Hands from hell dash African dreams

2010-07-04 10:59

Ghana’s “sweet and Suárez” World Cup campaign ended through the

hand of the devil and the perpetrator has shown no remorse for deferring the

dreams of millions of Africans.


But Luis Suárez, whose coach Oscar Tabarez jumped to his ­defence

after he blatantly used both hands to stop Dominic ­Adiyiah’s goal-bound header,

could receive an extended ban.


Fifa spokesperson Pekka Odriozola said the ­incident would be

reviewed: “The disciplinary committee will look at that ­incident and make a

­decision.”

After Asamoah Gyan’s ­resultant penalty hit the crossbar, the

red-carded Suárez ­celebrated like a national hero.


Suárez was even the first to run onto the field after ­Uruguay

converted their fifth penalty for a 4-2 victory.


He later said: “I was sent off but in the end it was worth it. I

did what I had to do. Now the Hand of God is mine,” referring to Diego

Maradona’s infamous handball goal against England in 1986.


Tabarez found nothing wrong with the offence and said: “The player

reacted instinctively and was thrown out of the match. What else do you want me

or the referee to do? Is Suárez also to blame for Ghana missing that penalty?

When he handled the ball he did not know that Ghana was going to miss the

penalty.”


Suárez was also hailed as a ­hero by teammate Diego Forlan: “This

time instead of scoring goals, Suárez saved one. He saved the game.”


The defeat left traces of ­forlornness throughout Ghana.


A Ghanaian Times article headlined History Slips From the Stars

read: “It has been a painful exit.


“Throughout the world, everybody with African blood was upbeat

about the chances of the Black Stars.”


The Daily Graphic described the Black Stars as “gallant ­losers”

and the experience as “heartbreaking”.


Sadness resonated across the continent with the headline ­Africa’s

Dream Shattered being carried by Zimbabwe’s The ­Herald.


The article read: “Sadly, Gyan missed and as he cried last night,

Africa cried with him.”


Disappointed Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac shied away from talking

about the incident.


He said: “We don’t deserve to lose in that way. This is sport

injustice but I ­congratulate Uruguay because they were the lucky ones.”


Ghana Football Association chairperson Kwesi Nyantakyi was also

gracious.


He said: “When you use your hand, the law has to take its course

and that is what happened.


“The ­referee applied the law by ­showing him a red card and

awarding a penalty.”


Nyantakyi said it was unfortunate that they could not carry out

Africa’s World Cup dreams: “It’s a big disappointment but we cannot do anything

about it. We cannot throw our arms into the air in despair.”


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