Date: 19th November 2009 at 4:47pm
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Watching the finale to the France against Ireland World Cup qualifier you couldn`t help but be touched by the heart rendering scenes at the end.

Our own Damien Duff looked distraught at the realisation that Ireland had been deprived of a place in the 2010 World Cup Finals by a blatant handball decision, an offence that was missed by all the officials involved as Thierry Henry manipulated, with his hand, the ball into the path of the on-rushing William Gallas who subsequently netted.

The protests, after the goal, were long and vociferous but the referee was not for turning.

Today the Irish are appealing, although not officially, for the game to be replayed, but with a Frenchman, Michel Platini, being high up on the FIFA ladder of respect we`d not lay great odds on that outcome ever coming to fruition.

Instead, some of those Irish players will have to, gradually, accept that their hopes of playing in a World Cup, possibly their only hope, has been destroyed by the inept officialdom that is now becoming almost the norm rather than the extraordinary in this game of ours.

Or perhaps, those of a cruel heart; might suggest there`d be none of this baloney if Ireland had taken a couple of the many chances they carved out.

It can be a cruel sport this game of ours!


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