Henry offers helping hand

France's Thierry Henry shakes hands with head coach Raymond Domenech after a loss to South Africa...

France's Thierry Henry shakes hands with head coach Raymond Domenech after a loss to South Africa in the 2010 World Cup. (REUTERS/Jorge Silva)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:48 PM ET

PORT ELIZABETH – Thierry Henry apparently wants to lend a helping hand.

This time without touching the ball.

Henry, whose now infamous “Hand of Fraud” play helped France despicably get by Ireland in a World Cup qualifier, has reached out to French president Nicolas Sarkozy. He’d like to explain how Les Bleus humiliated their entire country with their actions at South Africa 2010.

“Henry called the president from South Africa to tell him that he wanted to see him on his return,” a statement from the presidential palace, L’Elysee, read.

The two men are scheduled to meet Thursday, the same day Sarkozy will hold a government think-tank session involving Prime Minister Francois Fillon and sports minister Roselyne Bachelot in an effort to find out the cause of the team’s implosion.

“Those responsible for this disaster must accept the consequences, first the players, then the team management and after them the football federation,” Bachelot said.

While the players deserve their share of the blame for their boorish behaviour after striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home for alleged insubordination, outgoing manager Raymond Domenech showed poor sportsmanship by refusing to shake hands with South Africa manager Carlos Alberto Parreira after the 2-1 Bafana Bafana victory Tuesday that sent the French home without a win.

Meanwhile, midfielder Florent Malouda issued a sincere “I’m sorry” to all the team’s loyal supporters.

“I want to apologize to the French fans in the name of the players for our poor run,” Malouda told the French publication, L’Equipe.

“We are not proud of what we’ve done. Maybe we didn’t have exemplary behaviour. I don’t know how we’ll be forgiven.”

They won’t be. Not in the immediate future anyway.

Not when they’ve made themselves laughing stocks across the globe.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca


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