The Stat Line of the Night – 11/18/09 – Antawn Jamison
Thierry Henry Handball Downs Ireland (Video)
Thierry Henry is one of the greatest and most recognized names in international soccer. His success on the pitch has been off the charts in both club and international play. On top of that, his face has become well-known worldwide from his many sponsors and advertisers, one of which are the famous Gillette commercials where he stars alongside Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. All three seem to be down on their luck late. Federer is fighting with refs, Woods is throwing clubs into crowds, and now this.
The new thing Henry has to add to his list of actions that have led to notoriety is cheating. Yeah you heard that right. And this wasn’t just a little bit of accidental subtle cheating. This was a full-on handball he committed which directly led to a goal that would push France past Ireland in a World Cup qualifying playoff.
Here’s how it goes down. It is 13 minutes into the overtime period with both teams tied 1-1 (over the course of the tournament, so the next goal would win the World Cup spot). Right in front of the Irish goal the ball goes flying past Henry and he uses his hand to knock it down and kick it to his teammate William Gallas for the header right into the net. Not accidentally, mind you. Not subtly. It was a totally visible and obvious handball.
Unfortunately for the Irish team, the deed is done. Henry even admitted to the fact that he purposely committed the handball, but the game is already on record. And we think the officiating is bad in the States. The US screw ups don’t hold a card to this one. Well, maybe the Lakers-Kings playoff series from 2001, but that’s about it.