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Friday Kickaround

*Thierry Henry says a France-Ireland replay would be the right thing to do.

"Naturally I feel embarrassed at the way that we won and feel extremely sorry for the Irish who definitely deserve to be in South Africa. There is little more I can do apart from admit that the ball had contact with my hand leading up to our equalising goal and I feel very sorry for the Irish."

Which brings up the (semi-serious) question: Would Henry be retroactively red- carded for an intentional handball?

*Maryland advances to the second round of the NCAA tournament with a 2-1 victory over Loyola. Check all the first-round results.

*In the women's tournament, Virginia Tech will attempt to continue its best season ever with a visit to Portland tonight for a round-of-16 match. All the pairings are here.

*Soccer atop Seattle, with Qwest Field in the background (photo courtesy of MLS):

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2009; 9:40 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , College Soccer , France , MLS  
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Next: Video: Keane on Henry


I see Roy Keane is still not trying to win friends and influence people. Check out his quotes about the Irish defenders and goalie.

Posted by: lrg1231 | November 20, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse

France should be punished in the World Cup by placing them in a group with Brazil, Spain, and Italy.

Posted by: chemweapon | November 20, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Of course Henry doesn't have a problem with a replay... after FIFA decided there will be no replay.

Posted by: Louise9 | November 20, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Keane's right about the goalkeeper. He sat and hugged the post when he should have gone right at Henry.

Posted by: delantero | November 20, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

An intentional handball is never a red card unless it denies an obvious goal-scoring opportunity

Posted by: ahelms10 | November 20, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Womens final 16 -- 7 teams from ACC, no other conference has more than 3 (Pac 10).

Posted by: OWNTF | November 20, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

in the FIFA rules it states you can get a red card for:
"denying the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring
opportunity by deliberately handling the ball"

There is nothing in there that i can see that calls for a red card for a deliberate handball by a player that is considered attacking.

why do people always call for a red card for handballs by the offensive player? maybe i am missing a section of the rules

Posted by: GraciasRiquelme | November 20, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Go Terps...

On the Ireland-France situation -- Reposting (and editing) my comment that just went up in the TV thread: As I noted in a previous thread, you can't make an exception to order a replay of this match. That's a Pandora's Box, considering how many games may turn on bad calls.

What fans can hope for is that Henry's handball lights a fire under FIFA. Coming as it did at such a pivotal moment in such a crucial game -- the play could have the same impact that the wrongly denied touchdown pass from Pastorini to Renfro in the '79 AFC championship game had for American football. For those too young to remember, no sport used instant replay review at the time. Afterwards, the NFL admitted that the Oilers (I miss that team, even though their lunatic owner is still at it in Tennesee) were wrongly deprived of the TD, which might have changed the outcome of the game -- and which team played in the Super Bowl. The league responded by instituting a replay system.

The NFL system has been changed several times over the years. Those that claim there is no perfect plan for instant replay in soccer are making the perfect be the enemy of the good. FIFA needs to start experimenting with replay immediately -- have something in place with at least one league in January....or maybe in the MLS in March. The problem I see with MLS is that television coverage is not locked in for all games, making good replay coverage problematic -- but the USA would be a good place to give replay a test run. American sports fans are so used to it, they expect it. Every other major televised sport has some system to review at least some plays. Soccer stands out negatively for not having any system to review any calls. That needs to change and MLS seems like a good place to start.

Posted by: fischy | November 20, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Why are we even talking about the replay? It was a non-starter and just a formality that the FAI had to do.

Posted by: Reignking | November 20, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the no red card for the offensive player, perhaps the Soccer World Cup should be more geared towards handball and volleyball players

Posted by: Barracudas | November 20, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

... as it cost the Irish numerous goal scoring opportunities in the World Cup.

Posted by: Barracudas | November 20, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Keane is exactly right, though. If the Irish take care of the defending, this is a non-issue. This talk of replaying the game is just as upsetting to me as the Henry handball.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 20, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Roy Keane should just worry about his own team and not weigh in on every issue regarding the country he abandoned...

