Tournament News

Zidane: Henry is no cheat

2009-11-22 18:44
A TV still of Thierry Henry's controversial handball. (AFP)

Paris - World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane says former France team-mate Thierry Henry "is not a cheat" despite his handball helping his country qualify for the World Cup at Ireland's expense.

Zidane, who won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship with Henry, said on Saturday on French radio that the captain "made a big on-field error" but "is not a cheat."

Henry's handling set up William Gallas' equalizer in Wednesday's 1-1 draw that sent France to next year's tournament.

"Thierry Henry's handball is just a match fact," Zidane told Canal Plus television. "I'll support Henry. I think he's not a cheat. He acknowledged that he handled the ball. I've known him for 10 or 12 years and I know that he's not a cheat.

"I'm just saying he made a poor decision like I did, too. Everybody makes mistakes."

The Irish appealed to the French federation to agree to a replay but were turned down.

Amid growing pressure for an apology from Henry, Zidane hinted that Henry has already done enough: "In my eyes, saying that he would be ready to replay the match sounds like an apology."

Zidane, who retired after being sent off for a headbutt in the 2006 World Cup final loss to Italy, understood Ireland's anger but said this kind of incident was common on a pitch.

He also suggested that Henry's career would not be affected by that incident despite analogies made with Diego Maradona's 'Hand of God' in Argentina's victory over England in the 1986 World Cup.

"He'll get over it. Those are difficult times anybody has to go through. It won't haunt him. It's part of the game."

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Updated: Hottest SWC WAGs

Updated: Hottest SWC 2010 WAGs

Vote

World Cup 2010 is over and the country is returning to normal - but have you moved on yet?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.