FanDuel - WFBC

December 02, 2009

FIFA opens case against Thierry Henry for handball: FIFA opened a disciplinary case Wednesday against France forward Thierry Henry for handling the ball in the World Cup playoff against Ireland last month.

posted by BornIcon to soccer at 12:23 PM - 55 comments

They're going to punish him for the referees not doing their job correctly? Oh, that's rich.

posted by dfleming at 12:51 PM on December 02

My thoughts exactly. Why punish Henry for the refs missed call? It wasn't like he didn't admit that he hit the ball with his hand as soon as the game ended in his post game press conference and been contrite about it ever since even though he & his family have been on the recieving end of death threats.

posted by BornIcon at 01:11 PM on December 02

He hasn't been punished yet; they are investigating the incident. That seems warranted to me. If FIFA decides he intentionally cheated, he should be punished in some form.

posted by rcade at 01:18 PM on December 02

How can FIFA make the determination that he cheated on purpose when he not only admitted to hitting the ball with his hand but he also said that it wasn't on purpose? If anyone is to be punished, it's the refs for missing the call. If a sports deserves to have replay implemented in the game, it's soccer. They only score a few goals per game so it makes sense to have it in soccer. If it were, they would've caught the handball from the get go.

posted by BornIcon at 01:20 PM on December 02

Just because a high-profile athlete said it doesn't mean it is true.

posted by rcade at 01:27 PM on December 02

Not saying it is, I just have a tendacy of believing someone that comes right out and admits the truth instead of beating around the bush about it and being brow beaten until the truth is eventually revealed.

posted by BornIcon at 01:32 PM on December 02

This article is so full of statements I personally find stupid and I'm amazed it's so short:

"FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Wednesday that its disciplinary committee will look at Henry's behavior in the Nov. 18 second leg at Stade de France."

His behavior? Do they seriously expect him to immediately wave off his own goal because the officiating crew blew a call? I find this beyond reason.

"Ireland's players later expressed anger that the France captain ran to join a jubilant goal celebration with teammates instead of acknowledging his foul play."

See above.

"Blatter - who said this weekend that it was not Henry's responsibility to tell the referee he handled the ball - on Wednesday described the Frenchman's handball as "blatant unfair playing'' that was seen around the world."

Contradict yourself much?

"He appealed to coaches to observe fair play and said the Henry case could be "an example for the youth of the world.''

How about this example: Don't play futbol at the highest level. You'll face a hearing and possible disciplinary action because of bad officiating. And do please try to curb your competitive nature.

I'm not certain that Blatter knows whether he is afoot or horseback.

posted by THX-1138 at 01:34 PM on December 02

As I said before, I think it's a sorry spectacle that soccer players who know they cheated immediately celebrate the ill-gotten goal to further the impression that it was an honest play.

Henry knew it was a handball and shouldn't have counted. He was contrite within minutes. What would it have been like if he was contrite immediately and quietly told the ref it was a handball? He might not have been allowed to enter France again, but it would've been a moment for the ages.

posted by rcade at 01:38 PM on December 02

If FIFA decides he intentionally cheated, he should be punished in some form.

Intentionally cheated? As in, he had a plan to handle the ball at some point in the game?

As I see it, the ball bounced up and struck his arm. This gave him more control over it for a second, so he took advantage and then he scored.

What was he supposed to do? Stop right there, turn to the ref and say "I handled that. Give the other team a free kick?"

It's the same thing as trying to blame a basketball player for traveling when they stumble, but the ref doesn't call it, and then scoring the winning layup with no time on the clock.

Now, if he had done something like pulled on an opposing player's jersey while going up for a loose ball, then I could label that as "intentionally cheating".

posted by grum@work at 01:38 PM on December 02

On the one hand: Urgh. Can we just drop this whole incident already. Most football fans I know were over it the day after it happened. The only reason the FAI aren't is because it is means a loss of revenue.

