World Cup Photos: Uruguay 1-1 Ghana (Uruguay Win 4-2 On Penalties) – Panto Villain Luis Suarez Claims New ‘Hand Of God’

Ollie Irish

5th, July 2010


By Ollie Irish


Picture 1 of 19

Ghana fans in the stands

Photos: PA

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.

Posted in Photos, World Cup

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  1. Pedro says:

    Thank you. I’m tired of hearing idiots who watch football once every 4 months talk about how the goal should have been given. Go do something else, you half brained fuckwads.

    And kudos for backing Uruguay, those are precisely the reasons why I was backing them. Nothing more exhilarating than seeing an old giant rise from the ashes.

  2. Pedro says:

    Previous comment should read “4 YEARS” rather than months.

  3. Andy says:

    At last a rational comment on this game. Glad all the Africans have lost & have been sent back home. Perhaps maybe, just maybe, we may once again hear the remaining 4 Countries singing their soccer songs instead of that awfully irritating vuvuzela (swarm of bees). It is for this reason alone that I didn’t attend any live games, what a shame with this being played in my back yard right here in Cape Town.

  4. Your Momma says:


  5. gaptooth says:

    For those who say “keep football the way it is” and “any other player would have done the same”
    dont u guys see that its self perpetuating – of course every other footballer would do the same – why – cos the punishment does not fit the crime , its a no brainer
    to deny certainty and leave it to chance and uncertainty always favours the aggressor
    this would change if the punishment equalled the crime – FIFA have to readdress this

    footballs a great game but its in danger of becoming a joke unless some key issues about fairness and integrity are addressed – this world cup – if nothing else has brought these issues to the forefront.

    i watch football week in and week out and have been for 30 yrs + and i think to introduce a penalty goal for blatant hand ball like suarez’s would be a step in the right direction. i think goalmouth technology would enable this .

    sadly people who watch football dont look at the bigger picture and dont understand that the world is changing and we need to change with it , to stay in the same place ACTUALLY MEANS YOU ARE GOING BACKWARDS

    ps. anyone who denies it will one day be on the receiving end of this type of an act and then they will see it from a different prospective

  6. Luke says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with everything you just said.

  7. Ping Yang says:

    Suarez acted on impulse and rightly got sent off. It was just bad bad bad luck on Ghana. However, I do not like the way Suarez deals with the situation after the match. What an ass hole. Don’t go running off and saying it was the hand of god. He is acting like he did it on purpose. This is hardly the case, he could have used his head but used his hand. I doubt he had time to think “Im gonna use my hand to save this goal.”(as he claims) He should take it as a professional and say he and the Uruguayan team were lucky.
    Dont get me wrong fair play on the Uruguayans behalf but Suarez, next time (if there will ever be one again) to please have some fucking remorse ass wipe.

  8. Pedro says:

    I think this “instinctive” defence is rather silly. As I’ve seen others argue elsewhere, where exactly did we develop this “instinct” or pushing away with ours hands a ball that is not coming straight towards our face? Rather odd.

    In my mind, he knew what he was doing. And he got punished. End of. Now, for those who think the rule itself is wrong, the mere fact that we’re only discussing this particular case is because a) it was Ghana who got the short end of the stick and everybody knows you have to condescend to the poor little Africans because that’s the right and proper postcolonial thing to do and b) it was the very last action of the game. Now, for a), you’re just being biased and you should acknowledge it. No one talked about Kewell’s handball or the countless others that have happened. You chose this one because the team you wanted to see win lost. That’s bias and we shouldn’t base rules on which team is the cutest to Europeans with severe postcolonial guilt.

    As for b), do bear in mind that i) Uruguay should have had a penalty, ii) the free kick which originated the incident should not have been awarded and iii) there were Ghana players offside and interfering with play when the goal bound shot was stopped. Hence, a different rule would have made sure that Uruguay, the team who had already had bad luck with the decisions of the referee, would not have a chance to fight for the win. In short, they would have been robbed, plain and simple. People don’t recognise this because of a), which renders them completely unable to see any possibly just moral outcome other than a Ghana victory which in turn renders their opinion worthless for a rational, amoral and unbiased debate.

