Saturday, 3 July 2010

FIFA Rules Reward Robbery

Photograph: REUTERS/Siphewe Sibeko

Following one of the most thrilling World Cup quarter final matches in recent history, Ghana are knocked out of the tournament on penalties.

In a game that captured the heart of a continent, Ghana valiantly carried the hopes of Africa to the brink of a historical semi-final place, but their dreams were shattered after having their last gasp match-winner blocked on the goal line by the hand of Uruguayan midfielder Luis Suárez in the dying seconds of extra-time.

Suárez received a straight red card by the referee and a penalty was rewarded to Ghana, whose star player, Asamoah Gyan was heartbreakingly unable to convert the chance into a goal.

As Suárez walked down the tunnel with his head buried in his shirt he leapt and celebrated Gyan’s miss, knowing that his cheating handball had kept his country in the World Cup.

Uruguay went on to win the game 4-2 on penalties and Suárez was paraded around Soccer City on the shoulders of his team mates, while thousands of Ghana fans sat stunned by the injustice they had just witnessed.

At present, the punishment for intentionally stopping the ball from crossing the line with your hand is a red card and a penalty, the same punishment that is given when a player or goal keeper prevents a goal scoring opportunity.

However, illegally preventing a goal is not the same as illegally preventing the chance of a goal – so dealing with the two incidents with a like-for-like punishment opens the door for cheats like Suárez.

South African Ghana fan, Tommy Linder, said after the game: “Surely FIFA cannot keep this rule in place, if a player knew that by preventing a goal with his hand, he would receive a red card and concede a goal anyway, he would not cheat.”

Suárez, commenting on his cheating act, "I think I made the best save of the WorldCup," he said, labelling it "the hand of Suarez."

He sat alone nervously, watching on from the dressing room as his handball and Gyan’s miss sent the tie into penalties, but after Uruguay held their nerve to win 4-2, Suárez, now hailed a national hero, said today that his sacrifice was “worth it”.

Of course no World Cup would be the same if it were entirely free of controversial decisions and villains, but the beautiful game turns ugly when the rules reward cheating.

Regardless of the outcome, Ghana were the better team and should be proud of their showing at the World Cup, roll on 2014.

- Mr Devo

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

real talk

3 July 2010 at 06:58  
Blogger Linda said...

Beautifully and eloquently put. Tears were shed on my sofa. Sooo very upset.

4 July 2010 at 15:31  
Anonymous Italie Coupe du Monde Brésil 2014 billets said...

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21 December 2013 at 00:12  

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