On the other hand: I'm all for after match citations. I think games should be scrutinised after the fact and players who cheat and dive should be punished.

posted by Fence at 01:45 PM on December 02

Intentionally cheated? As in, he had a plan to handle the ball at some point in the game?

Moving his hand towards the ball with the same kind of body control he exhibits with his feet. Do you honestly think every handball is accidental?

What was he supposed to do? Stop right there, turn to the ref and say "I handled that. Give the other team a free kick?"

Why not? Why is golf the only sport where we expect participants to turn themselves in?

posted by rcade at 01:47 PM on December 02

I can't agree with you, rcade. Football players frequently will be seen to make some spectacular game changing reception that when looked at closer shows to be incomplete. Like grum pointed out, basketball players will travel and score and NEVER will they turn to the ref and tell him that they took too many steps. A baseball player will miss a tag on a steal attempt and the ump may still call the runner out but you never see the second baseman correct the blown call.

Why is Henry being singled out here? What is causing the sudden impetus to punish him? Hell, I'm Irish-American and I don't blame him for not immediately slumping his shoulders and requesting the points taken off the board.

posted by THX-1138 at 01:48 PM on December 02

I finally got to see it before YouTube took it down. Seems pretty intentful to me. And good lord, that's got to be the most blatant missed call I've ever seen.

posted by rcade at 01:54 PM on December 02

Most football fans I know were over it the day after it happened.

Maybe fans of France let it go but just ask any Ireland fan if they're over it.

And good lord, that's got to be the most blatant missed call I've ever seen.

Intent or not, it's the refs job to make the right call and they missed this one. If anyone should be punished, it should be the refs, not Henry.

posted by BornIcon at 02:08 PM on December 02

This strikes me as being akin to the NBA investigating Michael Jordan for traveling. Or the NHL looking into Sidney Crosby for being offsides. It's not like it was some giant conspiracy, nor was it anything that could have physically injured someone...he simply cheated (accidentally or intentionally) and got away with it.

Maybe the NFL will go back and investigate Drew Pearson's offensive pass interference against the Vikings back in 1975.

posted by TheQatarian at 02:26 PM on December 02

Why is Henry being investigated?

My guess this is just something FIFA is doing to placate the FAI.


He hasn't been punished yet; they are investigating the incident. That seems warranted to me. If FIFA decides he intentionally cheated, he should be punished in some form.

You can't punish someone for trying to get away with winning a huge match. It's called being "fiercely competitive".

And several of Ireland's players have already said they would have done the same thing Henry did in that situation.

You cannot punish someone for not being a soulless, impassioned robot.

posted by JButton at 02:28 PM on December 02

Why is golf the only sport where we expect participants to turn themselves in?

Could it be because golf is not a fast, physical, heat-of-the-moment sport?

posted by cl at 02:40 PM on December 02

Could it be because golf is not a fast, physical, heat-of-the-moment sport?

Soccer players have time to hug, kiss and dry hump each other for five minutes after every goal.

It's called being "fiercely competitive".

Yes, because cheating is competitive. That's a great lesson for the kids as they move beyond sports into real life. Anything you can get away with is OK.

posted by rcade at 02:46 PM on December 02

Seems pretty intentful to me.

In the NHL, people kick goals in. In football, people drop touchdown passes but try to cover them up. In baseball, people trap catches in the outfield, or don't actually tag people and get credit for it. These all affect the outcomes of the games.

These people all know what Henry knows; that the call on the field isn't the right one.

For most sports, video review has fixed this problem. It would've fixed this one too. Perhaps it's time for that in soccer, rather than investigating a player for doing what hundreds of players have done before him.

posted by dfleming at 02:47 PM on December 02

There will never be video replay in soccer. Ever.

Part of the beauty of the sport is the ref having the power to wave play on reguardless of legality. Tripping penalies being ignored if possession doesn't change, etc. While in this case the refs obviously missed the call, the amount of influence they have on the game ensures the the blight of video replay will stay with the slower paced games, such as baseball and American football.

posted by Goyoucolts at 03:11 PM on December 02

I think the "r" in "rcade" stands for Rorschach:

Because there is good and there is evil, and evil must be punished.

