Time for justice in Suárez case

2010-07-12 11:59

There was no revenge sweeter than seeing Uruguay lose to Germany on

a cold night in Port Elizabeth. Now it is time for Fifa to provide justice by

acting against Luis Suárez, writes Elijah Moholola.

When enemies of the continent, Uruguay, lost 3-2 to Germany in the

third/fourth place match on Saturday night, African soccer fans must have


It was a great victory considering that the Uruguayans were beaten

by the Netherlands by the same scoreline in the semifinals four days


Uruguay were fortunate because they conceded two goals less than

expected in both games and scored two unexpected strikes.

Now that they only have a fourth place finish to show for their

cheating, one matter remains outstanding: Luis Suárez.

The Ajax Amsterdam striker blatantly used both his hands to keep

out what could have been a winning goal for Ghana in the last minute of extra

time in the quarterfinals.

After boasting that his – and not Diego Maradona’s – was the real

‘Hand of God’, Suarez made it difficult for some to select their World Cup Best


The dilemma was whether to have Suarez, Manuel Neuer or Iker

Casillas as goalkeeper in the team.

On a serious note though, it is time for Fifa to deal with Suarez’s


Soccer’s world governing body has indicated that the incident will

be reviewed, and that it might issue a sterner punishment than the one-match


Now let’s see Fifa acting harshly against an incident that clearly

reduced them to fools for having the Fair Play flag displayed before that


In coming up with the punishment, Fifa should consider the

following underlying implications of Suarez’s “hand of the devil”:

» Ghana were denied the

opportunity of being the first African team to reach the semifinal at the maiden

World Cup staged on the continent.

» Youngster Dominic Adiyiah,

topscorer at last year’s Fifa Under-20 World Cup, was robbed of a World Cup


» By going through to the

semifinal, Uruguay became one of the best four teams in the 2010 World Cup

(without the “via a handball” addendum).

» Uruguay got $18 million

(R136 million) for finishing fourth, an amount which should have gone to Ghana

instead of their $14 million quarterfinalists’ reward.

Considering all this, Suarez should get a lengthy ban ensuring he

does not show his ugly face at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

If Fifa bans him for 10 games, half of those should be World Cup

matches – that’s if Uruguay qualify.

Why should Suarez play at the World Cup when he has denied 23

players such an opportunity?

In fact, he should not have played against Germany on Saturday.

What if he scored a hattrick and became the tournament’s leading


By the way, did anyone notice how the crossbar became the Hand of

God in keeping out Diego Forlán’s last-minute free kick?

Another bit of justice.

While addressing the Suarez matter, Fifa should also look into the

rule pertaining to the incident.

If a player stops what was clearly going to end in the back of the

net, a goal must be awarded instead of a penalty.

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