Steve Nash Weighs In On French-Irish World Cup Controversy

Steve Nash, International Man of Sport, weighs in on the controversial non-call that cost Ireland an opportunity to advance to the World Cup. via World Soccer Digest

Steve Nash is far more than a mere two-time MVP point guard for the Phoenix Suns.

Product pitchman. Philanthropist. Filmmaker. Franchise owner. And now International Diplomat carefully weighing in on the hottest topic in European relations - L'Affaire Henry. That name's pronounced On-ree and not Hen-ry for all you unsophisticated Americans out there.

Asked after the Suns practiced on Monday about the non-called handball incident that cost the Irish their chance to compete in the 2010 World Cup Nash initially responded with outrage fitting his English heritage.

"I think it's hypocritical. It's a shame that's what happened. My family's English and in England and Ireland you are taught from a young age not to cheat. Not to dive and not to do anything that would gain an unfair advantage. We English expect everyone to be that way but the truth is the rest of the world are taught to do the opposite - get any advantage you can," said Nash.

Them there's fighting words (that's really how we talk in Arizona) from Nash but he went on and took off his national colors and responded more as an individual athlete who also happens to be friends with Msgr. Henry.

"I think it was probably intentional but intentional after it already hit his hand he touched it again. My point is to people is they act as if he left his house that morning that he was going to handball and win the game. The ball came over 15 peoples heads, skipped on a wet grass and hit his arm. Whether he made a reaction to handball or not we're talking about a split second. So I don't think you can hang someone for murder when they just put their hand up. Manslaughter maybe."

Follow that? The rest of the non-English world are intentional cheats except for Thierry Henry who made a split second reaction and only committed Manslaughter. Is this guy a diplomat or what!

Nash closed with this bit of rationalization, "We can obviously say 'but he celebrated after and he did all that,' but when there's 80,000 people in your country that are erupting because you made the World Cup I would like to see how many of us would tell everyone to sit down and 'you know what I actually handled the ball'. That's the referees job."

I love how he finished on that consensus building note. Blame the officials. That's something we can all get behind.

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