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Thierry Henry’s Responsibility

Henry Handball

In my piece yesterday, I discussed all of the reasons that Ireland’s potential qualification was better for World Football than France’s would be. I detailed my reasoning without any mention that a group of hard working custodians of the game should not be denied by a group of talented but unsporting cheats. But that is what ended up being the net result of the match on Wednesday.  (Aiden McGeady is the one Ireland player we will exempt from this comparison)

But alas, Giovanni Trapattoni’s side has been defeated. This is despite the fact that Trapattoni has been able to get a group of Championship and low end Premier League players (with a few exceptions) to play at a level higher than that of an allegedly world class French squad. Trap’s squad also has upheld the honor and dignity of the sport, while the France squad managed by a man who stopped selecting Robert Pires to the side because he was born in the wrong month, has brought the game into tremendous disrepute.

I detailed on Tuesday how Trapattoni could set up his team to stalemate the match in Paris. But to Ireland’s credit they didn’t adopt the negative tactics that I suggested and went forward creating many more legitimate chances in the second leg than the much hyped French side did in the entire 210 minute tie.

Given that Thierry Henry’s blatant handball, denied Ireland participation in South Africa 2010 and the stain his action leaves on the  world game and Irish nation he must make amends for the good of football.

Henry has to take one of two choices to redeem himself and avoid being placed in the cheat category with Diego Maradona.

As a wealthy footballer who has played for several big clubs in the three biggest leagues on the planet, Henry has made plenty of money. He should out of his own volition donate to the Football Association of Ireland a sum equivelent to the money that the FAI would have generated by particpating in next summer’s World Cup


He can call for FIFA to authorize a replay, played in Paris,  sometime before the December 4th World Cup draw.

Failure to take either action should forever taint Henry and will undermine the legacy of his great years at Monaco, Juve, Arsenal and Barca.   If Henry’s game is really Fair Play and he is as serious as he claims about his efforts to promote football (such as the Stamp out Racism campaign) he needs to speak up immediately.

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  1. George

    November 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    The game has been damaged yet again and fifa do nothing! This has tainted next years World Cup and there will be millions that will support other teams against France because of the way they qualified. Even the people of France are ashamed of henry which says it all. If I were henry I would consider emigrating after all he can afford to.

    Expect he will get over it – cheats always can live with their actions.

    henry cheated and cleverly looked for a way to save himself from criticism by his statements and actions following. He didn’t look as though he felt sorry immediately following the goal or when the final whistle went. An attempt to disguise his cheating to the ref???????????????????

    What is pathetic is the way his fellow football friends (Beckham for instance) defend his cheating except his own countryman Cantona who said he would have thumped him if he were Dunne.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. The Gaffer

    November 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    There’s a lot of people saying things like ‘move on,’ and ‘these things happen,’ but until it happens to you or your country, you don’t know how it feels. To come so close for qualifying to the biggest tournament in the world; to spend three years trying to qualify, and then everything comes down to one cheat making a stupid decision. This is something that people aren’t going to forget and brush off. It takes time to heal, but for many of us, we’ll never forget Henry’s poor decision and he’ll be tainted with that for the rest of his life.

    I’m not Irish, but I’m Welsh, so I can relate. Life is tough, but you need to sympathize with these supporters and put yourself into their shoes.

    The Gaffer

    • Darren

      November 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm

      Fair enough Gaffer, but to sit there and cry that Henry is the worst villiam in football, and to ban him is just plain dumb. Get mad at FIFA, get mad at the unwillingness to have technology involved so that these unfortunate events cease to happen. Get mad at the referee’s who missed the handball and allowed the goal to stand. Its sucks for Ireland and their countrymen, and fans, no doubt. But get some perspective, and realize where the blame and anger should be pointed at. And that should be at FIFA and the referees, not at the individual player.
      And when I say not at the player, I mean calling for boycotts and like like are pathetic. People like this Kartik Krishnaiyer seem to think that Henry is worse than every average footballer, and its completely false and narrowminded. Sure, if it happened to my club and/or country, I would hate the player. But I would realize that any could and would do it if they got away with it. Players try to get away with illegal actions for the entire duration of a football match. That is indisuputable.

  3. Martin Johns

    November 20, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    If Henry can cheat like this, why not allow everyone to catch the ball with their hands like Irish football. Maybe they can bring baseball bats and horses as well to help them win – it is horrible and it will mean this World Cup is a cheaters cup not a Fair Play cup.

