Facebook facilitates Thierry Henry hate page

The Irish football team's exit from the FIFA World Cup 2010 qualifiers has prompted a wave of abuse against French footballer Thierry Henry on Facebook. Within two hours of the final whistle, a Thierry Henry "hate" page on Facebook had 15,435 fans, hundreds of comments, and tens of photos, many of them abusive and bigoted. Ireland was eliminated from the qualifiers in a 1-1 draw with France (2-1 to France on aggregate) in which Thierry Henry clearly handled the ball in extra-time to create France's only goal.

The Facebook page, entitled "We Irish hate Thierry Henry (the cheat)" contains several manufactured photos of Thierry Henry which question his sportsmanship. Several captions call Henry a "cheat" followed by multiple expletives. One photo depicts Henry in the crosshairs of a rifle, with the caption "Try and catch this... fag" (a term for homosexual men).

One commenter said: "I am an arsenal [sic] fan all my life and have always loved henry [sic] but i [sic] hope [Thierry Henry] has a heart attack tonight going to bed". One comment called for a boycott on Swedish furniture company IKEA in response to the failure of Swedish referee, Martin Hansson to spot the handball incident.

The number of "Irish hate Thierry Henry" fans grew to 18,799 fans within minutes of this article's completion. A second Facebook page, "Demand a rematch of Ireland v France after Thierry Henry and his handball" had 14 members several hours after the game.

Politico does not condone or endorse the comments reported upon.

Video of the handball incident:

Update: The morning after the match, 28,000 Facebook users had become fans of the page.


An online petiton was created asking FIFA to use video technology in the interest of fairness.