A lesson in fair play

Was I too hard on Thierry Henry? Maybe. Or perhaps it was thanks to the night’s sleep that he, the day after the match against Ireland, said the match should be replayed. Or was he safe knowing that it probably would never happen? Arsene Wenger of course got it right when he said that we have to understand that the pressure on Henry is enormous. Wenger also said that Henry deserves the support from the French Football Federation, meaning that they ought to ask for a replay of the match.

I remember something that affected me quite strongly a long time ago. In 1982 Mats Wilander at the age of 17 had made it to the seem final of the French Open in tennis. I was 12 and I remember watching Mats play a really exciting match, which Google tells me was against Jose Luis Clerc. Mats had Clerc right where he wanted him and when the referee deemed Clercs ball outside the line Wilander was in the final. At least I thought so. Whether the ball actually was out was unclear though and Mats asked for the ball to be replayed. Mats won the replay and went on to win the final which made him the youngest ever winner of the French Open.

With this in mind, it is incredible to me that when the request came from the Irish to replay the match, the French Football Federation said no. Isn’t it fascinating that a 17 year old boy playing tennis could have more integrity than France?

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