Ken Early: Thierry Henry, a missed flight, and the invisible hand of history

How I ended up missing out on the collective outrage about France’s infamous handball

A videograb of Thierry Henry’s handball that led to France’s goal in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers play-off between France and Republic of Ireland. Photograph: Sky Sports

A videograb of Thierry Henry’s handball that led to France’s goal in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers play-off between France and Republic of Ireland. Photograph: Sky Sports

Everyone now knows that Thierry Henry’s handball in Paris was one of the most blatant crimes ever committed against international soccer, but I have to admit that like the referee Martin Hansson, I missed it in real time.

I was at the Stade de France that night, covering the match for Newstalk, and my memory of the France goal is a blur. I saw the ball coming into the area at what seemed an unpromising angle for France, and then suddenly flashing into the Ireland net, exactly as I feared it would.

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