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Henry critics cowardly, says Petit.

EMMANUEL Petit has condemned apathy in France towards Thierry Henry and claimed the country would be better under German rule.

A former team-mate of Henry at Monaco, Arsenal and in the France national team, Petit described the prevailing attitude towards the striker as "hypocritical and cowardly".

Henry is leaving the New York Red Bulls and may have played his final match, with the 37-year-old yet to open up about his future plans.

He has been immediately linked with a return to a non-playing role at Arsenal, the club at which he enjoyed his best success during an eight-year spell.

It has been suggested that Henry should be afforded one last outing for France, as a farewell match, and Petit, 44, can see the merit but suspects he is in a minority.

"Why not, but people don't like Thierry Henry," Petit said.

"How can you reproach Thierry Henry? His handball against Ireland? It helped us qualify for the World Cup in South Africa.

"He's done nothing wrong. France is hypocritical and cowardly.

"Sometimes I say to myself that having been invaded by the Germans, we would be better led today."

Petit immediately faced criticism for appearing to confer praise on Nazi Germany, which invaded France during the Second World War.

But he said he had only intended to comment on modernday Germany. "Germany shows us today that it is better than us, politically, economically and in a sporting sense, and I didn't mean to say anything else," Petit said.

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Emmanuel Petit and | |Thierry Henry

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Dec 4, 2014
Words:255
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