'Henry admitted he cheated,' declares devastated Dunne
THIERRY HENRY and Richard Dunne lay prone in the penalty area where just a few minutes earlier, a travesty of justice had thieved an Irish team their fleeting chances of glorious triumph.
Dunne knew he had cheated. Henry tried to explain. Words did not need to be spoken. But they were. "I handled it," the French captain confided. His admission was superfluous. "I didn’t mean it," Henry continued.
Dunne takes up the tale of woe.
"He told us we deserved to win. How is that supposed to make me feel? It makes me feel worse. He’s admitted he cheated. We should have won the game. He just said 'that's it'.
"He just said he handled it, he didn’t mean it. Looking at it, it’s quite obvious he did mean it. It’s there for everyone to see and they’re not going to change it now."
Liam Brady stormed through the bowels of the Stade De France declaring that this had been "a bad day for football".
"When it comes to the crunch, the big teams always seem to go through. With the draw, they were wanting Portugal and France to go through and they did," he said.
Dunne lingered to expand the worries about such a conspiracy in a crucible where technology is still deemed an annoying irrelevance.
“It’s ridiculous. Unfortunately it’s what we thought was going to happen, where the World Cup is run by people who decide who get there so it’s difficult to take,” he said.
"It’s not even a hard decision when you look at it.
"I mean there’s two reasons why it should have been disallowed. He’s probably given us a couple of decisions during the game and felt he had to give the French team a big one. They’re the orders he’s given and that’s the way he goes.
"The referee said he was 100pc that he didn’t handle it and then Thierry Henry came and told us that he did. I think it’s quite blatant we were cheated.
"The linesman is in line with it and he should give offside to start with. Surely one of them can see that he’s handled it, everyone else has seen it. It’s one of those that wouldn’t even need a replay.
"At the stage of the game and the way it was going, it’s the biggest decision I’ve ever suffered. We deserved to win the game, we could have scored a couple of more goals. It’s one of those things. It gives them a lift and knocks the stuffing out of it. To give big decisions on that in big games is wrong. Platini wants France there.
"The referee spoiled his own performance, not ours. We can be proud of the way we performed and pleased with the effort and the result after 90 minutes gives us hope and encouragement for the next campaign. It’s just disappointing.
"The manager is not happy, understandably. I’m sure there’ll be repercussions. But as players there’s nothing we can do. They probably wouldn’t even answer the phone to the FAI. They’re all celebrating. FIFA run this thing."