Date: 20th November 2009 at 5:47pm
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Thierry Henry believes the fairest solution would be to replay the France v Ireland World Cup qualifier playoff game, which was decided in France’s favor by a William Gallas goal after Henry handled in the penalty area.

‘The fairest solution would be to replay the game but it is not in my control.’

You know, this is subtle and even more despicable. Henry has a reputation about being ‘honest’ and ‘fair’ which of course is rubbish but a very clever image trick by the Frenchman. He is keen to preserve this reputation, therefore he’s suggesting a replay – after FIFA confirmed that it would not be possible as the referee’s ruling is final and irreversible.

So, Henry speaks about fair play now that there are no consequences. He could have proved his honesty and fairness very easily: all he should have done was to hold up his hands and admit they touched the ball, right on the spot. Then the referee might not have awarded the goal. Who knows?

He said it had been an instinctive reaction that he had handled the ball. It might even be true but he knew he had handled (and it can be called deliberate as instinctive is not accidental) so it’s cheating, no matter how you look at it. But OK, he took advantage of the referee’s error and celebrated World Cup qualification which was very important for him and his teammates. That is something that anyone can understand.

But talking about a ‘fair solution’ now, when he knows the result will stand anyway? That is tasteless and detestable. He should have kept his mouth shut instead of tarnishing his reputation even more. The fairest solution, I repeat, would have been to inform the referee right on the spot. But it had not occurred to Henry that time: he had been busy celebrating.

(By the way, our very own John O’Shea picked up an injury in the game after missing a glorious chance to put Ireland two up. Not the best night for the big man…)