World Cup 2010 – Justice Undone

After watching the absurd ending to the Uruguay-Ghana quarterfinal match, I mulled over for several hours what has happened.

A Ghana victory snatched from their grasp by the most intentional handball perhaps ever seen.

A sure-fire penalty taker hammering the crossbar with the last kick of the contest.

The sent off-player, caught on camera celebrating the miss as if he had just scored a goal.

That same man who missed the penalty taking the first for Ghana…and sneaking that one in.

Uruguay winning the contest on a deft little chip from someone called Loco.

Somewhere in the middle of that list, you might have noticed something that didn’t happen on the field. It’s that particular bit on the camera, seeing Luis Suarez pump his fist like he’d just taken the lead for la Celeste that, as I pondered it over for some time, began to more and more infuriate me.

This wasn’t Henry’s Hand of Gaul. It’s done and dusted now. Maradona’s Hand of God might even have company now. I’m not sure I can call it something that isn’t edited. This is beyond anything the World Cup has seen.

This was a victory literally stolen from Ghana. And something more than the mandatory suspension needs to happen.

The very fabric of the contest changed. Yes, many will argue if Asamoah Gyan hits the penalty, we aren’t discussing this. Actually, I still would, because it was the most blatant bout of cheating I’ve ever seen in a match.

With the second to last kick of the contest, Suarez, on the line as Ghana began a vicious barrage of shots in the dying seconds, cleared one goal off the line prior before he practically plucked the ball out of the air in order to prevent it going in and signing off the game with a last second goal. It was beyond intentional: he knew exactly what he was doing and had it been a yard away from him in any other direction, he’d have still done the same thing. It was not going past him, suspension be damned.

That Suarez was caught on camera celebrating when Gyan smacked the bar had to infuriate anyone in Africa with a television in front of them. Suarez cheated Ghana out of a victory and completely got away with it.

Suarez will be suspended for the semifinal, one in which I hope the Netherlands absolutely runs them over in. Should Uruguay figure out a way to the final, however, Suarez shouldn’t get a sniff of it either.

FIFA ought to lay down a marker on this one and suspend Suarez for a serious period of time. Henry should have been given a hefty suspension, but the factors around that contest were different. Henry was not caught and not suspended in retrospect.

Here, if FIFA wants to save some face and show they are serious about their so called “Fair Play” campaign, they’d bury Suarez for a minimum of five FIFA of CONMEBOL qualifiers of contests and all friendlies until those five contests were completed. They should show that cheaters do get punished.

Then again, this is the same body that’s threatening to suspend Nigeria for…suspending themselves. So, chances are Suarez will serve a game and then maybe play in the World Cup Final.

Where the hell is the justice in this?

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