It might have seemed reasonable.
The Ireland-France match, so important, so fatally flawed by the missed hand ball by Thierry Henry that led to the winning French goal ...
Of course it should be played over. It's only fair. It's reasonable. It could be done.
But those of us who have been watching Fifa for, oh, a couple of months or more knew that it would never happen. Fifa is infallible. Fifa never admits to mistakes. Sort of like popes. Judgment call, end of story.
The official decision came down Friday. And, surprise, Fifa still has never made a mistake. That's 1 billion for 1 billion in getting things right.
I know this won't make the Irish feel any better, but Thierry Henry apparently said that Ireland deserves a replay. Which was easy for him to suggest, knowing 1) his reputation in the English-speaking world was taking a beating (all that "cheater-cheater pumpkin-eater" stuff) and 2) Fifa would never allow it.
This also won't make the Irish feel better, but I am convinced France goes to South Africa 2010 next year with some really vile karma in the ol' kit bag. Something Heavy will fall on this French team, dysfunctional, disjointed, led by a toad (Raymond Domenech) and qualified by dint of a horrible mistake.
No way they last, not with that cosmic burden on their bleu backs.
It won't heal the wounds in the Emerald Isle, when the French go down ... but maybe it will numb them a little.