Monday, November 23, 2009

The French Connection

Day Light Robbery – The defeat of a small footballing nation.

It seemed that the only issue on peoples mind last week was the World Cup Play off match against France.
The whole country held their breath and then Thierry Henry extinguished our dreams with two sweeps of his hand.

Recessions are difficult to get through, many challenges are put in our way and there are few opportunities for the country to forget its worries and all focus on the one goal

The whole country stopped last Wednesday night and I should know because a meeting ran late and I did not get home until the game was half an hour old. The roads were empty, everyone either tucked up at home or enjoying a pint or two in the pub.

Even those of you who are not huge football fans could see the importance of this match. It was a great chance to forget out worries for a few hours, yet now we are left signing petitions in a bid to have the game replayed.

I am sure that Messrs Cowen and Lenihan were hoping for a favourable result in Paris. Possibly in the hope that a nasty budget could be slipped through on the back of national euphoria.

It is plain to see that FIFA the governing body of football want to see the major footballing nations qualify for the world cup finals in South Africa.
This became apparent when FIFA moved the goalposts following the qualification campaign and seeded the larger nations against the smaller nations.
This change of the rules all but guaranteed the progress of large nations like France and Portugal

I feel that if we had been serious about the injustices done to us we should have refused to contest the qualifiers unless an open draw was in place

I fully understand the financial implications that this decision could bring with it, but at least we would be standing up for the rights of both our players and our fans
Qualification for major championships is difficult enough without FIFA continuously putting new obstacles in the way of the smaller nations.

I am sure that I can speak for everyone when I say the Irish players and fans did us proud last week, and I am saddened that I was not in Paris myself.

We can now forget the trip to South Africa, Cape town and the African safari’s will have to do without the Irish supporters. Come next summer many of us will be looking on with envy and I am sure we will take more than a passing interest in the progress of the French team

As Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses would say “ Mange Tout Rodney, Mange Tout.

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