Hand of Henry goal makes strong case for video evidence

November 19, 2009

France’s decisive goal against Ireland in their World Cup play-off will only add further weight to the case for using a video ref, or extra goal-line officials, at least in the biggest matches.

The controversial extra-time strike from William Gallas took France through to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, while leaving the Irish barely able to contain a sense of frustration and injustice.

It was goal which should not have stood, as TV pictures made plain. French captain Thierry Henry clearly handled the ball, not once, but twice before crossing for Gallas to score from close range.

Once again, fans are wondering how a mistake of such magnitude, in such a high-stakes game,  could be allowed to happen.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA chief Michel Platini both disagree with the use of video referees but their case would have been a hard one to make in front of Irish fans on Wednesday. Soccer’s top officials say a video referee will only slow down the game. True enough, but would it not be better to stop the game and get the right decision rather than continue and see a faulty decision stand?

Platini, for his part, has managed to push through the idea of an extra official behind both goals with an eye on spotting such infringements. Currently the idea is being piloted in UEFA’s second-tier Europa League, but it may now be time to take the brave decision to introduce this across the board.

If we see another “Hand of God” moment in South Africa, perhaps one that decides the final, will football’s reputation survive it?

TO: France’s team captain Thierry Henry reacts in their World Cup qualifying playoff return leg match against Ireland at the Stade de France stadium in Saint Denis near Paris November 18, 2009. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier


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Surprise surprise Platini has said nothing, but when a Brazilian born croatian playing for an Englsih side is accused of diving the man didnt shut up

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive


Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

loving this platini bashing long may it continue, can we organise some sort of petition to get him out of uefa or better still, football altogether??

Posted by maid | Report as abusive

‘If we see another “Hand of God” moment in South Africa, perhaps one that decides the final, will football’s reputation survive it?’I’m afraid it may not survive. How many more high-profile errors do we need before something is to be done? Other sports have embraced technology, but football?

Posted by diana | Report as abusive

[…] Source Tags: brave decision, close range, decisive goal, extra time, fifa president sepp blatter, goal line, hand of god, irish fans, michel platini, return leg, right decision, saint denis, stade de france, stakes game, team captain, tessier, thierry henry, time strike, video evidence, William Gallas […]

Posted by Hand of Henry goal makes strong case for video evidence – Posted In World Cup | Soccer News Info – Soccer News Info | Report as abusive

This is worse than the hand of god.Fifa try to represent fair play in sport and they allow this goal to stand .Lets not forget they changed the rules half way through the tournament.a sport that is loved world wide is run by a courupt money hungry people.What happens if france win the world cup how will come across .This is not fair play.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Platini is a biased English hating corporate back slapping smug hypocrite excuse of a man who’s only purpose is to do as much as he can to make sure his interests are looked after. End of.The Irish FA have asked FIFA to replay the game (FIFA have replayed games before due to shocking refereeing) but I doubt Platini will budge an inch. He got the result he wanted so why would he want to risk it all over again? He made sure France & Portugal played ‘weaker’ teams in the playoffs, the man is a complete joke.As for video replays, how exciting is it when a possible dismissal is referred to the third umpire in cricket? How exciting is it when a possible try is referred to the big screen in rugby league? It makes it much more exciting and doesn’t take long. Even tennis has rules which allow players to dispute decisions!We need video evidence/referral as soon as possible, if we had now then France wouldn’t be in the World Cup, what more incentive do we need???

Posted by Dan United | Report as abusive

This was a referee error plain and simple. 99.9% of the times these are called, but it is unfortunately for the Irish it happened to them (I guess we cannot say they are lucky anymore).If we have learned anything from the more blatant hand of god fiasco is that the team that benefited from it (Argentina) moved on and the perpetrator’s (Maradona) career did not suffer from it and the only ones who are still complaining about it 24 years later are the English. And it hasn’t done them any good.So now the Irish have their villain and their moment of injustice in football history. But the game moves on. I just hope the Irish team gets their chance again soon.Cheers

Posted by Pico | Report as abusive

I Begg to deffer this is just a bunch of bull snot i wish someone would just beat up that refree

Posted by John | Report as abusive

It’s sad when cheating goes unpunished and even upheld by the authorities in sport and it makes a hypocrisy of the “fiar PLay” campaign. Also, sad to see companies who use chetaers to endorse thier products continue to do so – it’s shows that standards in all sorts of every organsiation are poor and it’s all about the money at the end of the day.

