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Henry's handball was no Maradona. I should know

Trevor Steven
ON THE BALL WITH <strong>TREVOR STEVEN</strong><br /><br />HAVING been in the England team on the day we were dumped out of the 1986 World Cup by the original Hand of God goal, I know exactly what the Ireland lads will be going through.<br /><br />All that any player wants is to represent their country at the World Cup; that was certainly my dream as a kid. The Irish players were so close to that and some may never get the chance again, so I feel for them.<br /><br />What makes it even worse is that Ireland deserved to win the play-off. <br /><br />But it&rsquo;s unfair to equate Thierry Henry&rsquo;s handball with Diego Maradona&rsquo;s infamous punch. <br /><br /><strong>INSTANT REACTION</strong><br />We can slow it down as much as we want on camera and make it look like Henry had all the time in the world to think about it. But the ball was suddenly just there, it bounced up, hit his hand, he had an instant reaction, he knocked it across goal for William Gallas, and it&rsquo;s in the net.<br /><br />Then Henry&rsquo;s running away, waiting to hear a whistle. And it didn&rsquo;t come.<br /><br />It was split-second and instinctive; Maradona&rsquo;s was worse because it was pre-meditated. I&rsquo;m of the nature that you just get on with it, but I know a few of the England players from 1986 who were invited to a game with Maradona and just wouldn&rsquo;t play in it because of him.<br /><br />It&rsquo;s a bit of a shame because Henry wouldn&rsquo;t normally do that. He rarely gets booked or upsets anyone, and he&rsquo;s one of the nicest guys you could possibly meet. You can&rsquo;t bracket him with Maradona.<br /><br /><strong>VIDEO EVIDENCE</strong><br />In an ideal world Henry should have owned up. But what would have happened if he had gone over and said he handled it? I don&rsquo;t know if the referee would have acted on it.<br /><br />It&rsquo;s difficult to blame referees, and the one on Wednesday night had a good game up to that goal. It&rsquo;s just the way the game is. <br /><br />The game does not allow video footage. Funnily enough it only allows it for off the ball incidents, which do not directly affect the outcome of the game.<br /><br />I don&rsquo;t know how long that can go on for. But this incident will be remembered for a long time. And I imagine that, with this in mind, video evidence could well be brought in after next year&rsquo;s World Cup.<br /><br />Fifa like to be the people who bring the idea forward and make all the rules; they don&rsquo;t like to be pushed into a corner. <br /><br />The whole thing needs to be looked at again, because it&rsquo;s cost Ireland a fortune, as well as a dream.