Ex-Arsenal and Spurs star defends Henry handball

Almost four years to the day since Thierry Henry's controversial handball, William Gallas has re-opened the debate.

The Perth Glory defender, 36, has just returned to football after leaving Spurs in the summer, but was the man who turned home Henry's pullback after the former Arsenal and Barcelona had famously handled the ball to keep it in play.

Gallas believes that any Ireland player would've played on too had they handballed it, defending Henry' actions in the process.

We had to qualify for the World Cup and we were all treated like cheats! I even heard a pundit say he was ashamed to see France go to the World Cup in those conditions...Football is an industry of contradictions, and I think that many people used this example as a way to get at (France coach Raymond) Domenech.

“Would I have confessed to the referee (if I was Henry)? Let’s not be a hypocrite about it: there is no room to have that type of attitude when you are playing at the top level. Do you really think that if an Irish player had handled the ball in a goal that took them to the World Cup, he would have gone to the referee to get him to disallow it?

“You may want to dream (it’s possible) but not in this situation. The pressure is simply too great.”

Gallas' comments come just days before France are once again set to enter the World Cup playoffs, as Didier Deschamps' men look to avoid a similar controversial situation this over the coming week.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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