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Liam’s attack on FIFA corruption scares the hell out of the BBC

It was a tedious morning of “Henry is a disgrace” and “Henry, Eduardo, we investigate the cheats in football.”

Then BBC Radio Five Live decided to get Republic of Ireland assistant manager Liam Brady on.

Liam sounded as if he had not slept for a week.  But he spoke slowly and clearly, and utterly refused to be interrupted by the usual mindless childish whimsy of the resident journalists, that characterises the station.

The interviewer tried to get Liam to talk about how awful it was that Henry had handballed – as if no one had ever handballed ever before ever.

But Liam would not be moved.  He went for the jugular.

He said that referee Martin Hansson had “succumbed under pressure” in awarding France the goal – pressure brought about so that the top countries with their big TV audiences would get through.  His allegation was simple – that the world cup was fixed by FIFA to ensure their selected teams made it to the finals.  A fixing that started with the way groups were drawn up, one that continued with the sudden last minute decision to seed the European play offs through to the way in which the game itself was refereed.

Liam said, “I wouldn’t blame Thierry Henry for what went on. I would maybe look at what happened three months before and the fact that these seedings for the play-offs were made to favour the bigger teams. I would ask why that went on.”

Liam then said FIFA’s decision to seed the play-off draw by world ranking showed an obvious desire from football’s world governing body to ensure the big names qualified, and that Swedish official Hansson felt under pressure to make that happen.

“The pressure on referees is enormous then,” he added. “The pressure is too much to bear and I thought the referee up until then had refereed the match in fine fashion, but he succumbed under pressure.”

Keane, the captain of Ireland said Blatter and Platini would be “delighted” with the outcome last night.   “They’re all probably clapping hands, Platini sitting up there on the phone to Sepp Blatter, probably texting each other, delighted with the result.”

FIFA – the organisation that lies and lies and lies again in court (in the words of a Supreme Court judge) – has fixed it again.  And the BBC, which only wants to blame the likes of Henry and Eduardo – does it stuff again.   The thought that they had a scoop on their hands seem to scare them beyond all belief.    They have paid for their broadcasting rights, as have ESPN and Sky and ITV and so they cannot ever even debate the fact that world football is fixed.

If football is ever to change, I think it is down to us.  I don’t know who else is ever going to clean up the act.   But it is good to know Liam is on our side.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009.

You can buy MAKING THE ARSENAL, the novel, via www.emiratesstadium.info or via Amazon – although Amazon keep seem running out of stock – but you might be in luck.  And we do keep sending them more.  But if you want a signed copy, please do order from us, and tell me on the form what you want me to say.  “Happy Christmas” is quite popular at this time of year.

32 comments to Liam’s attack on FIFA corruption scares the hell out of the BBC

  • potts

    always good to read something with guts ,great blog

  • Mark

    There is a lot of hypocrisy spoken by a lot of people.

    The people who want video evidence still call Eduardo a cheat.
    But Eduardo was cleared of whatever mystery offence he was accused of,
    by video evidence.

    The people who say football is all about winning and not about playing exciting football then say, ‘This is cheating!’
    ‘Henry is a disgrace’.

    If football is purely about winning and nothing else, why do they care?

    Henry should have fessed up – he is a disgrace I think.

    But as you say Tony, he’s just a small villain at
    the party. Fifa and their hypocritical henchman are far worse.
    La trahison des clercs.

  • Paul C.

    The silence from Platini over this incident is absolutely deafening. After the things he said during the Eduardo incident, one would have expected him to be all over the Henry incident, until one realises just who Platini is and what his track record is.

    It is remarkable to me that the media have used this incident, once again, to demonize a player rather than push for video technology to be used in football.

    The media have failed in their jobs and are giving UEFA and FIFA a free ride.

    I stopped watching international football years ago. I only saw the Henry incident on youtube (terrible defending by Ireland – why is nobody speaking about that?). I will not be watching the World Cup next year.

