Wednesday night was a pretty dramatic night in soccer. Ireland played France in the World Cup qualifiers and the game was tied with a 1 – 1 aggregate score. The match went into extra time but the hopes of the Irish team were dashed when Thierry Henry assisted William Gallas in scoring the winning goal for France. Unfortunately, Thierry Henry could clearly be seen keeping the ball in play with his hand, touching the ball not once but twice, before passing to his teammate who knocked the ball into the net.
The referee said he had seen nothing untoward and awarded the goal. Ireland was furious and boy, did it show. Within hours, 'Thierry Henry handball' was listed among Google's hot trends. Throughout the night, edits to the Wikipedia entry for the French handball team showed Thierry Henry as one of the most notable players, and the team itself was renamed, 'The Thierrys'. The article on Thierry himself was also heavily edited, expletives littering the page.
The social networking crowd was in on it, too. All of a sudden "We hate Thierry Henry" groups were cropping up on Facebook, quickly followed by a petition to have the footballer's hand cut off. Twitter users from around the globe quickly boosted Thierry Henry and FIFA to trending topic status and when Thierry himself tried to apologize for his actions, users jumped on his defense of, "I am not the ref," calling him a cheat.
Luckily for Thierry not everyone was so furious. Diego Maradona tweeted at the French player, "I know how it feels! See you in South Africa." Maradona scored a goal for Argentina when his team was playing England in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals. Replays showed the goal was scored when Maradona struck the ball with his hand.
Angry fans on the internet aside, last night's incident has opened up the debate of whether or not their should be additional measures in place to ensure this type of mistake is not made again in the future. Do you think FIFA should implement additional video refereeing like so many other professional sports? Let us know in the comments below!
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