. I forgive Henry for his handball, as I dont think it was deliberate. But I wont forgive Maradona, who’s “Hand of God” crap was brought up by Soccer (with all due respect man, but it was obviously a deliberate handball Maradona made). when it happens deliberately, I dont forgive… Read more »
Whether I’m Irish or not is irrelevant don’t you think. At the end of the day soccer loses in this case. Did he cheat? Yes he did. What upsets me is that everyone is attacking him as a human being. Honesty? Character? What a load of bullshit! Anyone given the same opportunity, in that split second would have REACTED the same way. People make mistakes every day of their lives. Henry reacted under pressure for the benefit of his country. World Cups come and go every 4 years. Henry will be playing in his last World Cup next year. Was… Read more »
Screw Fifa
Screw Fifa

So irelnad wont be going to the Fifa world cup after being cheated out of the right to qualify fairly, not once but technically three times! (seeding and TWO handballs! TWO!!!!)

I would rather miss the world cup than qulaify in the way the french have. Shame on them. Shame on Fifa who are probably throwing a party at irelands expense. Next time we’ll qualify, win the trophy and leave it on the podium because we dont need to win a trophy organised by cheats and an organisation that condones cheating. Fifa fair play? yeah right.

stop discussing about henry being ‘great’ or ‘shameful’, it’s just another incident that supports the fact that nowadays soccer can no longer be refereed by human only, means of using video replays to make judgement is wiser than anything else. some ppl may say its wasting the time in a match everytime doing a replay. actually it can be set in a way that, for example, only when a controversial occasion occurs the video replays are available for the referee to make judgement. who will doubt the goal if it’s so obvious and beautifully done?? thus in my opinion, we… Read more »
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