Thierry Henry has opened up about that infamous hand-ball against Ireland in Paris, and has expressed his surprise at the reaction to the incident by claiming it was like he had killed someone.
The Social Media backlash to Thierry Henry's handball was like nothing we had ever seen, back in November 2009. Petitions were formed, Facebook groups were joined, and YouTube videos were made on mass as Irish soccer fans struggled to believe the injustice in allowing that goal to stand and subsequently eliminating Ireland from World Cup qualification. Henry himself has had the incident follow him ever since, and while making an appearance on French TV he expressed his feelings on the situation in more depth than we have seen before.
You're talking about people I spent so many times on the pitch with! I just said them, 'Yes, it was hand, I'm sorry.' And you know what? They told me: 'We don’t blame you'.
I saw Liam Brady, the Arsenal legend, and he asked me: ‘Did you touch it with your hand?’ And I answered, ‘Yes, it was my hand.’ I spoke to the press that night. I could have ignored them but I didn’t. I spoke honestly. It was a reflex. A reflex by a competitor, just like when you reach out for the ball on the line when your goalkeeper is beaten.
When I see Messi scoring against Espanyol, diving to touch the ball with his hand, people say, ‘What a genius, now he is closer than ever to Maradona.’ But when it was me, it was like I had killed someone.
The bitterness towards Henry for his actions that night is still present in many Irish football fans, but it would seem now that the majority wish that we could all just move on from something that happened five and a half years ago. Maybe this is the closure that we all need?
Probably not. But keep in mind, the French brought it up this time, so it's not just the Irish who are obsessed by the incident.
via Irish Examiner.