I keed! I keed!

In truth, I think I lean a little more towards rcade's take on this situation. A victory predicated on cheating (intentional or no) genuinely damages the integrity of a sport - especially at this level.

I don't think Henry necessarily should have turned himself into the refs immediately - and I do believe that ref blew this call big time. However, if Henry and France reap the benefits of this tainted victory without even an official investigation, it suggests that FIFA endorses this sort of victory.

Even if all that comes from the investigation is the official conclusion that the ref screwed up, acknowledging that this is a serious enough incident that it warrants further attention is a step in the right direction, IMHO.

posted by Joey Michaels at 03:12 PM on December 02

He hasn't been punished yet; they are investigating the incident. That seems warranted to me. If FIFA decides he intentionally cheated, he should be punished in some form.

Seems pretty intentful to me.

It may well have been intentional, but unless the investigators have mindreaders, there's no way to know. Henry can come out and claim it was intentional and he could lying. This is why the refs are supposed to be there to make the call.

edit: also, I've been pretty staunchly anti-video replay in the past, but in the case of a goal, I'm coming around to thinking it might be ok since play is stopped anyways.

posted by juv3nal at 03:16 PM on December 02

I think the "r" in "rcade" stands for Rorschach.

I'm not locked in SportsFilter with you, you're locked in here with me!

I know it would have been unprecedented for Henry to admit he handballed in time to reverse the call. I just find it interesting that in sports, it is unthinkable to fans that an athlete might ever confess unfair play during the event. I bought all of that sportsmanship crap as a kid playing youth sports. Henry must have bought some of it too, considering his remorse.

posted by rcade at 03:58 PM on December 02

I'm not locked in SportsFilter with you, you're locked in here with me!

Nice Sonny from Bronx Tale reference!

posted by BornIcon at 03:59 PM on December 02

Henry must have bought some of it too, considering his remorse.

He's got to be kicking himself for that remorse now.

I don't like the ad hoc nature of this. If after every match, the game was reviewed for incidents, then the game would be played accordingly. But, it's not. They are only going to do it this time because of the incessant whining or Ireland.

posted by bperk at 04:04 PM on December 02

Nice Sonny from Bronx Tale reference!

posted by yerfatma at 04:25 PM on December 02

While in hindsight it's obvious that the call should have been made, a player shouldn't be expected to tell the official about the handpass.

In almost all sports there's a certain amount of rules that get broken, that's what the officials are for.

Imagine a lineman in the NFL going up to the ref immediately after his running back scores a touchdown..."um sir, I inadvertantly was holding on that play, you should overturn the score" This is almost exactly what happened. A violation of the rules allowed a score to occur. That Henry admits to it is all one can ask. Hell, the World Series this past year had numerous cases where the umpire crew either made bad calls, part of the game.

Golf, where there are not officials everywhere, seems to be the only sport in which the athletes report their transgressions....on the course that is, lately they've haven't been too good about owning up to off the course sins.

posted by dviking at 04:28 PM on December 02

OK, here is the problem I am having with this whole thing (or at least one of them):

There is a disciplinary committee being convened to examine Henry's behavior after the incident. To what end, I say? Just exactly what punishment will they be meting out? And what is the message being sent out here? "If you don't all start policing yourselves and overturning the officials bad calls you'll end up with whatever punishment Henry get's." Seriously? This is stupid beyond comprehension.

Upon edit:

That chick is H-O-T fatty. But there is no need to keep dragging this Tiger Woods fiasco into every talkback.

And BI: pssssssst.....Watchmen.

posted by THX-1138 at 05:07 PM on December 02

Why not? Why is golf the only sport where we expect participants to turn themselves in?

I think it's because there are no refs. I noticed a while back that I play basketball differently when refs are involved. In leagues I've played with referees I will use every little trick to draw a call. I'll point my direction when I know I touched it last, I'll exaggerate contact (I wouldn't call it flopping but I don't really try to keep my feet either), and anything else I can think of. When I play pickup games I call it as fairly as I can and good luck getting me off my feet, all those half honest tricks are gone.

