Several days on from what was a dramatic night of football, the Republic of Ireland players have a genuine right to feel aggrieved at failing to reach the World Cup Finals in South Africa.
An alleged handball from France’s Thierry Henry had lead to the goal which sent his side through at their opponents’ expense. Of course, there was the usual fallout, with cries of “cheat” levelled at Henry, and there was criticism also for both the referee and one of the linesmen.
The real instigators of this controversy however, were neither from both the Irish and French FAs, who despite their differences were trying to diffuse the situation, but it was… yep, you’ve guessed it, our dear friends the English press. It seems they simply haven’t forgotten Diego Maradona’s infamous Hand of God in Mexico 1986, even though England were outplayed and outpassed by a superior Argentina side (Many people tend to have forgotten Maradona’s second goal, which was pure class).
We’ve had our Hand of God incident played out again these last few days. But now it’s time for the Republic of Ireland to accept that they have missed out on South Africa and start preparing for the European Championship qualifiers, and the English press need to stop being hypocritical about the situation …. and just back off.