Ipswich Town
Played 16
Won 1
Drawn 9
Lost 6

Second from bottom in the Championship (yet bizarrely still in the running for an MLS playoff spot ;-)

Posted by: Kev29 | November 20, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I don't know much about Roy Keane, but after taking on Jack Warner, I think he is great...

Posted by: Reignking | November 20, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Yellow card? Possibly...
Red card? No. You can only be red carded for a hand ball if it denied an obvious scoring opportunity.

Posted by: icehippo | November 20, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Are the Terps on the road for the rest of the NCAAs unless they run into another non-seeded team? That'd be a drag, those games were a nice methadone after the MLS season last fall.

Posted by: eadc | November 20, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

The right thing to do is not a replay, but for Cheathierry to bow out of the French national team and next year's World Cup. That's a fair compromise, where we don't go off trying to change all the results from mistakes made in a game, but still punish the players who cheat.

Posted by: prokaryote | November 20, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

It would or could only be a yellow card, but was he carrying a yellow going into that game? if he was he may be out anyway for yellow card acumulation.
Since it would be a replay would any cards or sanctions be up held from the previous game?

Posted by: jjfooty | November 20, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

What are the rules on Soccer Insider? If I make a factual error in comment #78 of a thread, do we have to re-write the whole thread?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 20, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I-270: I don't know -- I don't deal with facts. I just make snide remarks.

Posted by: Reignking | November 20, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

If I'm not mistaken, Oliver Kahn once got a straight red for deliberately punching the ball in for a goal. He had come up to load the opposing team's box in a desperate attempt to get a goal.

Posted by: bs2004 | November 20, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

That's a great photo - someday, DC will get their own soccer specific Sky Needle.

Posted by: IamAM | November 20, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

nevermind, think it was a second yellow:

Posted by: bs2004 | November 20, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Dude, it's a *SPACE NEEDLE"...

Posted by: DadRyan | November 20, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I liked Ginola' s idea. Instead of video replay, add two more officials, one behind each goal. The worst impact of missed or bad calls is when they occur near the goal. Having someone w a better vantage point could fix that. Video replay would ruin the flow of the game.

Posted by: ldmay | November 20, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

If Henry gets a retroactive red card, then can Maradona be banned for life?

Donovan as MVP - who cares, real class act with Beckham, came running home from Europe like a baby...

Is Garber even relevant? Thank God for Mark Abbott...

And Payne is still around??

Posted by: LCR-54 | November 20, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Not sure that someone standing behind the goal would have a great vantage point. I also think there are ways to do replay without really impacting the flow of the game terribly -- limiting it to situations where there are stoppages, and giving the video ref a very short window to review the call.

Posted by: fischy | November 20, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Henry can now come to MLS, and insist that instant replay be a condition.

Posted by: fischy | November 20, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

LCR-54, like the 3rd jersey it ain't happenin'. Payne isn't going anywhere.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 20, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse


"As a footballer you do not have the luxury of the television to slow the pace of the ball down 100 times to be able to make a conscious decision. People are viewing a slow motion version of what happened and not what I or any other footballer faces in the game.

"If people look at it in full speed you will see that it was an instinctive reaction.

"It is impossible to be anything other than that. I have never denied that the ball was controlled with my hand. I told the Irish players, the referee and the media this after the game."

You say this wasn't a conscious decision, then go on to say that you don't deny the ball was controlled with your hand. Doesn't that beg the question: Isn't controlling something a conscious decision?

Posted by: smooth_sailin | November 20, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

It's quite likely that the extra assistant referees like they are using in the Europa League would have been right there and seen the handling.

But I agree with Keane. Ireland had the whole game in Ireland and the whole rest of the game in Paris to score more goals but they didn't. There's also no guarantee they would have won this match on PKs. It wasn't golden goal so they had some time left in this match to score again.

There's no way you can replay this game. Referees make mistakes like players make mistakes. If the Irish hadn't fluffed so many chances this is all a non-issue.

