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The Week That Was

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Well, you’ve got to hand it to him. Or he’s got to hand it to them. Or something. Yep, The ‘Hand of Frog’ is the week’s biggest story, kicking up a storm the likes of which only the residents in Cumbria can comprehend. We’ll get this out the way first, and then get on with the rest of The Week That Was.

Thierry Henry’s handball in extra time scuppered Ireland’s chances of progressing to the World Cup Finals on Wednesday night, and the world has gone crazy ever since. But we’re not going overboard in suggesting that they’ve been ‘robbed of their place in South Africa’ – there was still the rest of extra time to negotiate, before the possible ‘lottery’ of penalties.

Still, it’s all rather unfair on the Irish, who had been the better side on the night. Calls for a replay of the game will be rightly ignored, but that hasn’t stopped their fans taking the battle to the French in the sternest possible terms – Wikipedia vandalism! Thierry Henry’s entry on the site was hacked and crudely edited, and we suggest you don’t look at this link if you’re a delicate sort who won’t like lots and lots of swearwords. Still, that’ll show them, eh?

Anyway, on with the rest of the show. Portugal, Slovenia and Greece will join France in South Africa in June, following wins over Bosnia-Hercegovina, Russia and Ukraine respectively. The line-up for the draw in a fortnight’s time is now all but complete.

Elsewhere in international football, Germany cancelled their planned weekend friendly after the death of Robert Enke, whose funeral was held on Sunday. Their match on Wednesday against Ivory Coast was marked with a number of tributes to the goalkeeper, including a seat kept spare on the German bench.

Off the pitch Alex Ferguson was slapped with a four match ban (two matches suspended) for his outburst at Alan Wiley, while Portsmouth chief exec Peter Storrie appeared in court on Monday on tax evasion charges surrounding the signing of Amdy Faye for the south coast club.

And another week, another managerial casualty. This time it’s George Burley’s turn as his tenure as Scotland manager came to an end after an insipid performance and defeat away to Wales at the weekend. We wonder if this guy has applied for the job?

As for us at the FSF? Well, we’ve been busy getting the latest issue of TFS out to our keen readership, as well as putting the finishing touches to guides for next week’s European trips for fans of Chelsea and Liverpool, who travel to Porto and Budapest respectively. In the media, FSF Chair Malcolm Clarke has been giving his views on late decisions to change dates of matches, and how it mucks fans about. It was Spurs and Wigan this time. Are we always such an afterthought?

Anyway, that’s all for us this week – have a great weekend.

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