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As we speak the online world is alight. Forums, discussion boards and networking sites are flooded,everyone seems to be talking about one man – Thierry Henry.

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Radio stations are encouraging listeners to “make their voice heard and complain to FIFA”, marches are being orchestrated outside the French Embassy in Dublin, the Irish are vowing to never drink French wine again, websites are being set up for outraged fans to vent their anger by punching Henry (20,000 visitors at the last count)  and even our leader Brian Cowen has had a little word with Sarkozy about the supposed injustice of it all- way to prioritize their Brian.

It is not a Government issue.

As far as I can see no one was hurt and everyone is still alive. God help us if their was injuries our hospitals would go into meltdown,  judging by the dire state there in.

So lets put this into perspective last Wednesday, as fans left the Stade de France,  bruised and with their dreams shattered on the soil of defeat, did anyone  hear about the violence that  erupted after the Algeria vs Egypt game?, how innocent civilians were being attacked purely for the love and support of their Country? Such was the media blanket placed over many peoples eyes even FIFA stopped talking about it.

Surely this merited more coverage and discussion than one man’s encounter with a ball. Sadly this wasn’t the case. Where was the balance in reporting? More than one match was held last Wednesday,  fairing a lot worse than the Irish. We were emotionally bruised, not physically.

Yes we complained, rang up our friends, vented, and wrote  colourful letters to F.I.F.A outlining our views on referees.  But what about the many Egyptians that were physically injured after their game, in my opinion this deserved more coverage.

Outrageous

Obviously being an Irish topic, it’s a no brainer that  its  going to receive heavy treatment in the press but it shouldn’t accelerate to the levels of public outcry to the extent that Ministers and government officials get involved.

I’ve never seen such a  feverish uproar in my life regarding a game. Reports surrounding the violence inflicted upon Egyptian fans in the world press were collectively sparse, all eyes were on Henry.

These views have been passionately expressed to me by my Egyptian classmate Randa El Tahawy and upon listening to her speak of  her worries of violence surrounding the game and her questions over why a football match cannot be met with excitement rather than hostility, I thought it was outrageous to react to the extent that we have in such hysteria while  innocent Egyptians were being attacked for merely attending a match.

I  realised this when I read Randa\’s blog shortly after the events unfolded in Sudan (where the Algeria vs Egypt match was taking place), in which she details the extent of the attacks and the injustice of it all.

Upon finishing, I was embarrassed and I began to feel a little saddened, while at the same time outraged at the longevity of the press dubbed “hand of Henry debate.” All while the issues regarding the Egyptian attacks were being ignored.  It’s unjustifiable to think that one match  ands its coverage could override the portrayal of injured fans.

All  in the name of handball hysteria.

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