Henry almost quit France over lack of support after handball controversy

23 November 2009 11:08
France captain Thierry Henry admits he considered quitting international football following the uproar caused by his part in the goal which sent Les Bleus to the World Cup finals at the Republic of Ireland's expense.

The Barcelona striker's blatant handball in the build-up to William Gallas' extra-time equaliser last Wednesday night went unpunished and sent the French through 2-1 on aggregate.

No getting away with it: Henry was caught on camera

        HAVE YOUR SAY.     Have you lost all respect for Thierry Henry? France star Thierry Henry blatantly cheated with his handball that helped his country reach the World Cup finals at the expense of Republic of Ireland. The forward earned a reputation as one of the greatest players to ever grace the Premier League with class on and off the pitch. But is that now overshadowed by his act of cheating? TELL US WHAT YOU THINK Henry knows his reputation will always be marked by events in Paris last weekand claims he contemplated retiring before opting to continue his France career.

The 32-year-old told L'Equipe: 'Yes, I asked myself the question.

'Without the support of my family, I perhaps would not have made the same decision.

'But I will always fight to the end - even if what just happened will beengraved. You can always forgive but you cannot always forget.'

He added: "Despite everything that has happened, the fact of feeling abandoned, I do not let go of (playing for) my country.

'After the game, and even for the next two days, I felt alone, truly alone. It was only after I sent my statement that people from the French federation appeared.'

The former Arsenal striker released a statement on Friday claiming a replay of the World Cup qualification play-off would be 'the fairest solution' - hours after FIFA had ruled that the result could not be changed and the match could not be replayed.

But he insisted: 'We worked on this release with my lawyer without knowledge that the international federation would meet the same day on the subject.'

Henry, France's record scorer with 51 goals, opted to celebrate with his team-mates rather than immediately admit his handball offence to referee Martin Hansson, and concedes now that that was a mistake.

'I should not have done it,' he said. 'But frankly, it was uncontrollable. After all that had happened. yes, I regret it. That's why right after I spoke with the Irish one by one.' 

VIDEO: Henry keeps his hands to himself back at Barcelona.

 MARTIN SAMUEL: One rule for Thierry Henry, another for defendersGallas has a ticket to ride: Irish fans are quick to forgive French star on EurostarPatrick Collins: Thierry, you cheated and cost the Irish their dreamFrance star Patrice Evra offers Ireland World Cup replay. on his PlayStationHenry should have been punched by cheated Irish, suggests Eric Cantona Guilty Henry holds his hands up: France must replay Irish play-offWenger and Ferguson call for TV replays in wake of Henry's handballTrapattoni fumes: Handball murdered us. and what have I done to Blatter? Play it the Thierry way! Web whizkids launch Henry game after handball

 Explore more:People:Thierry Henry, Martin Hansson, WILLIAM GALLASPlaces:Barcelona, Paris, Republic of Ireland, France

Source: Daily_Mail

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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