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France Manager Admits Thierry Henry Wanted Rematch After Infamous Handball Against Ireland Ahead of Dublin Return

France Manager Admits Thierry Henry Wanted Rematch After Infamous Handball Against Ireland Ahead of Dublin Return

France’s former manager, Raymond Domenech, has revealed that Thierry Henry wanted a rematch after his infamous handball against Ireland in 2009. The two teams are set to meet again in a Euro 2024 qualifier, 15 years after their most well-remembered encounter in Dublin. In 2009, France were close to crashing out of the World Cup and had to go through a play-off to make the tournament despite their star-studded squad. Standing in their way were an Ireland side punching above their weight under Giovanni Trapattoni, and they only narrowly lost the first leg 1-0 thanks to Nicolas Anelka’s solitary strike. In the second leg, Robbie Keane equalised after 30 minutes, and managed to push favourites France to extra-time as they threatened to cause a major upset. However, Henry’s infamous intervention prevented that from happening when he stopped a free-kick from going out of play with his hand, before assisting William Gallas for what turned out to be the match-winner. Ireland were outraged and Henry’s status as a much-loved Premier League great took a serious knock with ‘cheat’ headlines on every newspaper. Ireland even sent FIFA a request for a rematch, which was turned down, but it’s now been revealed that Henry would have been up for it.

Speaking before France’s first return to Ireland since that game, Domenech has revealed he was keen for justice to be done. “I went to see the journalists, and they were all sad. I asked what had happened, ‘You’re sad, but we have qualified?’ They said, ‘Have you not seen what happened with Thierry Henry?’ I can understand the Irish were angry, as it was a big mistake by the referee. But it was still 1-0, nobody was qualified and nobody was eliminated.” He continued: “For Henry, even in France it was difficult. He wanted us to play the game again, but it was too late. Because of all the games, I am not sure when we could have played it. But I would have preferred to have done it again. We were so bad in this game that it would have been impossible to have done that twice. I don’t know how we qualified, Ireland were better than us in the game. Our best player was our goalkeeper.”

The incident caused outrage and is still remembered today as one of the most controversial moments in football history. However, it also highlights the importance of fair play and sportsmanship in football. While Henry’s actions may have helped his team win the game, they ultimately tarnished his reputation and left a sour taste in the mouths of many football fans around the world. It’s important for players to remember that their actions on the pitch can have far-reaching consequences and that they should always strive to play fair and with integrity.

As France and Ireland prepare to face off once again, it’s clear that this match will be closely watched by football fans around the world. While the two teams may have moved on from their infamous encounter in 2009, the memories of that night will undoubtedly linger on for many years to come. It’s up to both teams to ensure that this match is played in the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship, and that they do their best to represent their countries with pride and honour. Only time will tell who will emerge victorious in this highly anticipated match-up, but one thing is for sure – it’s sure to be an exciting and memorable game for all involved.

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