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Referee Denies Thierry Henry Dream Arsenal Return

Emirates fans wanted to see hero return.

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Arsenal legend Thierry Henry was denied an emotional return to the club by referee Kevin Friend during the Emirates Cup.

Both the 33-year-old and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger were keen for him to switch sides and play the final five minutes of the friendly against the New York Red Bulls.

But Friend had to refuse permission because it is against Fifa rules for a player to appear for both clubs in the same game.

Henry and Wenger were left fuming after the gesture was planned as a surprise for the Arsenal fans who turned up to welcome their hero back to north London.

But Wenger said: “We wanted him to play in the last five minutes for us and he was desperate to do it, but the referee stubbornly turned it down.

“I went even in to see the referee to ask him if he would allow him to play for us.”

Ironically, it was Henry who helped lay on the Red Bulls’ equaliser during the time in which Arsenal had planned him to switch sides.

Henry himself said: “They have some weird rules, FIFA or whatever.

“They asked me and I said yes. But it doesn’t matter, I played enough games in the shirt.”

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More Stories Arsenal FC arsene wenger Kevin Friend New York Red Bulls thierry henry