MLB’s umpiring crews aren’t alone when it comes to wildly blown calls on a huge stage. The Times’ Tony Cascarino can barely contain his scorn for France’s Thierry Henry, insisting the above incident — which catapulted Le Blues into 2010’s World Cup finals in South Africa — “has tarnished his reputation forever.”
What a tragic missed opportunity. What a chance to be a hero Henry had ” not to his home country but to the whole game. Cheating in all its guises is slowly killing football and if Henry had held his hands up again and admitted to the referee that he had handled the ball and the goal should not stand, he would have earned the admiration of the entire sporting world.
But he didn™t. He knew that he had done wrong, but he put self-interest ahead of justice. He could have been a beacon of integrity; instead he shined shame on himself and on football.
Cheating in football is commonplace now because the authorities cheat us all by their spineless failure to punish the perpetrators. Will Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, or Michel Platini, the Frenchman who is his Uefa counterpart, condemn Henry, or float the idea that the tie should be replayed? Of course not. They will turn a blind eye, and another piece of football™s credibility, another little part of its soul, will quietly die.