DC United didn't get all of those extra points we got screwed out of by bad referee decisions this season. We didn't get any replays.

Thems the breaks.

Posted by: fedssocr | November 20, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

UEFA's bad week continues...

Arrests in Europe Over Soccer Fixing Investigation

Posted by: Kev29 | November 20, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

So the whole idea behind putting the team badges on the Space Needle was a photo op? Hasn't MLS heard of photoshop?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 20, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Never mind the great atmosphere, check out the special food items that will be available at the MLS Cup:

Posted by: DadRyan | November 20, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"Isn't controlling something a conscious decision?"

Not always, which is why the term "handling" is used in soccer as opposed to "controlling". It's entirely possible for the ball to hit your hand, whether you intended it or not, and for the ball's reaction to be favorable to you. Henry is trying to get people to understand that he admits entirely to handling, but that he had no actively malicious intent.

Whether that's true or not, of course, is a good debate subject. We'll never know, of course, but it's not like Henry goes around snatching crosses out of the air. It's a sport, freak situations happen. The reality remains the same- he handled the ball, it should've been called.

Posted by: Rosslyn45 | November 20, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Gracias is right, there can't be a red card for this, bc he's not defending, that said...

This didn't look intentional when Henry did it. Not to say it shouldn'tve been blown dead, but I don't think he meant to handle the ball, it looked like it struck him in the hand off of a hard bounce. But if it's not called, Henry has an obligation to play until a whistle, that's not cheating.

I get the anger, I get making it personal against Henry, but this isn't steroids or anything like that, to say it's cheating is way overstating it. It is absolutely the referees that deserves the blame. If Ireland we're cheated by anyone it's the officials, not Henry.

I'd be open to limited video review for penalty area and goal decisions, but I think FIFA would be more likely to go the route of adding officials to each end of the pitch, if they do anything at all.

But again, one of the problems with soccer is this perception that teams just do the minimum to win/advance. Especially in Europe where they rarely attack when in front. If Ireland converted one more goal in regulation (or bc of the away goals rule even after France scored) they would be the side that's going to South Africa.

Ireland deserved to go through, they were the better team, but they didn't do enough with the chances they had.

As for the Draw, of the "seeded" teams I hope the US finds their way into France's group, they look nothing like they're deserving of a seed and that would (aside from South Africa's group) be the most favorable draw for the US (for once).

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | November 20, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

As for the match replay issue...

I'd rather not FIFA be put in the position to select where the tipping point is for in which matches the officiating was poor enough to warrant a replay. Where's that line?

Among all the other criticism FIFA takes (much of it legit) we can add when they pick and choose which matches get replayed? Every nation that loses will protest every match every time, and they will always say you gave such and such a replay, why not us? Unless FIFA says yes to everyone (which is impossible) match replays for these situations will solve very little, and make FIFA look even worse.

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | November 20, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

As I think about this more, I continue to believe that it would be a terrible precedent for FIFA to order a replay. That said, I'm wondering what would be the harm in the French football association offering and agreeing with the Irish to go ahead with a replay on their own. If it's just the Irish making the request, it can't go anywhere. If the Irish got the French to join them in seeking FIFA's sanction of such a match, it's harder to see how FIFA can deny it.

Posted by: fischy | November 20, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Funny picture in that article DadRyan. Apparently the Road to MLS Cup went through Bainbridge Island.

As far as the menu, where are the meat pies and prawn sandwiches?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 20, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

how can fifa equitably roll out a video replay system for the entire world? would some leagues have it, and others not? international matches only? and there are far too many varaiables with adding replay. look at the NFL - the current replay system has been in place for roughly 10 years, and you still see officials make mistakes on what can and can't be reviewed EVERY WEEK.

The proposed solution of adding extra officials on the goal line is the only one that could reasonably be applied around the globe. Besides that, the human element of sport is what makes them exciting - even if that element relates to officiating.