  • Michael the Gooner

    Yes,Henry should not have done what he did,but now the media are whipping this up because he is foreign and a ex Arsenal player.Yes i am sorry for the Irish,but can you imagine if it had happened to England,there would be parties all over Ireland.
    Cheating has been going on in Football for many,many years,the only thing is we see all the replays.I would ban all replays,but what would our pundits talk about.
    Listen to all the reporters after a match,the first question they put to a Manager is what did you think the goal should have been allowed.

  • Armiyau

    Am disappointed for people’s action.when Henry was in arsenal he used chest to score against csk moscow.why the complain when they knw this kind of thing happens.the only measures to take is FIFA Showing equality to the game.

  • GoonerGaz

    Come on chaps lets be fair to Henry he was only trying to deflect attention away from that blatant Anelka dive.

  • Davi

    Eduardo cheated & Henry cheated. Its true.
    But what really gets my goat is the way they pretend like theyr only interested in fairness when they attack these players, but NEVER mention gerrard diving, or against us carlton cole and wayne rooney recently. Its the bias that really gets me.
    You know on talksport Ive heard 2 of their presenters try to portion some of the blame on arsene wenger for what henry did yesterday? Wenger? I cant remember one instance of henry cheating when he played for arsenal, although im sure he did bend the rules on occasion (i just cant think of a time), it was never so blatant, but because he does something now 3 years after he left, WENGER obviously steered him wrong. He always struck me as a very fair-minded player when he was here.

    Sorry, had to rant – Excellent article as usual. Really good points. I’ve always despised this system of favouring the bigger teams. Its unfair, and think of what it would do for some of the smaller footballing nations to make it to a world cup. Even for ireland, a pretty decent side, it would have been such a big deal, but its all unfairly stacked. I have a feeling that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corruption in football.

  • don't believe the hype

    TH admitted the handball, he also says he told the ref the ball hit his hand, but the ref chose to let the goal stand, end of story.

    When the hypocrites in the media are even handed in their criticism of all players including the English cheats, then I might care. But it seems nationality and particularly playing for Arsenal impacts on whether someone is labelled a cheat and whether high horses are mounted. I look forward to seeing them fall off their mounts and break their upturned noses when Rooney or Gerrard win a crucial game in SA with one of their customary dives. The silence once again will be deafening.

  • walter

    Brady is right.
    The way the rules have been changed in favour of the big countrys is a shame. It was meant to happen like it turned out.
    Could you imagine a world cup without France, the country of the Uefa president ?? No, neither could Platini and so the rules changed to make it as sure as possible.

    About the ref I dont know. One can not say that the ref had a poor game. I watched, it one eye, while I was reading the excellent book ‘Making the Arsenal’ and he did allright. He wasn’t biased because then he would have given a penalty to France when Anelka went down in the penalty area earlier on. He waved play on.
    So the goal could be a case of pressure but I really think it was a matter of not seeing it.
    This should be changed by the use of video refereeing and fifa and uefa refuse to use it so they are to blame.
    I think if the goal would not have stood, TH wouldnt have made a fuss of it. I must say that a player does not need to stop his play as long as the ref has not blown so TH could play on.

  • Armiyau

    It is every where even in the premier league.i believe arsenal can wipe away Chelsea but the problem is the refs or “almighty english fa”.

  • Femi

    People should be objective. Ireland goalkeeper supposed to have been sent off when he made contact with Nicolas but the referee ignored it and nobody sees that and no comments.IT was a human error. I know every nation wanted to go to World Cup but then IT should not be a do or die affairs. I believe South Africa is not going to be the last World Cup. There are still a lot of World Cup Ahead.