  4. Ray Allen

    November 20, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Henry and France FFF should be ashamed of themselves. By Richard Dunne allowing Henry to embrace him after the game the old adage rang through
    “keep your friends close but keep your enemy closer.

    Cheat Henry – South Africa will greet you with disdain

  5. john

    November 20, 2009 at 10:22 am

    i think ireland should have a re-match or something

  6. Fergus

    November 20, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Henrys assertion that it was the refs job to spot his cheating should certainly put Henry’s Wife/girlfriend(boyfriend prhaps) on warning. it will not be his fault the next time he”drops his hand”.

  7. French guy

    November 20, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Terribly Sorry for the irish team. They met our colonial team and realized how evil they are.
    Cheaters, mercenaries, working for money only, and not even able to sing the national anthem… I’m not surprised of what happened during the final 3 years ago.

    Even if I’m french, I will support all the teams playing against our team…

  8. Guillermo

    November 19, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    This is how sports are guys, lo siento! Refs are humans, humans make mistakes. They cannot replay the game, maybe in the future they will have instant replay for scenarios like that. FIFA is living in the past, and this mistake has costed them in my opinion.

    Mamame la verga, puto pinche FIFA

  9. Fearmor

    November 19, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    As a proud Irishman I must say that as upset as I am, I don’t think a reply is an option as it sets a bad precedent. Every dive etc… will result in arguments if this reply is allowed.

    I do think that Henry’s second handball was intentional and he therefore cheated and should face a ban. Maybe 3-5 international games, would surely make others think before taking actions like this. But like the Eduardo situation world football will be too scared to give any punishment and nothing will change.

    As regards the article though, please don’t condescend us
    “a group of Championship and low end Premier League players (with a few exceptions)”

    Only one of Ireland’s starting 11 (St. Ledger) plays championship football and I suspect that won’t be for too much longer.

    Given, O’Shea, Dunne and Keane all play for teams that would be regarded as top 6-7, Duff has won two premierships. That is almost half the team.

    Of our 3 subs McGeady and Gibson both have champions league experience….. so although not blessed with talent, we are better then the untalented underdogs that you try to portray us as.

  10. Chris

    November 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Surely this game has to be replayed, there is too much at stake for it just to be brushed off.

    FAX number for FIFA! +41-43-222 7878

    We all know that if it happened up the other end that Platini would already have the rules changed and a replay organised!
    But I would like to point out that anyone that can read French will see that respect to the French people for their reaction of disgust to Henry’s actions, so for the people that France I hope that they go on to do well in the World Cup! I had a look at this link below that has some good football related Facebook Statuses for the World Cup in its Facebook Status Generator:

    Fair Play must shine through and FIFA have got a big message to send out now by banning Henry from the World Cup!

    • Darren

      November 19, 2009 at 3:01 pm

      RIIIIIIGHT. Muppet

  11. Johnny Keogh

    November 19, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Joe Bean

    with your mentality YOU YOURSELF ARE A CHEAT… simple

  12. hank

    November 19, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    What a bunch of nonsense. I’m surprised Kartik doesn’t call for Henry put himself in stocks and let the Irish fans pelt him with rotten vegetables.

  13. brn442

    November 19, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    The writer and his schoolboy logic again.

    Comparing Henry to what Maradonna did in 86 is ridiculous, and If you have to ask why, maybe you’re following the wrong sport.

    To say that Henry “denied” Ireland a place in the WC? Were they winning the tie when France scored? Or was I watching the wrong match?

    Asking the footballer to compensate the FAI (even though they only tied on aggregate at the time) something that will run in the tens of millions (he’s not that wealthy), or to put the responsibility on Henry to ask for a replay of crucial match is beyond naive – at best, that should be on the FFF, and is without precedent.

    FIFA’s referees blew the call not Henry.

