My fiance laughs at me every time I talk about football, but he doesn't know about this blog so I might get away with this...
So 82% of French people want the match replayed, Sarkozy has apologised to Brian Cowen, and now even Henry himself has called for a rematch (even if he did wait until after he was sure it wouldn’t happen).
Here at home they’re protesting the French embassy and there’s petitions for a replay flying all over the place.
It won’t happen, will it?
For years I’ve bemoaned the apathy that abounds in this country, where the general population have put up with- worse, they’ve endorsed- a regime that would make the most corrupt African dictator blush. Sure, everybody's disgruntled now things have gone belly up, but we've had a totally inept government since long before I was able to vote with hardly a peep out of anyone about it.
Now, it seems, the Irish have grown themselves a back bone and all over a silly game of football. No, not a silly game, a brilliant game, played out by heroes who for an hour and a half gave a nation hope.
We were robbed, and we should be going to South Africa. All based on that one little match, granted, but the fact that we had a lethargic qualifying campaign (the French did too) in no way diminishes the verity that that game was OURS.
What people don’t realise, though, is that they were never going to let us win. ‘They’ being that pervasive entity known as FIFA. I’m not saying that they fixed the match or told Henry to cheat, That Incident aside, the officials were only a little bit biased across the two legs.
But there’s simply too much money involved for FIFA to allow a little team like Ireland to triumph over the former world champions. We’re not brand-able enough. That’s why the governing body decided to seed the play-offs half way through the group stages. They changed the rules after the game had started!
Now that they’ve got what they wanted they hide behind their rule book, ignoring their own mantra of ‘fair play’.
Will we stand for it? It would appear not! And the French, it seems, have too much honour to accept their tainted victory so they may even back us up.
Tomorrow they march from Lansdowne, who knows what might happen. It’s a small hope, very small, but hope nonetheless.