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Wait a minute: Ireland wasn’t that principled after all? October 11, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in European soccer, International soccer.

Remember what a horrible person Thierry Henry is? Remember when that rat bastard used his hand to control a football at the decisive moment in a crucial international qualifier, heartlessly crushing a poor, defenseless nation’s hopes? Remember when the football criminal then did not take the referee aside and put him right? Remember when the Irish government stood up for its people and pleaded for the right: a replay?

That was when Ireland claimed the moral sporting high ground. Henry’s sang-froid reaction just underlined the difference between the virtuous Celts and those Gallic cheats. Ireland, it became clear, is a country where the Corinthian spirit lives on, where the right would be stood up for.

Outrageously unlikely that an Irish player would ever do the same thing, but it was a sure thing that, if one did, the Irish federation would not stand for it. Ban. Replay. Apology.

So of course that’s exactly what happened when Simon Cox controlled the ball with his hand before volleying it at Armenian keeper Roman Berezovsky. The referee believed Berezovsky had used his hand, when he hadn’t, and did not believe Cox had used his hand, when he had.

Cox new the truth. The first thing he did was to tell the referee about his transgression and plead that the right one be produced (Cox: “It brushed my arm, but … To be fair, I didn’t think it hit the keeper’s arm, you know, out of the box. But I just had to appeal with everybody else, and, you know, we got it and, you know, they were a bit unlucky.”). No sang-froid there.

And, when the referee still did not reverse his decision, the government if Ireland put its money where its mouth was and demanded a replay.

Yeah, that happened.



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