    Finally, on the rule itself. Having a player sent off and a penalty in the first 5 minutes of the game is without question harsher punishment than having a goal awarded and a yellow card (I’m not going with the 1 goal down/1 red card route because that, I think, would be an excessive sanction). Thus, either we have rules which punish the same incident differently according to the minute of the game, which leads to plenty of potentially unsavoury outcomes or the rule is specific to last action situations, in which it can be arbitrary. So, for the sake of consistency, let’s argue people think the rule should apply equally during the whole duration of the match. That still causes trouble. Why? Is the rule valid for players standing on the line only? What if the player is 10 cm from the line, no longer valid? What about 1 metre? How about 3 metres, but there was no one else close to him who would reach the ball? What if the player attempts to hit it with the knee, messes it up and it ends up hitting his hand, preventing the ball form crossing the line? Same punishment then? All of these situations would lead to the referee having to make a judgement call, which would be heightened by his fallibility and thus potentially making room for even MORE injustice.

    As it stands, the rule is good because it punishes the player (gets sent off and suspended) and gives the other team a superb chance of scoring (we can all agree that that’s what a penalty is, right, which is why plenty of players dive in the box instead of attempting to score from silly angles? Penalties = best scoring chance any team can have, period). It does allow for the infractor to come out on top occasionally, but that is, to me, a small price to pay in order to reduce the referee’s influence in the outcome. As many people have pointed out, the referee HAD NO OPTION. A rule which gives the referee minimal scope to err is, in my mind and in general (I’m sure you can think of counterexamples), a good one.

  9. RHops says:

    if asamoah gyan scored the penalty, this discussion would not be taking place. hopefully uruguay minus luis suarez will be beaten by the netherlands.

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  11. gaptooth says:

    Firstly when you open your statement with the “poor little african” comment – it makes you sound like the private schoolboy that you probably are – leave the sensationalism for the editor – he does it better !
    If this had been the other way round the same would be said – did the world have the same view of the irish ? or the english with maradonna ? or the turkish with rivaldo – No

    most people have the brain capacity and gumption to see when cheating occours – lets not pretend

    no one is talking about the harry kewell one because it was clearly not as blatant – his arms were to his side , no one is also talking about the Lahm one against ghana (which was not spotted) or the vidic one which was blatent but disguised.

    but the penalty goal – yellow card situation would have been the correct call for all of these incidents.

    Austrailia would have conceaded a goal as they did anyway – yet had 11 men to have a better chance of winning the game.
    In the case of lahm the outcome would have been the same
    for the vidic one as its not a shot directed at goal it would have resulted in a yellow card and a penalty – which is what actually happened

    i dont see the problem

    also if this had happened in the 2nd minute of the game – lets not pretend as though suarez would have done the same thing – most players are fools – but they are not idiots , they understand that in the early stages of the games – goals can be squandered and equalized,
    are you telling me that a player would make the same tackle in a 1 on 1 situation in the second minute of the game as the 87th ? doubtful – Life is such that in the fullness of time – more is revealed to inform our choices.

    You would also be suprised how rule changes, change players psyches
    i used to remember the 40 yard up and under passes back to keepers which used to be common place but have drastically reduced since the rule change, and believe it or not the amount of diving has drastically gone down (altho not by quite as much) since there was a yellow for simulation (how often do u see dives like the Klinsmann one in the 1990 final these days – not many ) . if rules are in place – people conform – they may not like it at first but they conform – their brains soon get used to the idea !

    its funny cos in all these forums and conversations NO ONE HAS MENTIONED THE FACT THAT THE OTHER URUGUAY PLAYER INFRONT OF SUAREZ WAS TRYING TO SAVE WITH HIS HANDS TOO – BUT MISSED !!!!!! – maybe they have the same instincts ?!?!?!?!

