Henry: I 'exploited the exploitable'
2009-11-20 - Added by
Thierry Henry has risked angering Republic of Ireland fans further by offering that he simply had to cheat in making his crucial handball, abusing the discretion and position of the referee.
The France striker had twice previously rejected the chance to come clean and admit his intent in controlling the ball with his hand in the build-up to William Gallas' decisive goal which put his side through to the World Cup finals.
He choose not to own up to referee Martin Hansson in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and acknowledged only that the ball had hit his hand in post match interviews, insisting that it had been purely accidental.
And now the 32-year-old striker has dug a deeper hole for himself, by affirming that he had consciously thought out his actions, cheating as far as he could without detection in order to give France their crucial advantage.
"It was not a beautiful match. It was just necessary to exploit what was exploitable," he is quoted as saying on skysports.com.
In his previously comments on the incident, Henry has opted to put the blame squarely at the door of Swedish official Martin Hansson, apologising on Thursday over his part in the affair via his Twitter page.
"Im not the referee... but if i hurt some one im sorry," the Barcelona striker tweeted.
This was a stance maintained from a post match interview when he questioned whether it should be him or the referee taking the considerable flack over the event.
He also admitted that he would have preferred the game to have been decided differently, keeping up the 'ball-to-hand' line, but explained that he did not believe that Raymond Domenech's side had cheated their way to victory.
"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," he concluded.