By Ollie Irish
Ghana out and a whole continent in tears. Oh do shut up – since when did we assume all of Africa was backing Ghana? How patronising. Having been told by ITV’s World Cup team that I must support Ghana against Uruguay, naturally I chose to support Uruguay (a classical, romantic World Cup team).
Luis Suarez did what almost every player would have done and was punished correctly within the rules of the game. The moralising hysteria after Suarez prevented Ghana scoring late in extra time – stand up Henry Winter, Stan Collymore and many, many others – is distasteful and insulting to Uruguay. Yeah, it would have been lovely to have an African nation in the last four, but there isn’t and that’s that; how about we take African teams to task for playing so badly in South Africa. Africa’s collective lack of progress is surely more disgraceful than Suarez’s new, self-proclaimed Hand of God, although I should add that Ghana, who were hardly that impressive in this tournament, really missed Michael Essien.
Oh, and the free-kick that led to Ghana’s late penalty, missed by Asamoah Gyan, was a dive. So, shit happens.
As for the issue of handball on the line, now a hot topic for any arsehole with an opinion, a red card and a penalty seems like a fair punishment, as it always has since that rule was made – as I recall, no one complained before. It was only because there was no time left in the game that Uruguay didn’t suffer with ten men, although losing the dangerous Suarez for Tuesday’s semi against the Netherlands will hurt them.
Aside from that, Suarez’s post-match comments, in which he takes ownership of the Hand of God, are rather distasteful and arguably in contravention of FIFA’s Fair Play policy.