What is he thinking?

Last night football and a lot of the people connected with it lost their integrity once and for all. It was a sad night at Stade de France in Paris where Thierry Henry qualified in the same group of cheaters as Maradona entered much in the same way in 1986. Not only once but twice Henry handball his way to the pass that paved the way for France’s 1-1 goal against the Republic of Ireland. Of course it is incredible that none of the referees saw it but it is even more incredible that Henry can stand himself.

After this it will be difficult for those in the game tasked with going out to schools and youth clubs to talk about fair play and sportsmanship. The message is loud and clear – Football is not about what is right or wrong. Whatever the referee does not see is allowed. Imagine what that would be like outside the pitch – whatever the police does not see is perfectly fine?

No, if integrity is something we value and would like to teach I know another sport where this still exists. Two England players competed out in Argentina last week. The rules were slightly different from what they were used to and after the round one of them were confronted with having done wrong. He admitted and was subsequently disqualified. It could have stopped there and still be a good story. Even better was that the other player realised that he had done the same mistake. What he did? As he had signed and handed in his card already, he disqualified himself!

Imagine what a society based on such values would be like!

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