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Shane Long

Henry handball 'forgotten about', insists Long

15:41 GMT+3 24/06/2016
Shane Long Republic of Ireland 31052016
The Southampton and Ireland striker says that the Boys in Green are not fixating on notions of 'revenge' ahead of their Euro 2016 clash with France

Shane Long has dismissed talk of Thierry Henry's hand-ball ahead of the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2016 last-16 encounter with France.

The Boys in Green missed out on a place in the 2010 World Cup in controversial circumstances after Henry handled the ball inside the Irish box before setting up William Gallas' decisive goal as France won 2-1 in the two-legged play-off.

Ahead of the game, Gallas said that the atmosphere will be "hot", telling L'Equipe that the Ireland team "will want revenge" and that supporters "have not forgotten" about what happened in Paris in 2009.

However, Long insists that Ireland's focus is solely on the upcoming game in Lyon, stressing that the handball incident is "not even in our minds".

"No. What is that, seven years ago now? It's forgotten about," the Southampton striker told reporters.

"We were obviously devastated at the time that it cost us a place at the [2010 World Cup] finals, but as I said, we don't even think about that.

"We're approaching this game. We're playing a very good French team, on French soil. It's going to be hard, but we're right up for that challenge and we're hoping that we can cause an upset.

"But when it comes to the Henry handball... it's not even in our minds."

Ireland secured their place in the last 16 of the European Championship after defeating Italy 1-0 in Lille thanks to a Robbie Brady goal.

Martin O'Neill's side take on France at Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday, June 26.