Yesterday France's other Legendary Thierry (Thierry Henri, the soccer player) was involved in a "major talking-point"
. Playing against Ireland in a game to determine which country will go to the 2010 World Cup tournament, and with the Irish oh so close to pulling off a great upset, Soccer Thierry blatantly cheated by pushing the ball with his hand. there is no dispute about this and he even admits (after the game) that he did it. But the officials did not see the violation and as a result the French scored a goal and will now be in the tournament while the Irish are eliminated. I am sure today is not a good day to be a fan of "The Beatiful Game" nor a proud day to be a French soccer fan.
The differences and similarities between Soccer Thierry's selfish behaviour and Orienteering Thierry's unselfishness at the World Champs Relay were striking. Although the two incidents are worlds apart (one watched by millions of people live, the other unseen - to mention just one difference), I did find many interesting parallels. Notably the (I assume hopeless) call this morning from the Irish coach to replay the game. Also the impact on the reputation of the players (very negative for Soccer Thierry, very positive for Orienteering Thierry et al). And the general disappointment of soccer fans, versus the rather uplifting feeling for orienteering fans last summer.
Soccer Thierry has claimed the fault lies with the officials for not noticing the cheating. Wow, what a load of crap. French politician Philippe De Villiers is closer to reality I'd think: "The moral of this match is that you can cheat as long as you don't get caught. The France team is going to be labelled for years as a team of cheats."
I am so happy to be in a sport where true sportsmanship has been displayed at the very highest of levels and in which the reputations not only of the individuals and teams involved, but also of the entire community has been elevated