  14. Darren

    November 19, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Not a tragic day for football at all. Just another day where a call was not made where it should’ve been. Happens EVERY day in football. honestly people…

    • Johnny Keogh

      November 19, 2009 at 3:59 pm

      Darren, Not another day in football. A qualification to the biggest tournament possible in footbal.. ARROGANT AND IDIOTIC PONSE

      • Darren

        November 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm

        Actually yes, another day in football in terms of a bad call being made/missed. Calls are missed numorous times in every game. Calls/fouls are made in every game that shouldn’t have been made. That is indisputible. Sure this one happened at a critical time in a critical match for France and Ireland. Tough luck for Ireland, in some degree I feel bad from them. Plus I wanted them there because they have no player good enough to play for Arsenal. Move on people…

  15. Devrozex

    November 19, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    @ The Arsenole

    You state you want people to ‘think about this rationally’, but I got about a paragraph ot two into your article before I was confronted with the following statement:

    “the one that stands out is captain cunttastic, Robbie Keane, the cartwheeling cunt himself. Keeping him as far away from the World Cup as possible is just fine with me.”

    Needless to say thats where my reading concluded, as you contradicted yourself quite fantastically.

    On the subject, as an Irish fan I am of course gutted about last night, but my anger is directed far more at FIFA then Mr. Henry. FIFA made it blatantly clear that they wanted France and Portugal at the World Cup next year, and the referees involved in both these fixtures clearly seemed to be feeling this pressure. Theres no doubt about it, whether you’re Irish, French or whatever, this will be remembered as a truely tragic day for football.

  16. Darren

    November 19, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Worst article ever. Get some damn perspective

  17. mic

    November 19, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    For reasons like this Im not a fan of Football,Stuff like this and players diving is a sham and really does ruin a game that could be so beautiful if played fairly,
    That said I am a true Patroit and hope Ireland does well in every sport we take part in, but Ireland was clearly robbed and a replay should be the very least that should be done.
    Linesmen and ref should get vouchers for specsavers, if not for missin the hand ball then for missin the off side players.

  18. The ArseNole

    November 19, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I wrote an article defending Henry today. I don’t think he deserves nearly the reaction he has gotten for what I believe was an instinctual action in the spur of the moment. Please at least think about this rationally.

  19. DoublePivot

    November 19, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I think FIFA should kick France out and give their place to Sweden. Sweden are just as shit as Ireland or France, but they would bring such hot women to the tournament.

    • Joe Bean

      November 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm

      Awesome. I agree.

    • ed

      November 19, 2009 at 2:26 pm

      100% agree as I live in Ireland I think your idea is the best DoublePivot.

  20. Anthony

    November 19, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Hey Jon, the two statements you made or rather Thierry made the first one as you have it in your cmment caught my attention in terms of the debate of responsibility.

    “He openly admitted the ball struck his hand.”
    *This statement/sentence clearly puts the responsibility of the situation on an inanimate object, the ball, and not the other way around as in, “Yes I struck the ball with my hand” that type of statement would reveal a grown man taking responsiblity. Unfortunately it reveals more about Thierry’s character, stating that in some way he was a victim in the situation, as the ball struck his hand, but as is obvious in video slow motion he did an expert job of striking the ball with his wrist than palm to expertly guide it ever so intebtionally to the right spot. The statement makes Thierry sound like a child not willing to admit the truth after being caught with his hand in the cookie jar, in fact children do give responsibilty to inanimate objects as reasons when caught having made a mess.

    Having said all that and looking at how Thierry has not taken responsibility for the situation, like a bystander being shot by a bullet , “the bullet struck me” “the ball struck my hand” poor victim. In that sense how the hell does this second statement from your comment make any sense?????
    “Henry owes Ireland nothing more than what he has done already, which is his open admission that he handled the ball.” Nope what you have is “He openly admitted the ball struck his hand.” “the ball struck his hand” and “his open admission that he handled the ball.” are contradicting and so yes he does owe an apology in which he takes responsibility as a man not a child. Now its not Thierry Henry’s responsibilty to pursue a rematch or such, that lies squarely with FIFA, the obviously, glaring, crooked governing body, that lacks the sophistication and education to realize their inability to deal with the ongoing cheating that chips away at its credibility, much in the same way politicians rely on our apathy to keep things the same as usual. Corrupt.

    • Jon

      November 19, 2009 at 11:43 am

      Hey Anthony. I wouldn’t put too much stock in my exact choice of words there. I am paraphrasing Henry, not quoting him. I agree that his exact choice of words is relevant, in the sense that it reflects the degree of responsibility that Henry is taking, which I take to be your ultimate point.

      According to ESPN Soccernet, the best we can do for a direct quote is from Henry’s interview with BBC Radio Five Live. Soccernet recounts it this way:

      ”It was a handball, but I’m not the ref,” he said on BBC Radio Five Live. ”The ball hit my arm, fell in front of me and I played it. The ref allowed it. That’s a question you should ask him.”

