The hand of Thierry: what happened to Ireland’s 2009 World Cup close calls?

Injustice is a funny thing in the world of football, because as the song goes: you can’t always get what you want. Unfortunately, more often than not it’s a bizarre referring decision that prevents you from reaching your goals as opposed to your ability on the pitch. With that in mind, let’s have a little chat about THAT handball from Thierry Henry.

By this point most of you will know the story. Ireland were on the verge of taking France to penalties in their World Cup play-off, when Thierry Henry’s double handball helped Les Bleus book their ticket to South Africa. So in short, everyone in football spent a good few weeks hating the Frenchman’s guts.

There were demands from the Irish FA for the game to be replayed, a petition to insert Ireland into the tournament as the 33rd team, and many more protests of that nature. Of course none of them paid off, but it’s the thought that counts right?

The 11 brave souls that started that game will likely still think about it to this day, even though the likes of Damien Duff claim that they don’t hold any grudges. No seriously, we’re supposed to believe that.

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So as the Irishmen and women reading this cry into their cornflakes, let’s take a moment to appreciate that being a linesman is an extremely difficult job. Sometimes your view is blocked and sometimes you just make the wrong call, but they’re all human beings – and they deserve a touch of respect.

Still, we wouldn’t want to live with that. Fair play for getting away with it, Thierry.