Paris:World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane says former France teammate Thierry Henry "is not a cheat" despite his handball helping his country qualify for the World Cup at the expense of Ireland.
Zidane, who won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship with Henry, said on Saturday on French radio that the Barcelona striker "made a big on-field error" but "is not a cheat."
Henry's handling set up William Gallas' equalizer in Wednesday's 1-1 draw that sent France to next year's tournament.
The Irish appealed to the French federation to agree to a replay but were turned down.
Zidane, who retired after being sent off in the 2006 World Cup final loss to Italy, understood Ireland's anger but said this kind of incident was common on a pitch.