I think it's because when there are ref's involved they are in charge of honesty. It's out of my hands.

posted by tron7 at 05:10 PM on December 02

Remember this great catch by Clint Barmes to end a Cardinals-Rockies game towards the end of this past season back when the Rockies were in a close Wild Card race and the Cardinals were jockeying for playoff seeding? Check out Barmes' heads up move to throw to first for the double play and his reaction to all the congratulations.

And then check out the photos showing that he did not make the catch after all.

posted by holden at 05:28 PM on December 02

I just can't see your argument, rcade. In the NFL lineman hold on pretty much every single play...almost all of it is intentional. They are certainly "cheating" in the strictest (or even non-strictest) sense of the word. Yet I can't recall I've ever seen any lineman, even the most classiest guys there may be in sports, ever admit to it to a ref. It's not only "not expected" it would be utterly unbelievable if they ever did.

posted by bdaddy at 05:40 PM on December 02

Yes, because cheating is competitive. That's a great lesson for the kids as they move beyond sports into real life. Anything you can get away with is OK.

This.

posted by rodgerd at 05:55 PM on December 02

This seems like such a black and white issue, I can't understand why there is so much discussion on whether or not he should be punished. Henry admits to intentionally handling a ball that leads directly to a goal that eliminates Ireland from the World Cup. Does anyone seriously think FIFA shouldn't punish him? At the very least, FIFA must suspend both Henry and the referee. How hard a decision can that possibly be? The argument that cheating is acceptable as long as it isn't caught doesn't work here, because the entire world saw that handball. Suspend him.

posted by eccsport78 at 10:26 PM on December 02

holden, that's a great couple of links.

posted by dusted at 11:14 PM on December 02

Does anyone seriously think FIFA shouldn't punish [Henry]?

Yes.

Unless there are rules that state hand balls deserve automatic suspensions, why would they suddenly do it to Henry?

The importance of the game should NEVER matter when it comes to penalties, so that line of reasoning should be eliminated immediately. ("Meaningless game? Yellow card. Important game? Red card! World Cup qualifying game? 2 game suspension!")

Do I think the referee should be suspended? If that's an acceptable form of discipline for bad refereeing, then I have no problem with that.

posted by grum@work at 12:40 AM on December 03

I second grum here. There have been several relatively high-profile handball incidents over the last couple years (the most memorable being Messi's goal against Mexico, if I remember correctly) but were they punished by FIFA? Of course not, because it's the ref's job to deal with in-game transgressions during the game (funny how that works). Punishing Henry, who admits the goal should not have counted, does little but appease the aggrieved party while unjustly singling out the Frenchman. As for the suspension of the referring team, when was the last time a MLB umpire was suspended for missing a call, (2009 playoffs, anyone?) or an NBA ref? Ed Hochuli handed the Denver Broncos a game, but all the NFL did to him was give him a "bad grade." If FIFA does decide on a ref suspension, at least it'll be directed at the real culprit, even if the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

posted by Goyoucolts at 02:22 AM on December 03

At the very least, FIFA must suspend both Henry and the referee.

For the refs failure to do their jobs correctly? I beg to differ.

And BI: pssssssst.....Watchmen

It's also from Bronx tale when Sonny locks the door when the bikers start getting rowdy in the bar. Does anyone watch classic gangster flicks anymore?

posted by BornIcon at 08:47 AM on December 03

Yes, but our definitions of "classic" ends before 1993.

posted by yerfatma at 09:49 AM on December 03

I don't mean classic as in Gone with the Wind classic, more like, "Yo, this flick is fucking classic!!" -classic.

posted by BornIcon at 09:56 AM on December 03

Classic? We talkin' 'bout classics? Classics. Not after 1993, but classics. Classics? Really? (That sounds funny when you write it out a lot. Classicsclassicsclassicsclassicsclassicsclassicsclassicsclassics).