  • RetroScar

    what do you think would have happened if henry did say he used his hand and then the goal wasnt given and france failed to qualify. what woiuld happen to henry then what would his country say about him what can he face when he goes back home in france, he’l have to hide from his own country.
    any player would have stayed gob shut at a moment like that, any, even the players (ex players) ALL would have done the exact same thing. Your Country!! you do it for your country, just like you would take a yellow or red card for your team but bigger scale!!

  • lordgunner

    wtf Platini have to do with world cup qualified.nothing .this is a match under FIFA regulation.i actually think for once Platini is right to shut up as a Frenchman he would look like biased.

    the irish dream if they think the match will be replay.like Eduardo case, FIFA would open the Pandora box to other team to ask for a replay.you will need 2 year to finish a season with all the match.the only think they can do is ban titi for few match let say first 3 WC match.
    and why all this hypocrisy from the hack.if this would have happen between France vs Slovenia nobody would have care

  • walter

    Thank God its Friday in my part of the world. Tomorow back to real football….

  • walter

    About the BBC or other broadcasters one could say: he who pays the piper calls the tune.
    Do one really think any of the TV stations would like to risk punishment from the Fifa or Uefa by having a go at them ?
    Maybe some 25 years ago one could have done, but in these days the interests of all the involving organisations and the press are all the same: money and viewers and ratings.
    If a TV stations tells its all fixed no body would see anymore and their income would flush down the drains so they will ignore and try to blame the individual player or ref.
    They are far more easier scapegoats

  • Davi

    How can you call the anelka dive a penalty? I cant understand the position that any contact in the box is a penalty, it’s absurd.
    I love watching good football, but it IS still a contact sport within reason. You CAN touch the opponent without hindering them.
    Being faster or stronger is a legitimate advantage, as is having stamina, its not a pure skill game – that would be boring.

  • Simon Bailey

    femi, how about the players who are too old to play in the next world cup.

    if keane had done it instead, it would have been fine by the irish fans.

    but if an irish player had done it, i am sure that the outcome would have been different from fifa. there is a precedent where a fifa controlled game was replayed after a gross error by the ref.

    fifa lost the russian audience last night. i know loads of people over there will still watch it, but no where near as many as would have if russia were in it. they couldnt afford to lose the french market of 65 million compared to irelands 4 million.

    anyway, more to the point, two of our defenders played 120 minutes in that match, a nice warmup for the sunderland game.

  • LRV

    Anyone who wants to shout can do so till they are blue in the face. What happened yesterday is instinctive. The LINESMAN should have seen it. The fact that he didn’t did not surprise me. He hardly saw much. There were some calls that he did not make, but which the referee made. The referee had a fairly more than okay game before that incident. Perhaps if he had got the right kind of help, it might have been different.

    Besides, when you play a game like a do or die affair, what do you honestly expect? The British press is only foaming in the mouth because they harboured a grudge against Henry because he loves Arsenal and Arsenal loves him. If what happened had been against England, the Irish would have had a party all night to celebrate.

    What gives the British the right to adopt an holier than thou attitude? Who told them that they had the right to police the game only when it concerns foreigners? “Physician, heal thy self.” British media hacks, remove the logs from your own eyes before you attempt to talk about the specks in the eyes of others.

  • tim

    the anti-Arsenal and anti-French thing is really one and the same thing.
    my sense is that Arsenal is hated in the media precisely because it’s run by Le Boss. they can’t stand that his intelligence, discipline, and vision goes against every British stereotype that they are proud of. and the fact that he’s French!?! oh my.

    Henry is Arsene’s son (his second one being Cesc). I think that’s why he’s getting so much slack. People are just frothing at their mouths at this chance to knock him off his perceived pedestal.

  • AnonymousGun

    ^ @ tim
    his 3rd son is Diaby 😡

  • walter

    LRV, you are right. If anyone of the trio of refs should have seen it it should have been the linesman. Before the game the ref in charge has to give his instructions and I always tell my linesman, when I have them that is, to look for handballs that I can’t see. And if I am linesman I always have been told to look for these handballs. Now we dont know what the refs instructions was before the game but I would bet that he told his linesman to keep an eye on these and to keep away from the tackling in the penalty area.