      So I would say that there is a mixed degree of responsibility there. At first he seems to agree that it was a handball. That strikes me as the sort of statement I assert Henry should appropriately make, which is a proper mea culpa admitting that he was at fault. I agree the second part of the statement does seem to sound more like your interpretation, which is the “I was an innocent bystander” or accidental approach. So I take your point that Henry’s admission is less than clear on his own degree of responsibility. I prefer to read into the former admission that it was a handball as sufficient admission that he was at fault, but was not flagged by the referee.

      So ultimately I would say that I think you’ve just nitpicked my exact words a bit. My overall point in response to Kartik still stands, which is that the best you can ask the player to do is admit the breach of the rules. The rest of the remedies lie with FIFA, a point on which we seem to agree, although you seem less than content with that organization’s credibility. I note, by the way, that the Irish FA have now officially protested the result and asked for a replay.



  21. JESH

    November 19, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Im a les Blues fan.
    Its is unfortunate to see Irish bow out in that fashion. France won it in bad fashion they where the second team in the whole match.

    Henry clearly handed balled no doubt but what is happening now is unacceptable as if no player in the world have hand balled. Its redicouls to ask for a ban for Henry if that’s gona be the case there will a countless number of players banned. Its happened it unfortunate Henry accepted it and he apploagised to the Irsish player and what more you ca ask..Get over it…It happen in sports and it can happen to any team.

    I don’t think this would have been discussed at this magnitude if it was an English team doing this.

    • Dave Trotter

      November 19, 2009 at 1:17 pm

      EXACTY! If it wa an English team….NO TALK WHATSOEVER! Always a double standard by the English.

  22. JF

    November 19, 2009 at 10:38 am

    @ Dave Trotter
    I’m not sure what you define ‘cheating’, but most people would consider it to be the violation of rules or regulations. That is particularly so when it is done to gain an advantage.

    Henry knew the rules and he broke the rules. When Henry admits to hand ball he admits to cheating. Simple as.

  23. YourMom

    November 19, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Henry clearly cheated, but this article is a joke. The two “suggestions” for Henry to “redeem himself” are ludicrous. Either you are an adult operating at a third grade level, or, more likely, your a low level blogger trying to drum up some traffic with outlandish opinions. Either way, this article makes a mockery of this site.

  24. Jon

    November 19, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Hey Kartik, I think you are placing far too heavy a degree of responsibility on Henry to “resolve” the situation and I think there is an incorrect and unfair assumption in your article that it is the player who has any ability to rectify the situation in the first place.

    When a player does something outside of the rules of the game which affects the game, it is not the player’s responsibility to fix it. The game and its rules are administered by its organizing body, whether that be FIFA, UEFA, or the league that the game is played in. It is the association who is responsible for the enforcement of the rules and the ultimate intregrity of the game, not the players. You never see, and I would not expect, a player to administer a self-imposed ban. I have played football for 27 years, including at the collegiate level in North America. I have made my own fair share of questionable tackles. But I would never say “well, I admit that tackle was dirty. I should have gotten a red card but did not. As a result, I voluntarily will sit out the next three games.” The proper process is that, assuming the referee made an error or missed my tackle, the league reviews my tackle and decides to administer punishment in the form of a fine or ban, or not.

    The same is true here. The best you can expect of a player is to admit that they broke the laws of the game. The punishment for that, or restitution, is in the hands of the administrative body. What separates a player of integrity from one lacking is in the willingness to admit the truth. That is the only “reponsibility” you can set at the foot of the player. And in that respect, Henry has done all that he can. He openly admitted the ball struck his hand. He agreed it was and should have been called a handball (he is not pleading that it was ball-to-hand unintentional).

    The responsibility to deal with the consequences of that is not Henry’s. It is FIFA and UEFA’s. Henry owes Ireland nothing more than what he has done already, which is his open admission that he handled the ball.

    It is not Henry’s place to call for a replay, even if he wanted to. Individual players do not and should not have the power to contact FIFA and UEFA and ask those bodies to take action. The member associations have that responsibility. If you want a replay, the Irish FA or the French FA or both can propose a replay and endorse or object to the others position. If a player contacted those bodies I would expect them to be told, rightfully, to take a long walk off a short pier.