    Goalmout tec would allow the ref to see this – it doesnt take a second to analyse – lets have it please ! – it would also add to the drama in my eyes = especially if there is a screen in the stadium – would be like the argentina mexico game !

    pedro – your point about the fouls committed in the box and such before the incident show a overwhelming bias – cos those types of things have happened in every game
    – or are we gonna get into another debate about player infringement in the area ?

  12. Pedro says:

    Private schoolboy? That’s a first. No, I come from one of the poorest regions in Europe and my grandparents suffered near starvation during the Salazar regime in Portugal. Great thing about capitalism is even poor people like me can now afford an internet connection, imagine that! I opened my statement like that because I respect people enough. Only those who deem themselves superior would condescend to Africans by patting them in the head and vociferously protecting them like Uruguay are somehow responsible for the morally decrepit state of most of the African regimes (small hint, they’re not, we are). I get angry at the patronising because, being poor, I’ve been patronised often and I don’t like it one bit. Maybe I’m just too proud, but if I were in Ghana’s position, I’d view Uruguay’s willingness to win at all costs as a sign of respect and a credit to the value of the competition.

    Your arguments seem to be all over the place, but let’s give them a good hearing. First, I never claimed Suarez did not try to “cheat” and had an “instinctive” reaction. I think that’s a silly excuse and it should be said, plain and simple, that he knew exactly what he was doing. He bought his team a chance and, to me, that was fair. You don’t really say it, but I imagine that you think the outcome was unjust, which is why you are commenting, so why aren’t you moderating that with outrage over Uruguay not having been given a penalty on Abreu in the second half or over the TWO distinct infractions in the run up to the goal that wasn’t? The rule chance you proposed would have GUARANTEED that Uruguay would have been shortchanged. Sure, it’s not as fashionable to have postcolonial guilt over South American countries (you guys were never there anyway, so who cares, right?), but this shouldn’t be about rich vs. poor. It should be about two teams on the pitch leaving their sweat and blood in order to win.

    You mention a number of other incidents but fail to meticulously outline exactly how the referee should decide in each. The problem resides in the case where it’s not clear whether the ball is going towards goal or not. Case in point, what if Felipe Melo had handled the cross Sneijder put into the box? Clearly FIFA thinks it was going in, most others don’t, how was the referee to know? Would he have had a bunch of engineers and physicists with him on the pitch, looking at the trajectory of the ball to determine exactly what sanction to apply? What about instances where it is unintentional but the player’s hands are not close to his body? Same rule? How exactly is the referee to analyse the case in a minimal amount of time in order not to disrupt the flow of the game? I’m all for technology, but for matter of fact cases only: hand or no hand, foul or no foul, offside or no offside, past the line or not past the line. Situations in which the referee would have to exercise further discretion, i.e., to judge whether the ball was heading towards goal (which becomes harder as distance increases and as the number of players in the box increases) lead to more mistakes being made and, hence, I oppose it.

    A final point on the diving. I’m not interested in having that debate but, time and again, we’ve seen players go down when they had a reasonable shot a goal if only they role the tackle but still chose to go down. That, to me, says that a penalty is a more favourable goal scoring opportunity than most of the chances created during open play or set pieces. Thus, a penalty is an almost goal, statistically and to go into this debate arguing that there is a “chance” that he might miss is misleading because that chance is, well, small.

    I certainly agree when you say people adapt to rules, but that doesn’t change the basic fact that if you give the referee the authority and discretion to interpret a situation, with our without technology, there will be more mistakes because interpretation is always tricky. Which is why we want technology, right? To remove the seemingly arbitrary nature of some of the decisions? Why create new situations in which the referee might bottle it completely? Seems counterproductive to me.