    At first sight I was thinking that the linesman couldn’t have seen it either because of the crowded area but in fact… there was no crowd between him and the ball it seems.

  • 0.9 Calibre

    @Femi
    i agree with you. i dont understand why they call it the “anelka dive”. i saw the replay and there was contact. Bad decisions are random. there is no point asking fifa to organise another match. Teams have to understand what the game is about to qualify to the WC. Lets say Keane was in Henry’s position you think he’d have owned up? Nah.. first he is a spud and hence cant be honourable and secondly its a do or die match.. The fact that Titi owned up shows his class.. he cant be vilified cos the ref let the goal stand… Bloody media hacks.. no point attacking them… they are pimps that benefit from anything and everything..

  • Tuan Nguyen

    this incident is the same as the match Chelsea Vs Barcelona last year. The UEFA president said that he doesn’t want a final all of English team, then all of incidents that would lead to a penalty for Chelsea were denied. Now come with this incident, i watched the match,and it was clearly that he (Henry) used his hand to control the ball so that he could pass it to Gallas. after that he even didn’t say sorry to the Irish players. i don’t know how come Henry is a football player. the decision was outrageous, Ireland is a better team for the World Cup. They bring something new and they play with theirs hearts. the France team just play on luck, and i hope they will crash out like they did on 2002 world cup

  • diceman1984

    ็How many time do we see players trying to handle the ball?

    And in what context does that affect any legendary status for his work at Arsenal?

    And why is no one blaming the ref and linesmen for the blindness?

    And Platini…..he’s a chump and always will be.

  • jazbo

    I think i’m going to be the lone voice here, but i for one am glad that France are going to the world cup, it matters not how you get there as long as your there, trust me if it was Rooney or Owen in that postion and did the same thing this media driven outrage would not be happening, so let’s just give it a rest, the best teams are going to the world cup in Africa apart from Russia, and i just can’t wait for it to start!!!

  • Tone

    There is only one reason why video replays have not been used yet in live games. That is because it would remove the power of FIFA and UEFA to manufacture the results they desire. End Of!

  • gr8 write up sir. FIFA & UEFA need to be put under scrutiny. UEFA fixed last year’s champions league final by eliminating Chelsea and FIFA has done the same by eliminating Ireland.
    shame on FIFA. If they have the guts then this match should be replayed…

  • Armin

    Hm I would not really give too much time to it, it just happens, and fact that Henry played with hand (as Maradona did, as Lineker, as bunch of others) is not some crown evidence of corruption in FIFA and UEFA.
    I don’t say referees are out of that system, but major problem with corruption came from head. In this case after seeding for barrage, and how its set up so France and Portugal would not by any chance meet, it was obvious how referees will behave.
    What Henry did, or Dudu in CL, is just using opportunity, giving try, don’t tell me any of us never tried to do something what is forbidden but what we believed can help us one way or another. Should they be punished? Yes, they should, if its proven, but repeating game would open to many things, as someone already mentioned here.

  • shotta-gunna

    Excellent piece by Tony as well as the contributions by posters. Thanks for emphasizing Liam Brady’s expose of FIFA and UEFA. By the the way that didn’t stop The Mirror (on-line) from distorting Brady’s comments and making up a headline which suggested that Brady attacked Henry, a fellow Arsenal legend. Since the incident, my position has shifted from opposition to one of the inevitability of video technology in football. I concur with someone who remarked that FIFA and UEFA are opposed to video technology because this removes one the many instruments to corruptly influence the results of football matches. However I would counsel that even if FIFA is forced to admit such technology, they will do everything in their power to retain control. Since the Jap-Korea world cup (to the best of my memory), although FIFA allowed grudgingly admitted big tv screens within the stadia to carry a live feed, they absolutely forbade the replay of any controversial incident. If you recall there was many a shady goal allowed that many of us at home knew should have been disallowed but were not rebroadcast within the stadia, lest the fans have a say in the decision-making. FIFA and UEFA have done everything to remove themselves from the sovereign will of the people through their governments and the Courts. As Tony concluded, if football is to change it is down to us.

