Henry risks further wrath
France's Thierry Henry has admitted it 'was neccesary to exploit what was exploitable' against Ireland in the World Cup play-offs.
Last Updated: 20/11/09 8:47am
France captain Thierry Henry has risked further wrath from Republic of Ireland after admitting it 'was neccesary to exploit what was exploitable' regarding his handball in their World Cup play-off.
The Irish have branded the striker a 'cheat' after he handled the ball in the build-up to William Gallas' extra-time goal in Wednesday's second leg, which gave Les Bleus a 2-1 aggregate win and a place in South Africa next summer.
Ireland's Football Association has submitted a written request to Fifa asking for a replay following the highly controversial events in Paris, but a source at world football's governing body has said there is 'no way' the plea will be answered.
Henry has already admitted to handling the ball and has now apologised, but the Barcelona star has also threatened to cause fresh outrage after confessing that he needed to help his side respond to Robbie Keane's first-half strike.
He said on his Twitter page: "I'm not the referee, but if I hurt someone I'm sorry.
"It was not a beautiful match. It was just neccesary to exploit what was exploitable.
"The Irishmen could have doubled their lead two or three times. The ball ran up against my hand and I continued to play, the referee did not whistle and there was a goal.
"I would have preferred that it happened differently but this is not down to me - it is the referee. However, I do not believe our qualification is stolen.
"I said to Richard Dunne that the ball had touched my hand, but he told me, 'you are not to blame'."
When asked if Henry should have owned up, the forward's former manager at Arsenal, Frenchman Arsene Wenger, said on television in his homeland: "One should not say. Well, one should but one does not.
"We know the pressure and what is at stake. France should not gain qualification with these things. All the stadium has seen the handball, but the referee has not.
"This is not the French way and football should learn from this. In the end we qualified because of a referee's mistake."