So, in the sober light of day, a few things I feel need to be said. Traditionally when people get hot and bothered about something in football, I try and keep my distance. I didn't this morning, and so I want to add a few things to my little two-cents.
First, I don't buy the whole "poetry of the injustice of life reflected in sport" business, that soccer, indeed all of sport, has always been this way, with dives, fouls, goals not given, twas ever thus and ever shall be, world without end, amen. That strikes me as easy cynicism. Also, pointing out that the particular politicians and the members of the FAI calling for a replay are already standing on shaky ground when it comes to matters of "justice," or describing FIFA's indifference to the result as "typical" and that we should accept it and move on, or that replays are complicated and annoying and could pave the way for all sorts of hassles in future, raises sport to a level over and above human agency—they elevate sport to a matter of fate.
We give too much importance to sport when we regard its shortcomings and injustices as immutable, reflective of some sort of "fallen nature," to borrow a hackneyed expression. When FIFA points to a rule and says, "whatever the ref says goes, sorry" that is an abdication of responsibility. Not acknowledging there was a serious error, and pledging to correct it in future, is an abdication of responsibility. Pointing out it's okay because they all dive, cheat, hustle and pull shirts in the box, make dirty tackles, switch allegiances for money, they all award contracts from bribes, fix matches—that's an abdication of responsibility. This is sport, not the perpetual motion of the globes. We play it, we accept the rules, but we do so with the proviso that they will be enforced. An ideal, yes, but one we, human beings and our institutions, are responsible for adhering to, not fate.
So no, FIFA does not get a pass from me on this one, because we can't just go on letting our cynicism speak for us whenever this sort of thing happens...