Posted by: whatkindofweekhasitbeen | March 31, 2010

19th November, 2009

An entire nation of budding Emille Zolas have been borne out of one of the most shocking – and sickening – bits of cheating the sporting world has ever seen. Thierry Henry, J’ACCUSE!

It was looking like a bit of a dull week otherwise. The EU leaders are still at impasse and seem to be struggling to agree on lunch orders let alone Commissioners, and talks to decide on the two new posts of EU Foreign Minister and President of the EU Council, a grandiosely important title considering what they’ll actually be doing, are still , eh, still. In an unusual show of having-our-shit-together-ness, Brian Cowen promptly nominated Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, former TD, European Auditor and President of the International Double-Barrel Alliance.

Despite her being a pretty decent candidate, the opposition have had inevitable concerns. Joe Costello of Labour considering though she was a big name in the nineties, her low profile now may not amount to much influence for Ireland, in other words the equivalent of getting Carol Smilie to present a brand new TV show. Just to clarify, that last bit were my words. I doubt Carol Smilie has ever been mentioned in Leinster House. Fine Gael’s concern was a bit more tangible, as MGQ used to do some consultancy work for the biggest baddest wolf in the Kingdom, Declan Ganley. Lucinda claimed that the connection could cause some problems in the European Parliament chamber considering his aggressive anti-Lisbon rhetoric, and the fact he’s an irredeemable arse.

In fairness, if you were to deny everyone who’s ever had any degree of closeness with a complete jackass a job because of it, then everyone who’s ever gone to an end of school dance would be unemployed, in fact the only thing I find at all objectionable about Quinn’s appointment is that an opportunistic tosser I’d hoped was long gone ended up being deposed into the argument.

Maybe Cowen got his appointment out of the way early so he could focus on what really mattered: Last night’s big match. And a terrific one it was, Ireland at their plucky best against a team that boasted a host of top line players, both on the field and on the bench, and yet were summarily one step ahead of them. No moreso was this the case when a piece of play our Gallic friends would’ve been proud of between Kevin Kilbane and Damien Duff resulted in a goal for Robbie Keane. A few heart-in-mouth moments and extra time followed, only for our lyrical rhythm to be punctuated by an act so flagrant and dastardly, it wouldn’t have looked out of place from some low-down dirty varmint in a cowboy film.

The resultant reaction has made Pandemonium look like Calvin’s Geneva during Sunday service. The whole country is united in uproarious outrage. Newspapers all over the world have put the incident and their sympathies on their front page. Facebook hate groups are growing at an exponential rate. It’s even become a diplomatic incident, with the Irish government getting involved with a level of pro-activity and enthusiasm normally reserved for re-election.

While in a perfect world a replay would be the preferred option, in the harsh realities of football that’s simply not an option. And if we’re perfectly honest with ourselves, deep down we’d much prefer to be the wronged party with the whole world backing us up who in spite of an honourable performance were scuppered by, as a good mate of mine commented yesterday, “a hand ball because they couldn’t handle us”. We’d also probably rather hear commentators the world over mention Ireland’s injustice in the same breath as France for the next year, or see Henry tortured by the demons of that incident for months and years to come rather than giving him a chance to partially absolve himself by playing out of his skin in a rematch.

Whatever happens next though, this story won’t go away any time soon, and more often than not will keeping popping up just as we think it’s about to subside.

Always on the quiet weeks, eh?

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