London, Nov.20 (ANI): England football star David Beckham has sprung to the defence of under fire French striker Thierry Henry, who has been widely condemned for handling the ball in a World Cup qualifying match against Ireland, which set up the lone goal that denied the latter a place at the World Cup.
"I honestly didn't think Thierry meant it. I know Thierry as a player and a person, he is a great person and a great player. It is a shame to see Ireland go out because they have such great fans and are so passionate. But these things happen in football. Whether it is right or wrong, I really don't think that he meant it, The Sun quoted 34-year-old Beckham, as saying.
"I don't think Thierry is a cheat," he added.
Many critics believe Henry should have owned up to his handball and persuaded referee Martin Hansson to disallow the decisive goal.
But Beckham is unsure what he would do if he ever found himself in Henry's shoes.
Becks said: "You are playing in a World Cup qualifier. It is such a heated, emotional moment that you don't know what you are doing in games. I have been involved in big games and tense situations and I have reacted to certain things. You look back and think, 'Wow, I was wrong to do that'." (ANI)