Okay okay, I guess I have to write something about this Thierry Henry hand ball or something. Here is the obligatory (and slightly sarcastic) background info already reported: The World Cup playoffs are seeded, seemingly hurting the minnows like Republic of Ireland. Then, Ireland are given an away game in Paris for the second leg, presumably giving them yet another disadvantage. Next, after leveling the score, LeBron Henry throws the ball to William Gallas, who promptly scores the winning goal. Upon said goal, Shay Given has a cow directly on the referee’s head while all of Paris celebrates. After the game, Thierry Henry and Richard Dunne spoon in the middle of the field and cry away their sorrows.
Now that all that mess is over, I will say this: I still cannot support in-match video re-play…at this point. To me, video re-play is a never-ending snowball that would ruin the sport. I admit it is very tempting and yes, it would only take “30 seconds” for a re-play official to call Henry’s goal back. But, seriously people, professional footballers are a whiney bunch and it wouldn’t take too long before every whistle blow was questioned. Yes, re-play would have definitely helped in this situation but it comes with some serious strings attached. I guess my question to you is this: When will it stop? The only way re-play is acceptable, I suppose, would be to somehow limit its use during a match. But then wouldn’t we be arguing over how much and when it could be used? And at some point wouldn’t we be saying we should use it more (or less) and for different situations? These are questions I would need answered before I could support in-match re-play.
Having said all that, and pissing half of you off, I’m sure, in the process, I will say that I am in favor of actual re-play…as in re-playing the entire match. I am in favor of FIFA looking at the re-play and saying “we screwed that one up and we’re going to do it over.” If France is so good (which they are not) then they can beat Ireland again and what’s the problem with that? FIFA will say that it would be hard to organize a match on such short notice and that it would be a logistical nightmare. Perhaps they should get used to that since nobody seems to be impressed with the “logistics” in South Africa at the moment.
So, in summation, I hold these truths to be self-evident: that Thierry Henry handled the ball and changed the outcome of the match; that Ireland were robbed; that the referees should have seen it; that re-play would have definitely helped in this situation; that re-play brings with it some serious baggage.
All I’m saying is this: Before we all go screaming that we want in-match video re-play, let’s just stop and debate/think about/consider the baggage that would surely come with the introduction of this technology. Feel free to state your case in the comments below!