  • arsenal tone

    excellent blog as usual and some really interesting comments.

    you’ve gotta love roy keane..

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/8370327.stm

  • American Gooner

    One problem with this line of thinking is that Russia crashed out of the tournament to lowly Slovenia. No, while FIFA is corrupt, they are also incompetent. South Africa is only getting the WC next year because FIFA bolloxed up the previous WC award, allowing a New Zealand voter to be indimidated by German media and interests into witholding the vote he was ordered to give to South Africa. It was so obvious that something was fishy that South Africa were destined to get the WC. Similarly, a European side will get 2018 because the crooks at FIFA decided that their continental rotation policy wasn’t fair to Europe, because it didn’t rotate to them enough. They’re a self-serving bag of idiots who will do whatever they think is in their interests. Amazing football prospers despite them.

  • eduardo

    ITs only cheating when its done to you.

    Can anyone name one player who has never cheated, and before you answer please see following things that is cheating

    Claiming a corner or throw in when it clearly came of him, pulling or dragging an opponent at a free kick or corner, taking a free kick from wrong place, taking a freekick while the ball is still moving, time wasting, feigning injury, and of course handball or diving,

    every last one of those acts take place over and over in game after game by each and every team and every player,

    Also its so laughable and so clear that the british media have an anti Arsenal agenda, I have read and watched many items about the Henry handball and not one of them mention he plays for Barcalona, its all ex Arsenal, or Arsenal ledgend, Wenger pupil, France hero, he is a few years with Barcalona now, one would think the media would have spotted this by now, but of course it looks better to them to have a dig at Arsenal as well as getting their own back on Henry, as he was famous for phoning up useless journos who included falsehoods or downright lies about Henry in their match reports or their columns. England in general hate France more than any other nation bar Germany and the media can not stand that Wenger and Henry showed them how football should be played.

    Roy Keane told it as it is today, he said that Ireland and the IFA have only themselves to blame, the players froze again when presented with gilt edge chances to score a second, he also pointed out that Irealand were awarded the most dubious of dubious penalties v Georgia in their group to totally change the game in which Ireland came back to win and stay ahead of Georgia, yet not Robbie Keane who dived for the penalty, not the manager, not the IFA, spoke one word about how unfair it was on Georgia, or that the game should be replayed.
    Also the France goal only ment it did not go to penalites, Ireland were only level on agg, so please stop all this nonsence of it stopping Ireland from going to the WC, it stopped them from having a shootout to go to the WC, and I’d put more money on France players scoring than the irish players who bottled easy chances during the game, Keane, Duff, Doyle to name three.

    By the way I’m Irish and I don’t in the slightest feel cheated, outraged or feel any hate for Henry, he only did what every single player does, and that is look to get away with breaking the rules to their teams advantage, as pointed out by others, almost every Irish fan would and still will celebrate if England go out of the World cup finals to a dodgy decision or handball or offside goal etc, I cheered when Maradona scored in 86(even if at the time I missed the handball, that only made it better when I found out later on).
    My biggest gripe over the goal is what the hell was McShane thinking of, why did he not attack the ball and clear it, or why oh why did he let Henry in behind him, also what was Given doing to let the cross beat him, and finally how did Gallas end up standing all alone feet from the goal to knock it in unchallenged, where was the Irish players(bottlers). All the moaning is to cover up poor standards amongst the team and managment and the protest by the Irish government is just a ruse to try and take away attention from the mess the have Ireland in now and from their up coming budget where they are going to cut nearly all social welfare payments, increase tax on the ordianary worker, and go easy on the richer in sociaty.