    I appreciate the anger, and I even understand those who direct it at Henry, though I think more has been laid at his door than is fair. But be angry at Henry. That’s fine. Don’t tell me he has a “responsibility” to fix it. That’s not.

    • hank

      November 19, 2009 at 1:50 pm

      Best post I’ve read on the subject.

  25. Anthony

    November 19, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Ultimately, there is no accounatability, from the player Thierry Henry, the referees, the aging, corrupt, criminal organization known as FIFA which has yet to implement video playback in the year 2009, suspect to say the least in such high level games on the world stage. Its a real disgusting and disgraceful act of ignorant leadership on the FIFA (Aging, Decaying, Archaic) organizations behalf to show the world *Millions upon millions of fans watching* that they have no regard for such a blatant disreagrd for the fundamental ideals of the sport. It appears that the corrupt attitudes from the inner sanctum of FIFA offices has leaked its pungent toxicity onto the field and into the homes of all the fans around the world. Hey FIFA why dont you listen up, buy a computer, check out what people are saying and come into the world of keeping it honest on the field instead of allowing your legions of fans realize you all do nothing and stand for nothing. Prove the millions wrong, otherwise it appears as it is, you FIFA as well as Thierry Henry, the refs. look like nothing more than the clowns you are in a circus more on the level of a highschool organization than a world sport organization. Millions upon millions saw the obvious, I hope the world cup gets the same attention you provide your fans and the integrity with which your governing body upholds the sport with, ZERO. FIFA, a pathetic bunch of suits with no leadership, integrity or concern for the sport. Well done, VIVA LA CHEATS

  26. Adebayor

    November 19, 2009 at 9:41 am

    u are nut pay ireland. u crazy

  27. jm

    November 19, 2009 at 8:37 am

    I love the outrage against Henry because he is foreign. Michael Owen should be strung up by his ankles for diving against Argentina! He is a cheat, whose reputation should never again be restored! Or, plaudits will gush over his attempted resurgence and fighting spirit.

    Faux outrage by xenophobic sportswriters is all the rage.

  28. Dave Trotter

    November 19, 2009 at 8:29 am

    First of all, it is amazing how the friggen British press is turning this situation around. Henry has admitted that he did handle the ball. And, when I pulled up my first website, they said Henry ADMITS HE CHEATED! No, he admitted that the ball touched his had, NOT THAT HE CHEATED! PURE AND SIMPLE.

    Second, the goal was scored in the 104th minute. Obviously, that goal change the entire play of the game. You all assume that if that goal wasn’t allowed, that France wouldn’t score again. Who knows what happens at that point!

    Third, you all assume that Ireland would have won. If it went to penalty kicks, I would put my money on France to win (considering we don’t have Trezegeut taking the kick).

    This site seems to be quite anti-French. A few months ago a poll was done asking what other league that you would like to see this site cover. Ligue 1 was first place with 29% of the vote. Yet, no coverage. But other leagues that were lowing in the poll are getting coverage.

    Waking up today, I know that I had to add a post on my blog today (which I haven’t). Before I started reading the press to blogs today, I was just going to make a nice reponse to all the talk out there. But since reading everything, this has my blood boiling.

    I wonder how long it will be until the Brits say that we “paid off the refs?” I’m sure that is not far off.

    Still, I guess because of the hand ball by Germany, the US is the rightful winners of the World Cup in 2002 and we should play the entire tourney again because Germany cheated.

    This is all just crazy talk!

  29. Simon

    November 19, 2009 at 7:58 am

    One interesting precedent is when a Chilean player feigned injury in a 1989 World Cup qualifier against Brazil. FIFA reacted by awarding the match 2-0 to Brazil, banning Chile for 4 years, and giving the offending player a lifetime ban. Admittedly, the Henry incident is slightly different but it was still a case of a player cheating and hopefully FIFA will punish the player.

  30. Joe Bean

    November 19, 2009 at 7:52 am

    As a player, I always learned to play until the whistle was blown.

    Can’t blame Henry. Blame the referee that didn’t see it or blame the FIFA for not changing the rules, i.e. adding a referee and/or allowing video replay.

    I’m not a French fan. I’m not an Irish fan either.

    But it’s not Thierry Henry’s fault, and putting a cheater tag on him is not fair. Plus it won’t resolve the main issue : a referee can’t see everything.

