So I was wrong last month but not surprised that FIFA’s disciplinary committee had concluded yesterday there was “no legal foundation” for the Henry’s blatant cheating vs Ireland in November. The decision further displays Blatter and his cronies excercise in the art of hypocrisy with its feather-weight Fair Play code being completed ignored. Golden Rule 1 of the FIFA Fair Play 10 commandments states: “Fair play always has its reward, even when the game is lost. Playing fair earns respect, while cheating only brings shame. Remember: it is only a game. And games are pointless unless played fairly.” This is supposed to be the cornerstone of FIFA’s ethics code on which the game is shaped. Obviously the boys in Zürich really don’t believe in their own mandate and in this case feel Henry’s shame is seemingly punishment enough. Non of this makes any difference to the Irish team I am sure, but there are those that would have liked to have seen at least some justice prevail after refusal of a rematch or granted entrance to South Africa as team 33.
I was never a huge fan of the idea of video technology, but after this incident I think it would help solve a lot of future controversy. It would serve two major functions, 1. take pressure off the match officials without them losing too much autonomy 2. fundamentally help prevent football’s governing body picking and choosing who it decides to sanction in such ad-hoc fashion and hiding behind gray technical regulations when it suits.