Friday, November 20, 2009


"The ball hit my hand, I will be honest. It was a handball, you can clearly see it. (Sebastien) Squillaci went to jump with two Irish players, I was behind him and the next thing I know the ball hit my hand. It was a handball, but I'm not the ref. I told (the referee) but he said to me the same. "You are not the ref'." Thierry Henry (it's unclear whether this was said just after the goal or at the end of the match.)

THE NEW PAPER page 72 Friday 20 November 2009
When Florent Malouda floats a free-kick into Ireland's penalty box, Sebastien Squillaci appears to be in an offside position. The assistant referee, however, fails to raise his flag. Squillaci misses his header, and the ball bounces towards Thierry Henry, who uses his hand to touch the ball twice to prevent it from going out of play. Both the referee and his assistant failed to spot it. Then, henry pushes the ball for William Gallas to head in from close range.

"After the goal, [Henry] should have had the decency not to celebrate. Perhaps he would have done better to stay calm." Fabio Cannavaro

"That is the worst France team I have seen in a long time. Over the two legs Ireland were the best by a mile. There has to be fair play but there was a lot at stake. What can you do? Fine them? There is a place at the World Cup Finals at stake." Burney goalkeeper Brian Jenssen

"I am sad because the referee could have asked his linesman and Henry also. I'm sure he could have asked Henry to confirm, but it was not done. I'm sure if he would have asked Henry, he would admit it. I don't mean it was Henry's fault. It was not about him, it was about fate." Rep of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni

"He's said it hit his hand accidentally but if you look at it you can clearly see it hit his hand twice. I'm not sure (his reputation) has been tarnished - it doesn't look great but he's got his team to the World Cup Finals. If it had been one of our team we'd have probably done the same. The blame doesn't necessarily fall on him but he's handled it, everyone can see it around the world." Sean St Ledger

"I asked Thierry Henry after the game and he said 'I handled it but I didn't mean it'. When you look at the film I think he kept the ball in play and he meant it. I wouldn't go down the road of (calling it) cheating, the players seek every advantage they can." Ireland's assistant manager Liam Brady

"We feel cheated. We were the better team over the two legs. It's cost a lot of our dreams. As a boy I used to dream of playing in the World Cup, and now I'm not. I don't understand why we haven't got replays in this day and age. You can get replays within 10, 30 seconds and it would have helped today." Sean St Ledger

"Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini are all probably clapping hands, Platini sitting up there on the phone to Sepp Blatter, probably texting each other, delighted with the result." Robbie Keane

He criticized the late decision to seed the play-off ties when it emerged that established football powers such as France, Portugal and at one stage Germany could be involved.

"Germany had a chance of being in the play-offs as well. With two massive countries there's no way in a million years is there going to be fair draw." Robbie Keane

"The time has now come to start using video technology to make sure we get the right decision. For a sport that is so high profile, with so much money and so much prestige at stake, it has to be used. You can bring in as many assistant referees behind the goals as you like but until there is technology, there will continue to be debatable decisions." PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor

"They said cheats never prosper - on Wednesday night they did!" Former FIFA referee Graham Poll

"Henry is saying he is an honest guy but to get away with murder like that you can't justify it. I'm not going to hold back. He didn't do it on purpose...blah blah blah- he put it down to his right foot. He didn't do it on purpose? My 'beep'. I won't say the word cheats - but I said it (on this occasion)." Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen

Iain Macintosh argued that Henry has been like this lately (these three years) and he is not surprised. He said it started after Arsenal lost to Barcelona in the Champions League final.

"Next time I'll learn to dive maybe" he raged after the game, "but I'm not a woman."

Then it started:
Weeks after the Champions League final, he was nudged in the chest by Carlos Puyol in France's World Cup second-round clash with Spain. Henry collapsed to the ground clutching his face as if his nose was about to fall off. France scored from the resulting free-kick and Spain were eliminated.

The following season, Wigan visited the Emirates Stadium. Henry ran past Emerson Boyce, cut into the touchline and then crashed to the ground. Boyce hadn't touch him. No one had touch him. His head was facing towards the referee before he hit the ground.

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