Ten years ago, he entered the history of French and Irish football. Referee of the dam between the Blues and Eire November 18, 2009, the Swede Martin Hansson returned on the famous episode of the hand of Thierry Henry that evening in an interview granted to The Athletic site published Monday.
The foul, not whistled, allowed the one who was at the time attacker of Barça to control the ball and address a decisive pass to William Gallas. The goal had allowed the French, victorious 1-0 in Dublin in the first leg, to equalize (1-1), qualifying them for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
When asked about his reaction to the Impact Montreal coach today, the former referee said, "I will not talk to him. I thought it was one of the best matches of my career, says the one who has since become a referee observer for FIFA. It's not so often, as an umpire, that you're eager to start an extra time, but for that match, that's how I felt. I was at a good time in my career, I refereed the final of the Confederation Cup. I really thought I had a good game. "
"We blame the player, we do not blame you"
Another image he keeps of this evening at the Stade de France, that of a leader of the Irish federation coming to meet him and his deputies. "We knew what it meant for Ireland and we also knew that for us, the World Cup in South Africa no longer existed (Editor's note: Martin Hansson was retained but did not officiate). He wanted to shake our hand. gentlemen, says the leader, of course it's a mistake, but we blame the player, we do not blame you. It's a big cheat on the part of the player. It was incredibly good of him. "
Ten years later, Martin Hansson recognizes that he would have wanted to have video-refereeing to help him tonight. "But what I really would like to ask is where is the discussion on cheating players? (…) Never (the media) will put a big star in front of the cameras and ask: Can you watch this screen here? Obviously, you're cheating, so what do you want to say about this? "