Irish revel in SWC 'justice'

2010-06-23 11:35

Dublin - Irish newspapers revelled on Wednesday in France's humiliating exit from the Soccer World Cup describing it as poetic justice for Thierry Henry's handball which kept Ireland from going to South Africa.

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"Justice Poetique", commented the Irish Examiner, adding that South Africa's 2-1 victory over France on Tuesday to put them out of the tournament as a "just end to France's tour de farce".

It said Thierry "Le Hand of Dieu" Henry's handball seven months ago, which helped France qualify at Ireland's expense, was never far from the minds of those watching the match in Ireland.

The defeat was a "Final act for Les Miserables" and the "disgraced French squad" ended up last in Group B "with performances on and off the field of play which were more 'les boules' than world-class soccer."

Ireland was furious last November after a clear handball by striker Henry, which set up what turned out to be the decisive goal in their playoff, went unpunished.

The Irish Times said: "France's nightmare World Cup finally ends with inglorious exit".

"It has been the Year of the French. For all the wrong reasons. Yesterday in Bloemfontein, the descent of the French team into disunion and outright anarchy was made complete by South Africa's glorious swan song."

And it added: "France came into South Africa as the popular villains of the cast and exit to gleeful farewells."

"Au revoir!" said the Irish Independent, "Forgive us for gloating but it's allez les bleus, all the way home.

"Perhaps it was la karma or whatever the French is for gypsy curse, but the team which cheated us out of making it to South Africa will return home today in almost complete humiliation.

"Of course, we could be grown-ups and empathise with them in their darkest hour, but Irish fans yesterday did little to conceal their joy," the Independent added.

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