    Ah, and the problem with Henry, Maradona, Rivaldo, etc… is that NONE of these infractions were spotted in loco and, therefore, created massive injustices. France got through, Argentina went one up and Turkey got a player sent off. They massively changed the matches in which they happened with no penalty to the team which committed the infraction. As far as I can tell, Uruguay lost one of their best penalty takers for… a penalty shoot out and still had a penalty to defend. Those are entirely different situations because the cheating did not come without consequences, which is what should outrage most people, not Suarez’s handball.

  13. gaptooth says:

    Pedro i must say that your argument will cause football more harm than good- in the long run – this is a cycle of events that can be eradicated in the game – and thats my point – fifa need to do this

    There will always be hero’s and villains in football and every action has a consequence but Fifa has the simple task of apportioning adequate punishment for cynical acts of cheating – where the agressor’s choices are less favorable – to such an extent that it allows him to rethink his actions

    thats what rules are for – we stick to the confines of the rules because we know that the risks of disobeying them are too great. We could but we know the punishments are too strong – thats what stops people from stealing, raping and murdering – but pedro make no mistake – there was a time many moons ago when these acts were not as rare as they are now.
    New Yorks most famous mayor Guliani brought in a Zero Tolerance campaign to policing and watched the crime rates go down and his ratings go up. Many argued that with crime (where all sorts of factors are at play) that it would be too hard to achieve – they were wrong.

    Footballs the best sport in the world – that wont change – but what can change is the sports integrity – cos mate – its in a low place right now. and when kids watch acts like saurez’s on friday they see cheating as part and parcel of the game when it shouldnt be.

    penalties are drama in themselves – but they are a lottery – and even tho i agree that they are the clearest way of scoring – the advantage shifts dramatically in favour of the agressor once the stakes are higher and when the game has little time left – because these factors occour – it makes it even more of an incentive to use this pressure to your favour – there was no pressure in what suarez did – just calculation – he used the rules to gain an unfair advantage at a point where the stakes were at their highest.

    with the penalty goal in place it would work like this (with Goalmouth tech in place also)
    for a blatant act using the hands which stops goalbound ball entering the net within 1/2m from the GL where he is the last man – penalty goal – yellow or red card (referee’s discretion concerning card)
    for a hand ball anywhere else in the area – penalty – yellow or red (referee’s discretion concerning card)

    quite simple really – if the ref has not seen the incident he consults the camera – if he has he obeys these rules
    the 1/2 a metre from goal is a guide – but if the ball is clearly goalbound this must apply

    this would do the world of good and when players have to abide by this – u watch – scenarios like what happened on friday will not occour. simple as – any old fool could follow this

    if u apply this punishment to all the other incidents , kewell , vidic – etc etc
    the outcomes would be fairer

    the ref would have to ask for goalmouth tech – if he misses it – he missus it – this should only be used in cases of doubt – it takes 2 secs to show a replay – in a game where the average stoppage time is 3 minutes these days – thats nothing – infact for these situations the clock should stop entirely giving players a few seconds rest which would also help the game. as i said before the drama would still remain.

    if there is no incentive people dont do things , if there is (what they deem) as too harsh a punishment – people dont do things – this works in life why not football – we dont want to see people do what suarez did – like we dont want to see old ladies getting beaten up at bus stops – so lets do something about it !

    there are no ifs or buts – its actually pretty simple really

    the funny thing is that you could argue that life has punished the greatest cheats in the longrun anyway

    henry – reputation in smoke – dropped by sponsers – form dipped dramatically
    rivaldo – altho he won the WC that yr – reputation in smoke – form dipped dramatically
    maradona – ahahh well thats an easy one
    i stongly suspect guilt played a part in everyone of these examples

    These players were amazing – infact they are amongst the greatest ever – but when their names are mentions – cheating springs to mind before the hundreds of quality moments they put into the game – suarez joins this club – and altho not as talented , he will always be remembered for that – FIFA could prevent this – and i think it should

    Pedro – your a interesting character – im sure your still listening to vinyl, watching VHS and boiling the water in a pan instead of a kettle – but take my word for it – technology is the way forward

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