Three days after its demonstration against the Netherlands, the France team is playing this Monday (8:45 p.m.) in Ireland its second match counting for the Euro 2024 qualifiers. with diametrically opposed consequences between the two countries. Richard Dunne thus expressed himself in L’Equipe on Thierry Henry and his famous “hand” in November 2009 which had allowed France to qualify during the return play-off for the South African World Cup.
At the end of regulation time, the two teams were tied, each having scored on the other’s field. It was then that the striker of the Blues embarked the ball twice in an illegal way, which had allowed William Gallas to score in the extension (103rd) the goal synonymous with plane ticket for the Cup of world.
“In Ireland, we talk about it almost every year in November, on the anniversary of the meeting, to signal that it has been so many years since it took place, tells the 43-year-old former defender to our team colleague. This is to tell you how much he has not been forgotten by us. We remember it because we played very well that night and we deserved to win against the reigning vice-world champions. We controlled the meeting, until this famous hand. »
“It was bullshit”
Dunne then explains that it was not until they returned to Ireland that he and his teammates saw the images that went around the world. “He (Thierry Henry) felt remorse and he told me that he touched the ball with his hand. I thought then: But why are you telling me? Couldn’t you have told the referee a few minutes earlier? It was a difficult moment for me because I was down because of our elimination and his confession weighed me down even more. »
The former Manchester City central defender (2000-2009) who came to criticize the former Arsenal player above all for having come to sit by his side to console him: “What Henry did at that time- there, it was a bit of staging. A way to show that he is a nice guy and that he wants to apologize… It was rubbish. In his place, I would never have done that. »
He finally explains that he has understanding for this inappropriate gesture: “I must also admit that I understood Henry’s gesture. He controlled with his hand by reflex and I would have been quite capable of doing the same if I had been in the same situation… And if I had contributed in this way to an Ireland goal that evening, I would undoubtedly have become a legend in my country (…) On this action, it is the referee who is at fault: he did not see a hand which was however obvious. »