Posted by: VTUnited | November 20, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

fischy wrote: "As I think about this more, I continue to believe that it would be a terrible precedent for FIFA to order a replay."

Except that the precedent was already set back in 2005 when FIFA ordered a qualifier between Uzbekistan and Bahrain to be replayed due to referee error. (See

Of course, the difference is that it was a "technical" error, as opposed to an eyesight error.

Posted by: edgeonyou | November 20, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

To add to the thought, if you put an official over the goal line where the penalty area intersects on one side, I think that would be a better view. Not only would they help crack down on illegal contact they might be able to better make the calls on close goals (such as Brazil's v the US in the Confed Cup final).

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | November 20, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This whole 'Henry is a cheat fiasco' is just that. France were not given a penalty in the first half which would have made extra time redundant. Why aren't the Irish calling Shay Given a cheat for not owning up to the penalty. There are any number of calls that players get away with in a game that they don't own up to regardless of whether it leads to a goal. More linesmen but please no replays because to be fair every call can be asked to be reviewed.

Posted by: vjohn72 | November 20, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Who is the coach of Ireland?

Posted by: VirginiaFan | November 20, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting that Uzbek-Bahrain story,

I read into it and that didn't end up well for them. Uzbek won the match that was nullified 1-0, the replay was a 1-1 draw. The second leg was 0-0 with Bahrain advancing to the AFC/CONCACAF Playoff (which Trinidad and Tobago won).

The situation was the referee awarded a penalty kick to Uzbek. Uzbek scored the kick, but it was taken away when another Uzbek player (not the kicker) entered the area before the kick was taken. The laws call for a re-kick in that situation which was not awarded.

The Bahrain-Uzbek situation reminds me more of the "Fifth Down Game" between Colorado and Missouri where Colorado won the game on the final series in which they were given 5 plays instead of 4 by scoring a touchdown on "5th down."

There is precedent in FIFA, and I guess there could be an argument made for a replay, but I think there's a difference for a ref not seeing something and a ref not knowing a rule.

(and Missouri didn't get a replay that college football game either).

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | November 20, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Edgeonyou wrote:

Except that the precedent was already set back in 2005 when FIFA ordered a qualifier between Uzbekistan and Bahrain to be replayed due to referee error. (See

Of course, the difference is that it was a "technical" error, as opposed to an eyesight error

Well, it is different under the Laws of the Game. In the Uzbekistan situation, the referee misapplied the laws--the correct restart was a retake of the PK, while he awarded an IFK to the defenders. That type of mistake--misapplication of the laws--is clearly covered in the LOTG.

In the Henry situation (clear handling, cheating, etc.) it was never called. From the ref's point of view (the only one that counts), it never happened, or was so trivial that it wasn't worth calling. Those calls are not subject to review--it isn't a misapplication of the laws. It would open up a horrible mess if a ref's judgement call can be challenged. Why the 4th official, or the crew in the box upstairs didn't call down on the headset, is a mystery (that's what happened with Zidane's head butt--no onfield ref saw it, but they told the ref through his headset).

This was terrible refereeing, and that entire crew, including the 4th official, should never work a major match again. (France was also offside at the start of the play, missed entirely by the AR.)

Lousy reffing, cheating by Henry--yes. Misapplication of the laws--no. Under FIFA procedures, that's it. No replay. Doesn't matter if both teams ask for it, they won't want the precedent, and refs around the world will be grateful that they don't. Other means (goal observers at big international matches, etc.) are fine, but not formally challenging a ref's judgement call. I ref recreational and travel high school-age games, and I would be hauled in front of a review panel every week if coaches could protest my judgement calls, as opposed to any mistakes I make in appying the laws correctly.

FIFA can and should punish Henry with a suspension for the first several games of the World Cup(which is probably partly why he is scrambling to appear reasonable and sorry).

Posted by: macheath | November 20, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse


I agree with you until your last line. If the referee didn't mis-apply the laws, under what law does Henry get suspended?

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | November 20, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

That's a sad picture in the Examiner story...

"Look, Seattle, at what we won't win this year."