And besides I can't even work up enough ambition to read a graphic novel. I just watched the Watchmen.

posted by THX-1138 at 11:09 AM on December 03

I just watched the Watchmen

So that answers that question.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:20 AM on December 03

And besides I can't even work up enough ambition to read a graphic novel. I just watched the Watchmen.

Watchmen is yet another example of where the book (in this case graphic novel) is above and beyond the movie version.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 11:28 AM on December 03

I disagree YYM, simply because I don't have a scale that has endpoints wide enough to encompass both. The movie was a huge disappointment for me. Not a popular opinion at my local comic shop, but there, I said it and be damned to the consequences.

posted by yerfatma at 11:33 AM on December 03

Watchmen the movie nearly had me in a comatose state.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..

posted by BornIcon at 11:34 AM on December 03

The BillSaysThis scale for movie reviews runs from Spike me in the forehead to ZOMG, better than bacon with side of sex. Watchmen definitely got the latter.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:56 PM on December 03

BornIcon wants to know if you are in any relation to Ricky Henderson?

posted by BornIcon at 12:59 PM on December 03

Finally we talk about something that matters.

Watchmen wasn't bad. There is some dilution from the source but that is to be expected. The adapted graphic novel I'm looking forward to is Kick Ass.

Oh yeah, and grum is absolutely right.

*retracting geek transmitter*

posted by THX-1138 at 01:22 PM on December 03

Finally we talk about something that matters.

Can't wait to see Avatar, now that looks pretty good.

posted by BornIcon at 01:29 PM on December 03

Watchmen wasn't bad. There is some dilution from the source but that is to be expected. The adapted graphic novel I'm looking forward to is Kick Ass.

I thought the adaption made by the movie for the ending of the Watchmen was pretty damn good. I liked the book better, but they came up with an ending that works for the construct of the movie.

That said, I found it really odd that the movie stuck to the book storyline so closely, yet insisted in making it MORE violent.
My example is the fight in the alley. There is no reason to make that scene more violent than the book, and it really bothered me that they did.

But since they let Miss Akerman appear in the nude, I'm gonna let it slide.

posted by grum@work at 03:18 PM on December 03

I loved both the comic and movie, in spite of becoming an old fogey who doesn't like cinematic gore any more. I can't believe the film's director got away with following it so closely. I loved seeing Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. That's insane casting.

posted by rcade at 03:38 PM on December 03

... the ending of the Watchmen was pretty damn good.

That's what I was talking about.

Avatar will be glorious eye-candy. I will see about the plot, but I'm definitely gettting the Dances With Wolves vibe from it. Which is OK. Look at how many times the Romeo and Juliet theme has been adapted. But 400 mil on 3D visuals and sci-fi fantasy goodness will always get my bucks.

And again I agree with grum. I am a sucker for naked ladies so Watchmen get's all kinds of free passes. And seriously, the previews for Kick Ass look neato.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:11 PM on December 03

...I'm definitely gettting the Dances With Wolves vibe from it. Which is OK

Really?!!? It is?

I do agree with Kick Ass, that does look pretty funny. Isn't that McLovin from Super Bad as Red Mist?

posted by BornIcon at 06:29 AM on December 04

On ESPN during the World Cup draw show today, all three former players (Lalas, McManaman and Ekoku) said its too late and the commission appointed by FIFA will be nothing more than a whitewash. Otherwise they'd have to review every illegal play that went uncalled in every game.

Sad for Ireland but nothing more going to happen here.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:55 PM on December 04

Sad for Ireland but nothing more going to happen here.

But I heard that they were in line for a "special" reward of some type of moral compensation.

Thanks, Blatter you can stfu, now.

posted by tselson at 05:15 PM on December 04

Avatar will be glorious eye-candy.

The trailer for Avatar is better than most movies. This is in Cameron's wheelhouse and it's gonna be spectacular.

posted by cjets at 06:43 PM on December 04

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