    Those two suggestions you make are the comments of an angry fan – that’s all. There’s nothing rational about rescheduling a whole game because of that. Because oh, let’s say we do that, do you have the Irish side start with a 1-0 lead? Come on now..

    And I don’t think giving money to the Irish FA is the solution either.

    • Neil R

      November 19, 2009 at 8:30 am

      Joe Bean – are you on the same planet as the rest of us? How can you say “it’s not Thierry Henry’s fault, and putting a cheater tag on him is not fair”!!!!

      Henry clearley cheated the Irish team from a penalty shootout that may have put the Irish through to the finals.

      Options are now clear: Replay the game or award Rep of Ireland the place in South Africa. If these don’t happen, then football fans should lobby the countries drawn against France in the group stage of the Finals to refuse to play the cheating Gauls. In addition, if FIFA and UEFA want to clean up football and stop all the diving and cheating an example has to be made of Henry – he should either recieve a ban for the group stages or do the honorable thing a resign from International Football.

      As for you Joe – I suspect you don’t even follow football but are merely jumping on the bandwagon.

      • Joe Bean

        November 19, 2009 at 1:48 pm

        Neil, Neil, Neil… you suspected wrong..

        All I was saying is Henry played the whistle, and the whistle never came. If you wanna put a cheater’s tag on every player trying to influence the referee by diving and faking an injury, that’s another story – half of the players in the world do it, the other half don’t play professional. But in that particular case, yes, he did touch the ball with his hand. Yes, he controlled it. But he kept playing until the referee whistled.

        In fact, the referee had caught him, he would have probably deserved to be booked.

        My point is it’s the referee’s responsibility to apply the rules. And until FIFA adjusts, there will always be stuff like that happening, and reminding us the beautiful game is not perfect.

        As for you Neil, please leave partisan arguments aside. I can see from here the little smoke coming out of your ears…

  31. Chowie

    November 19, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Wow KK you could really get a job with wind up radio Talk Sport. Join Mr Parry in trying crazy ideas to get callers & listeners. You must be doing the same here to get hits.

  32. man99utd

    November 19, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Oh please, where’s the respect for the ref everyone….everyone knows they do nothing wrong and can never be accountable….show some respect……

    The refs need to earn our respect, please stop preaching to footballers until you get your own house in order….

  33. THOMAS B.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:44 am

    I’m French
    I feel terrible
    I can’t do anything yet it’s a disgraceful situation…the whole thing…

  34. Leon

    November 19, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Kartik you consistently produce the worst soccer opinions I can find anywhere. You want Henry to demand that his entire country step back from world cup qualification and put itself in doubt again to save his reputation. Or he could also pay Ireland tens of millions of dollars. Yeah, those are two intelligent options, and clearly the only two. Please go back to Major League Soccer Talk as soon as possible.

  35. Aidan Mahon

    November 19, 2009 at 6:04 am

    Being Irish I couldnt believe that goal was allowed.
    In my opinion the question about the need for another official has been well and truly answered and that answer is YES!
    We have been denied World Cup 2010 access from a decision that could have been spotted easily by a goal end official.

    Soccer is going downhill with the cheating, something has to be done.

  36. Jorge Curioso

    November 19, 2009 at 3:40 am

    Two additional comments.

    1. Henry is purely self-serving in his support for the “Stamp out Racism” campaign (which is a fraud in and of itself, but that’s another story).

    2. Looking at the video replay in the post below, it’s evident that another Frenchman, #17, attempted to handle the ball before it even got to Henry.

    DQ them!

  37. Jorge Curioso

    November 19, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Henry should get a 1-year ban, minimum, and France should be disqualified from SA 2010.

    France are a disgrace.

    • Scunner

      November 19, 2009 at 5:24 am

      he should be banned though there’s no chance of 1 year ban. All energy should be focused on giving him a 3 game ban (and friendlies don’t count) meaning he should at least miss the opening group section of the World Cup. With any luck France will be heading home with their cheating philosophy not getting them any further than the group stages. He has gone from a great player to a tarnished player overnight. I’m sure he’s hoping it will all be forgotten come the start of the World Cup but certainly with the UK and Ireland we hang on to this hope of football being about skill and passion. There’s no place for diving or cheating in our game.

