Despite rumours that The Badger is actually Roy Keane, he can assure you that he is far, far worse
Last Wednesday evening’s moment of ‘Sacré Bleu’ drew even the most sullen Irish football fan, stuck in their cocoon from 2002 or perhaps even 1990, back to life. ‘Cheat’, ‘coward’, ‘scum’ and even the F word – ‘French’ – are all terms that Irish fans have been using in the last week to brand Thierry Henry as a player who deserves no respect.
In the off chance that you’re a hermit with no contact with the outside world, or happen to be one of those people who had your house washed away during the Great Flood of 2009, the Badger will update you on what occurred. From a free kick just inside the French half, Florent Malouda hit a ball long into the Irish penalty box.
With the ball gracefully penetrating the air and flying into the Irish penalty box it appeared as if it might have gone straight out for an Irish goal kick, and put down as yet another mishit French pass. In the onside sector between Irish defenders and goalkeeper, the French player from the France region of France (as opposed to Guadeloupe), Thierry Henry, majestically guided the ball with an extension of his lower, lower shoulder to keep the ball in play.
He then, perfectly legally, hit the ball across the face of goal for William Gallas to tap it into the back of the Irish net. This goal sparked huge uproar from Irish players and management alike as they protested that Henry had actually used the lower, lower, lower, lower extension of his shoulder, which under FIFA’s ‘Fools’ Guide to Anatomy: Edition IV’, classifies as the “hand”.
Now sometimes the Badger can be accused of being a bit conservative and argumentative, but in this situation, it is the Badger’s opinion that Irish fans should really get over the entire situation. They should be happy that bigger nations are going to the World Cup instead of Ireland, and be pleased with being allowed play football with prestigious players like Henry and Sébastien Squillaci.
The Badger is also sick of all the hate being sent FIFA’s way over the situation. So in an attempt to resolve the fragile relationship between our small insignificant nation and FIFA, the Badger has written an email.
My name is The Badger. I am not actually a badger. I am writing to you in relation to the France v Ireland World Cup Qualifying Playoff fixture. In the aforementioned game, an incident occurred which made Irish people act very angrily towards French football captain Thierry Henry for an alleged use of the lower, lower, lower, lower extension of his shoulder to keep the ball in play.
The Badger is sure you have been lambasted with a multitude of letters, messages and petitions to have the fixture replayed, and commends you for not buckling under the pressure asserted.
It is The Badger’s opinion that Irish people should be happy that a more marketable and better team are going to the World Cup next summer. The Badger also feels that Irish teams and other equivalent small nations should be ordered roll over for, per se, bigger nations in the future.
Though your system of not allowing small teams into your prestigious competition is efficient, there are some flawed aspects. The Badger recommends a revised form of the seeding system under the following specifications:
In this new method for UEFA World Cup Qualifying, there will only be two pots, the first of which containing 13 teams, the other containing 40. The teams in pot one will be pre-determined and consist of Spain, England, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Turkey and Switzerland. Teams in pot one and two will never be subject to change.
Every four years, one month before the World Cup finals, football officials will draw from pot one, 13 teams. The teams drawn will automatically qualify for the World Cup and claim all thirteen UEFA spots at the World Cup.
This system is only to be applied to UEFA World Cup qualifying, but can be easily adapted to different regions.