Posted by Fergal | Report as abusive

I like many football supporters last night watched the match, nothing unusual about that fact. The difference being that I watched the match in France, where I live with the French supporters and I’m English.When this incident happened with “Thierrygate” Henry keeping the ball in play during extra time the mood changed after they celebrated the to the realization that it was handball, to shock! They were happy that France won obviously, but as I discussed with the locals they agreed that this was very bad for the game as he must have known that there are so many cameras in the ground that it would have been picked up later. Would this have been different if it had happened to England instead of France, in the English pub?What is this telling our children. It’s hard enough coaching as it is without this happening. It will happen again until the TV replay system is brought into play. Rugby & cricket to mention two sports use it and football at the moment has a bizarre fact that my mum can watch a replay of the incident with seconds but the referee who makes the decision knows nothing about it.There was a quote saying “Don’t blame Henry”. Don’t make me laugh, who’s fault is it then?Both sets of fans, clubs, teams, players, management want the correct decisions at the end of the day so use the technology.http://jonnyontheball.blogspo t.com/

Posted by jonny on the ball | Report as abusive

This was blatant cheating by a great player. I am not saying that Henry is an overall is cheat, but he acted in my opinion in the heat of the moment and that ruled his head. There had to be a replay or Fifa is not worth anything anymore. They are more like a corrupt government run on pity interests. The Irish are absolutely right that they should be a game, and if the French support fair play they than should come forward and welcome one, but I doubt it. It is said when reading all the comments on Platini simply because he has become an enigma. We all remember him as the great player that he was, but as Uefa president he is a joke.

Posted by Jag | Report as abusive

this game need to be replayed, that will be the fairest for the Irish team. We have technology that proves what has happen.What good if we cant make use of this now. All teams should demand and fifa should produce a new rule, where teams are given 2 video referals a game. This should come in before 2010 world cup. It happens in cricket and rugby league, then why cant in soccer. No wonder more and more people prefer rugby then soccer nowadays

Posted by vishal | Report as abusive

Absolutely the ref will hurt everyone,, no real winning and no real loose and very very disappointed game. Hopefully the referee know that this incident has been heard by all people in the world, then what will be done by the referee and his assistant. Of course this is not a joke.

Posted by soccerpropick.com | Report as abusive

I do agree that once the referee allowed the goal there is no point for asking a replay. The decision is final.But I would like to know why FIFA officials did not suspend Henry for playing the ball with his hand. This is ungentlemanly conduct besides a handball that gave an advantage to his team to procure a goal. The referee in charge should also be suspended. Whilst the assistant referee should also be suspended since he failed to see the offside position of the french player before the hands of Henry. Why do we have the fourth official – is his work only to control the coaches and showing the number of the substitutes.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

It’s only against the rules if the referee sees it. Unfortunately for Ireland, cheating is part of the game and there is nothing that can be done about it.

Posted by Soccer Fan | Report as abusive

It’s very sad to see a team go down in such a cheating manner after playing their guts out. of course video evidence should be used in such circumstances and the offending player who deliberately deceived the referee should be red-carded.This has far worse implications than diving – you are not playing for a free kick like in diving – you are wilfully and illegally stealing a score!

Posted by acuvue oasys | Report as abusive

The Irish got a non-existent penalty against Georgia in Dublin. There was no outrage then and the Irish did not offer a replay. Nobody accused FIFA or Platini of helping the Irish.I say get over it. This is not the first time a goal has been scored after a hand ball and it will not be the last. The Irish had 180 minutes to score but they did not…

Posted by African | Report as abusive