Bacary Sagna believes that even if VAR did exist for the infamous Thierry Henry handball against Ireland in 2009, it might still have made a mistake

Bacary Sagna believes that even if VAR did exist for the infamous Thierry Henry handball against Ireland in 2009, it might still have made a mistake

FORMER ARSENAL AND FRENCH DEFENDER Bacary Sagna has claimed that even if VAR did exist when the infamous Thierry Henry handball against Ireland occurred there would be no guarantee that it would rule it out at the time.  

In 2009, both the Republic of Ireland and France played in two-legged play-off to get to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. 

France won the 1st game 1-0 in Dublin, but Ireland took the second leg to extra time thanks to a Robbie Keane penalty in Paris.  

The game went to extra time, but it was an incident late in the second half of extra-time that left so many Irish fans sour at the time.  

France were awarded a freekick in the 1o3th minute of the game. The ball was sent in towards France's captain at the time Thierry Henry.  

What happened next will never be forgotten in Irish sporting history. 

Henry handled the ball twice with his left hand, stopping it going out of play and brang the ball under control, before tapping the ball with the outside of his right foot past Given standing at the near goal post. 

Arsenal's William Gallas arrived in the middle of the goal and headed the ball into the Irish net to confirm France's place at that World Cup. 

VAR came into football several years later and has offered a different dimension to football officiating across the world, but it has not come without its problems. 

A number of high-profile incidents in the Premier League last week and in weeks earlier have been missed by the technology.  

Sagna, who played right back in the game against Ireland believes that VAR would have corrected the Henry handball, but there is no guarantee that the mistake wouldn't have been missed by VAR either.  

"VAR would have ruled the Thierry Henry goal against Ireland in 2009 out yes, it was a clear handball, but who knows, they might've made a mistake like they did in the Arsenal vs Brentford game," said the Arsenal defender in an interview with Premier League Odds. 

"If Henry did not score that goal, it would have gone to penalties and it would have been 50/50. We will never know. It was difficult for the referee to have spotted the handball, there were too many players in the box, he made his apology after but it's difficult for one referee to see everything. Even I did not see it was a handball. 

Stephen Kenny's men travel to France to play French in the opening game of their Euro 2024 qualification campaign.  

Sagna believes that the French team won't be bothered by what happened in 2009 when the game gets underway on the 27th of next month.  

"I definitely expect a hostile atmosphere from Ireland because we stopped them from qualifying for the World Cup," added the former City and Arsenal man. We are probably hated in Ireland, the fans will try to put pressure on us, but the current generation of players don't have anything to do with it so they might not feel the pressure. But we did knock Ireland out of the Euros in 2016, so they might want revenge in that too. 

"I think the France players will like the atmosphere and pressure; you want to be playing a game with something on the line. 

"France will want to get back to their best, they will be disappointed from the World Cup final, and I imagine they will want to come out on the front foot against Ireland."