Seems like a whole lot of past and present Arsenal connections have played or are playing a very influential part in the France vs Ireland match and its aftermath.
The latest is Liam Brady calling FIFA for a replay which he says would be only fair given that it was a clear handball by Thierry Henry that set up William Gallas equalizer. Again, everyone in the world saw it happen except the referees. Even Thierry Henry acknowledges that he handled the ball. "Handled" stretches credulity. "Bagging it" is more like the proper description.
Brady's thesis is that FIFA loads the dice in favour of the big name teams. Mainly, the playoff matches are based on the country's seeding which pits bigger teams against the smaller teams. This puts enormous pressure on the refereeing crew to ensure that the big teams get through.
Whatever the merits of Brady's argument, the fact is that the Swedish referee Martin Hansson missed, or far worse, chose to overlook an obvious call.
Wasn't it just the other day that Kevin Hackett was asking Premiership referees to position themselves on the pitch for better viewing angles? Well, we can see that out of position referees can cost the game as much as out of position defenders and goalkeepers. Unlike those errors which are an essential part of the game, we can do something about costly refereeing errors. VRT anyone?