Henry faces 'invidious' choice over anti-racist conference

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Thierry Henry has been put in an "invidious position" by Uefa's plan for the striker to embrace Spain coach Luis Aragones at an anti-racism conference, the head of the Professional Footballers' Association Gordon Taylor said yesterday.

Aragones has yet to apologise publicly for his racist comment about Henry, which he made to Jose Antonio Reyes during a Spain training session more than a year ago. However, Uefa wants Henry and Aragones to stage a symbolic embrace on stage during a Soccer Against Racism event taking place in Barcelona in February.

Taylor does not believe that such a stage-managed event should take place until Aragones recognises that his words caused offence and offers a meaningful apology.

Henry would need to be in two places at once, as the conference at Barcelona's Nou Camp takes place on the night when Arsenal host West Ham in a Premiership match.

Taylor said: "It is unfair to put Thierry in such an invidious position. If there was an apology, I'm sure Thierry would consider accepting it but, at the moment, the culpability is only on one side. I would imagine that, until he receives a fulsome apology, the last thing that Thierry Henry would want to do is shake hands with [Aragones]."

Aragones has shown little remorse for his comments, which were picked up by TV cameras. He was fined £2,060, a decision which Henry criticised, especially in the wake of the racist abuse later directed at England players during their friendly in Madrid in November.