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It’s obvious we must bring in video help ...
IN the last week, with no Premiership football, all the attention was on the international stage.
Fortunately for England we are already qualified for the World Cup and had the luxury of playing Brazil with what was basically Fabio Capello’s reserve team.
Unlike some of the other friendly games in the last few years, this one had some meaning in so far as people who are not normal first choices got in because of injuries.
They had the opportunity to show what they could do.
As it turned out, it was probably a good game for the likes of Ferdinand, Cole, Terry, even Beckham and company, to miss.
But the main interest of course was who would be the final six qualifiers to make up the 32 in the World Cup in South Africa.
So hands up who felt sorry for the Republic of Ireland?
Not you, Thierry Henry.
Your hand caused all the trouble and in doing so probably tarnished the good image he had developed in his many years at Arsenal.
In his defence, unlike the Liverpool striker Ngog last week who obviously took a dive to gain a penalty, in Henry’s case the ball struck his hand and then the second movement was a natural effort to give him the opportunity to square the pass for the ball to be headed in the net.
I would also excuse the referee, as we did in the Liverpool case.
Everything happened so quickly and there were plenty of bodies around the six yard box.
He had to make an instant decision, which even he must have known was wrong by the immediate throng of Irish players around him, but as the rules stand he was not able to change his mind.
So if ever there has was a reason for the authorities to bring in video evidence, the last fortnight have made it obvious.
The penalty at Liverpool affected supporters of two clubs, but the Irish incident was watched probably in every country in the world.
It affected the biggest prize in the world of football for managers, coaches and players – that is to take part in something that only happens every four years.
Many of the Irish team will not get the opportunity again and their manager Giovanni Trapattoni, who has done such a good job, had already stated it would be his last World Cup.
I wouldn’t be too surprised if he decided not to continue too much longer.
Another other thing which left a sour taste was the politics that were brought in by the authorities who changed the rules before the play-off situation for the final qualification for the World Cup.
It was decided at the last minute to seed countries, thereby making sure for instance that countries like France, Portugal and Russia would be given a better opportunity to be in the finals.
It nearly worked out with France and Portugal easing through but Russia, surprisingly, will not be there.
There also appears to be some political movement with the England bid for 2018.
That seems a long way off but countries are already working away trying to persuade the powers that be that their country should get the bid.
One movement has already rebounded on England when someone decided to buy an expensive handbag for the wife of Mr Jack Warner who, as we know, only represents Trinidad & Tobago but is a powerful voice on the final decision making committee.
The handbag has been returned now apparently and the original committee has been altered.
If at one time it would be unthinkable for England not to be given another World Cup, to be fair it will have been over 50 years since we last hosted the tournament, then forget it now.
Other countries such as Russia and Spain seem to be ahead of us at present, certainly when it comes to being favourites in the eyes of people that matter.
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