World brands French footballer Henry a cheat

Posted By: Staff

London, Nov.20 (ANI): The world has turned on French football star Thierry Henry, branding him a cheat, even as Irish football chiefs have approached FIFA with a demand for a replay of the World Cup tie.

It maybe recalled that Henry's blatant handball led to William Gallas' decisive goal against the Irish two days ago.

FIFA, however, insists there will be no replay.

The Sun quoted Henry's former Arsenal and France team-mate Emmanuel Petit, as saying: "The feeling among the French public is one of embarrassment.

"More and more often we see people cheating to reach their targets so Thierry's handball will not send out a good message," he added.

French legend David Ginola added: "I do not feel very proud to be French at the moment. Something should be done. The whole world saw it was handball. I am very embarrassed."

Henry's stomach-turning act meant France won the World Cup play-off 2-1 on aggregate to reach next summer's finals.

Petit and Henry were team-mates when France lifted the World Cup in 1998. Another '98 winner, Bixente Lizarazu, slammed France coach Raymond Domenech on live radio.

Domenech refused to answer questions about the handball and invited Lizarazu to attend a qualification party hosted by the French FA.

But the former defender replied: "France have done nothing. I'm in no mood for a party."

A FIFA spokesman dashed hopes of a replay, saying: "The rules of FIFA are absolutely clear and the referee's decisions in the game are final." (ANI)

Story first published: Friday, November 20, 2009, 13:14 [IST]
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