Parreira sees some good coming out of Henry handball

December 5th, 2009 - 11:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Thierry Henry Cape Town, Dec 5 (DPA) South African coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, whose side were drawn into a group at the World Cup finals that includes 1998 world champions France, said Saturday that some good could come out of the Thierry Henry handball incident.
The Barcelona striker clearly handled the ball before passing to William Gallas, who scored France’s equaliser against Ireland in the play-offs, which then saw the French through to the finals. The referee, who did not see the incident, allowed the goal to stand.

The incident caused worldwide controversy, with the Irish football federation, as well as several French politicians calling for a replay, which the sport’s controlling body FIFA turned down.

Ireland then asked to be included in the World Cup as 33rd team, which was also rejected.

FIFA has announced though that their disciplinary committee will investigate the incident with Henry possibly facing sanctions.

During Friday’s draw ceremony in the Cape Town International Convention Centre, there were some jeers and heckles when France was drawn to play South Africa for the second time on the big stage.

Then hosts France beat South Africa 3-0 in the group stage en route to the 1998 title.

Asked at a press conference on Saturday whether he thought France would struggle to recover from the controversy, Parreira said he did not think so.

“When it comes to the moment of truth and the actual game is kicked off, players will have forgotten about Henry. It was shameful and France would not be in World Cup but for that goal,” he said.

“But if there is one good thing that comes out of this whole situation, it is that FIFA has said they will look into the question of referees and technology.

“Before they always said that it would not happen, now they are considering it. The whole world was asking for it to be introduced and now there is that possibility.

“The Henry incident was a starting point and that is a good thing,” Parreira said.

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