    • Darren

      November 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm

      your comment is a disgrace

  38. Peter

    November 19, 2009 at 2:17 am

    We should all boycott this crappy world cup and protest against FIFA. I hope blatter dies a slow and painful death and as for platini, he will watch as his team goes out in the group stages and henry breaks All his legs and arms and cannot play. I mean It let’s all ask for ireland to be reinstated into the world cup at the expense of France.

  39. Logan

    November 19, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Your solutions are completely foolhardy and almost downright stupid. This is going to be something that will not be shut up about for almost a year, and it is only day one. France will go to the World Cup, and I am absolutely sick of hearing how Ireland should be there. THEY DIDN’T WIN! Goals could have come later, or it would have been penalties. I wish it had gone to penalties, and France probably would still have won. Lets face it. Domenech is a complete fool, and should have been let go 2 years ago. France has a great team, but they probably will not progress far, and I could not even imagine the uproar if they won the WC. The real point from this is that replays should be implemented in some way. You cannot really blame the refs, seeing as with the video it is somewhat hard to tell what is going on, much less watching in normal speed. Henry also already admitted to what he did. I also believe the only thing he should do is apologize publicly to everyone, and say that he leaves the decision up to UEFA and FIFA to make a decision on the game. If he does this, I think it takes the blame off of him, and puts it on the institution. Stop crucifying Henry. I would have done the same thing in the situation, and you would too.

    • Dermot Dungan

      November 19, 2009 at 4:07 pm

      why do so many people keep saying Henry only did what anyone would have done, should we only obey the law when there is a chance of getting caught, is it all right to cheat our employer if there is no risk of being caught or lie to gain advantage if there is no possibility of being found out. There are loads of examples of sports men and women behaving honourably but soccer has reached the stage where attempting to gain advantage is now built into the game. diving in the box, feigning injury and appealing for decisions that are plainly not due are now part and parcel of soccer. What a contrast to people like Padraig Harrington who on discovering he had signed for the wrong score returned to admit what had happened in the knowledge he would be disqualifed and loose a large pay cheque. Stop projecting your own low standards onto everyone as an excuse for soccer cheating. Henry has made a career out of projecting the ” Gentleman” image, that now lies in tatters

  40. Eric Altshule

    November 19, 2009 at 1:36 am

    This is a tough situation with no good solutions. As I have already alluded to before, it is really hard when your favorite soccer player of all time is part of such a dishonest travesty.

    The Irish Federation might like Henry’s money, but that would not mean much to the Irish fan who has dreamed of seeing their team play in the World Cup Finals. Furthermore, even if Henry asked for a replay I doubt FIFA would agree. Club teams would be unwilling to release their players and Henry’s request might be seen as an empty gesture.

    The only one who could solve this problem is FIFA, and the only realistic resolution is to pretend the goal never happened, that the game ended 1-1 and that France and Ireland shoot penalties to see who goes to South Africa. This way, club teams would only have to release their players for an evening rather than for the days it would take to prepare for another game.

    Of course, this is all fantasy stuff. The reality is that France will go to South Africa, Ireland will watch it on TV, and Blatter or Platini will say as little as they can possibly get away with on the subject.

  41. Johnny Keogh

    November 19, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Great Article !!!!!!!

    Clearly the fairness of sport has been broken on numerous occasions throughout this World Cup qualifying campaign. It could be branded under match fixing. It is not only the goal that is what has cheated us, it is the overall underlying favoritism within the seeding process that is the real CHEAT. FIFA / Blatter and Platini have got their way, and that is not what football is meant to be all about. Is it illegal to change rules of a tournament half way through to suit your own country, or even other (larger) countries if you have a vested interest? Was there ever a reason provided by FIFA for this besides: Blatter: “We have decided to seed the playoffs”. WHY ?? The goal and Ireland getting knocked out is the sickening end to the disgusting manner MY SPORT is being run. Congratulations Blatter, Platini and Henry… How dare you taint a sport we love and embrace. I demand both Blatter’s and Platini’s resignation for throwing our game into disrepute. How dare you take away our love for a game. Who are you to destroy something so pure to us? Please read the review of the match on “”. No mention of a handball incident. Cowardly, and disgusting. Today I am embarrassed for football, and this time I am not sure of the damage can ever be repaired

    • pee

      November 19, 2009 at 6:07 am

      I agree it sucks, but you want him to PAY Ireland for the refs mistake?!? I mean come on. What other player would cancel their goal on a refs error? This is illogical.

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