Don't miss




Pope arrives in Uganda, calls Africa 'Continent of hope'

Read more


France's "Hommage National"

Read more


Hollande’s Grand Coalition: Conflicting interests undermine fight against Jihadists (part 2)

Read more


France in Mourning: What response to Paris Attacks? (part 1)

Read more


Going above and beyond to measure pollution

Read more

#TECH 24

COP21: How technology fights climate change

Read more


Burkina Faso gears up for crunch presidential elections

Read more

#THE 51%

Standing up against violence

Read more


Cutting the cash flow: How governments are tackling terror financing

Read more

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.



Latest update : 2009-11-19

Thierry Henry’s “hand of god” sends France to World Cup

IThe French papers breathe a sigh of relief this morning after France narrowly defeated Ireland to qualify for the World Cup. Several front pages lead with the photo of Thierry Henry’s contentious handball.

The French papers this morning are highly complimentary of Ireland’s performance and there is a general consensus that they outperformed les Bleus. That Thierry Henry handled the ball in setting up William Gallas’s extra-time equalizer is also generally acknowledged.

L’Equipe’s front page photo focuses on this very moment. “The hand of God,” reads its headline. The paper says it was a “catastrophic” match and while the result is what counts, this does nothing to dispel the feeling of malaise. “Let’s just hope the French side’s performance will be up to the standards of the giants they eliminated to get into the World Cup: Romania and Ireland.”

Inside l’Equipe, former international referee Joël Quiniou says William Gallas’s goal was “not valid”.

As for the performance of specific Irish players, Robbie Keane was “almost a super hero”, says the paper. He scored in the 33rd minute and almost scored a second time which would have sealed an Irish victory.

The world ‘hand’ appears in nearly every headline we looked at this morning.

Le Figaro: “The hand of relief for the French”


L’Union: “Main basse sur le Mondiale” (literally “low hand” or “take over” of the World Cup)

We expected giants of football and it was like children scribbling on a page, says this Reims-based paper. Its editorial says that last night’s performance summed up the World Cup qualifiers for France who got through by the seat of their pants. “Domenech never got his side properly motivated. Their performances were blasé… they seemed to be playing more out of a sense of obligation than anything else…Unacceptable errors were committed…There was fear in our stomachs until the very last moment.”

Le Progrès de Lyon
Le coup de main du destin (The slap of destiny)

L’Est Républicain
Henry’s hand sees les Bleu qualify

Mirroring l’Equipe’s conclusion, l’Est Républicain says the match was ‘catastrophique’. Its editorial concludes that France qualified because of cheating. Somewhat optimistically though, l’Est Républicain thinks that “in a week, Henry’s handball will be forgotten.”

France Soir

Ouf is an expression of relief but perhaps there’s even a little note of humility and shame in this one-word headline?!

Other stories covered in today’s French papers:

La Croix
Europe, - a President to do what?

Le Figaro
Portrait of Belgian PM Herman Van Rompuy




2015-11-27 Turkey

'Donald Trump Is Our Jean-Marie Le Pen'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 27.11.15: Papers continue to focus on "sizzling tensions" following the shooting down of a Russian warplane by Turkey. Also, France wants Britain to...

Read more

2015-11-27 Paris attacks

A moving tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 27.11.15: French papers focus on today’s national tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks. The government has called on people to fly the French flag...

Read more

2015-11-26 Russia

'World War Three has not started (yet)'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 26.11.15: Papers focus on the aftermath of Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian warplane. The whole world held its breath, bracing itself for the...

Read more

2015-11-26 French politics

National Front gets boost from Paris attacks

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs. 26.11.15: Next month’s regional elections are in the spotlight today. According to Le Parisien, the far-right National Front party got a boost following...

Read more

2015-11-25 Tunisia

'The Turkish missile crisis'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 25.11.15: Tunisian papers mourn the victims of yesterday's deadly bombing in Tunisia. Meanwhile, papers across the world react to Turkey’s shooting...

Read more