Posted by: Reignking | November 20, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

FIFA can review and decide to suspend, even when there was no foul called. Look at the situation with Eduardo earlier this year.

Posted by: fischy | November 20, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Fischy has it right on why Henry can be suspended by FIFA. They can use video evidence of unsporting behavior, etc. to suspend even though they won't retroactively apply it to a match result, and they won't use it when the only question is a judgement call by the ref as opposed to misapplication of the laws (which has to be an affirmative decision--like the ref in the Uzibekistan game who knew there was a problem, but gave an IFK instead of a retake on the PK).

Posted by: macheath | November 20, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Are the Terps on the road for the rest of the NCAAs unless they run into another non-seeded team? That'd be a drag, those games were a nice methadone after the MLS season last fall.

Posted by: eadc | November 20, 2009 10:57 AM

Yep, although the tournament committee reserves the right to give home-field advantage to the lower-seeded team for a variety of reasons. An argument could be made that whichever team loses on Sunday will have a right to feel shafted. Since both teams should have been among the top 16 seeds, they should not be meeting this early in this tournament.

Trivia qustion: What about Terps keeper Zac MacMath's ancestry is pertinent to this matchup?

Finally, with the Terps on the road, it should be pointed out that there is a game in Charlottesville on Sunday (UVA-Bucknell).

Posted by: universityandpark | November 20, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

If the referee had called the handball like he was supposed to, is Henry's behavior still unsporting?

If it's not then all suspending Henry does is punish Henry for the refs mistake.

My guess is if the foul is called Henry's not being called a "cheat" and they'res no outcry to suspend him. Especially because Henry had a pretty decent rep before this incident.

Be honest with yourselves, if the foul is called, is there still an outcry to suspend him? If your answer is "no" but you still call for Henry to be suspended, that is a woefully inconsistent opinion.

The referee didn't call the foul, Henry played on, I weep for the day we punish players for that.

Posted by: gr8nylacbiz | November 20, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

*In the women's tournament, Virginia Tech will attempt to continue its best season ever with a visit to Portland tonight for a round-of-16 match.

Also, Virginia is at UCLA tonight. However, I would be surprised either team from the Commonwealth survives this round. Teams from commonwealths (Villanova, Murray State, Penn State, Boston U., etc.) haven't fared too well in this tournament.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 20, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

gr8nylacbiz writes:

Be honest with yourselves, if the foul is called, is there still an outcry to suspend him? If your answer is "no" but you still call for Henry to be suspended, that is a woefully inconsistent opinion.

The referee didn't call the foul, Henry played on, I weep for the day we punish players for that.

The handling by Henry at that point clearly deserved not only a call, but a caution. Had to be yellow--couldn't be red. FIFA could still decide to suspend him subsequently to that. Maradona's "hand of God" would have deserved a suspension. When DeRossi bloodied Brian McBride in the World Cup, he was correctly dismissed with a red, but still suspended for the severity of the foul.

If Henry had been caught, and the goal not scored, and he had been appropriately cautioned, would he deserve suspension? Maybe, maybe not. But the consideration of suspension isn't because its a make-up call for the referee's error. It should be for the severity of the offense, and, in this case, bringing disrepute on the game, IMHO. You can disagree, and I agree a suspension shouldn't be as a make-up for the botched call by the ref.

Posted by: macheath | November 20, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure had this been a goal scored by the US to go to the world cup most of us would be singing a different tune!! A goal is a goal if the ref or the linesman don't call it then every goal counts!! We as soccer fans live with refs decisions everyday! It's not Henrys fault , sometimes you do things whether intentionally or not if you get away with the ref not catching it then more power to you!

Posted by: ThE-BaRRa-BrAvA-KiD | November 20, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

put one more ref on the endline on the side of goal opposite to the side the linesman is on. Replay could work if you gave each team one chance to use it per half. You would have to decide how far to go back because soccer is different from football in that it isn't discrete plays.

Posted by: GeneWells | November 20, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

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