Well-versed and cursed
FEW would associate Northern Irish fury over their recent 1-0 defeat in a World Cup play-off first leg with a Roman poet from 2,000 years ago.
But the referee, who wrongly awarded the contentious penalty against Corry Evans (right), was named Ovidiu Hagan. His first name is derived from the Latin poet Ovid, exiled by the Emperor Augustus to Tomis – the modern-day Constanza – in Romania.
This curious fact probably had little bearing on Corry’s aggrieved wife Lisa, who, after the erroneous decision, called Mr Hagan a “Romanian gypsy c***”. Corry has since apologised, on his wife’s behalf, for tweeting “comments published in the heat of the moment”. Let’s hope Mrs Evans may be a little more circumspect if this evening’s ref has a name derived from, say, Catullus or Virgil. Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if he were and had an equally
decisive role – but this time in Northern Ireland’s favour against Switzerland?
The Republic will hope to be similarly blessed on Tuesday night.
Then normal TV service will be resumed on Saturday for those of us champing at the bit for the sheer freneticism of a Premier League programme – starting with a very tasty North London lunchtime derby.