I made a vow that Hagley Road to Ladywood shouldn't be about football. As tempting as it may be, it just wouldn't particularly fit in with the blog.
Today, however, there's going to be an exception. As you may have overheard already, following yesterday's play-off match against France, Ireland didn't make it to to the World Cup. A blatant handball by French striker Thierry Henry proved crucial.
Henry owned up to it and apologised, which is commendable. Too late, however. France's goal left Ireland little time to reply and proved decisive.
Now, given that the video evidence is blatant and that Henry himself said it was handball, FIFA should take heed to what the Irish FA are saying and order a replay of the match. Surely the French too would rather qualify in less controversial fashion.
Above all, if the result stands and cheating gets the official stamp, any future 'Fair Play' campaign as sponsored by FIFA or UEFA would simply look like an absolute joke. Just look at the official FIFA Fair play webpage.
"The generic concept of fair play is a fundamental part of the game of football", it says, adding that: "The Fair Play Campaign was conceived largely as an indirect result of the 1986 FIFA World Cup™ in Mexico, when the handball goal by Diego Maradona stimulated the admirable reaction of the England coach, Sir Bobby Robson".
Also: "Children need strong values to grow up with, and football, being a team sport, makes them realise how essential discipline, respect, team spirit and fair play are for the game and for life".