There’s a lot of ground to cover with the latest Luis Suarez brouhaha, so let’s get started:
The Liverpool striker has kicked up a real “cheat storm” with a goal in Sunday’s FA Cup win over tiny Mansfield Town from English soccer’s fifth tier. Yes, that’s fifth tier.
So Suarez’s goal today is being greeted with special indignation, for it shattered the dreams of a semi-professional team and scuttled the possibility of a ginormous upset, the very kind of giant-killing that we get periodically in FA Cup play – the type that makes so many people love this annual tournament.
Mansfield Town was very much in the match with storied Liverpool when Suarez doubled his team’s lead (to 2-0) in the second half, clearly using his right hand to propel the ball into the home team’s goal.
Mansfield Town chief executive Carolyn Radford put the cherry on this messy parfait one quite nicely: “It feels a bit like the result was stolen from us. Whether it was deliberate or not, it should be sorted out. It is very unfortunate that the referees and officials can’t pick up these things.”
Adding accelerant to the latest Suarez handball fire were two penalty appeals denied to Mansfield Town. So, final count of officiating controversy broke down like this: three important handball decisions inside the penalty areas, three decisions that went the way of the (far, far) bigger club. You can see why that’s going to raise a stink.
Suarez didn’t help matters by kissing his right wrist following the goal. This is something Suarez does regularly … but he probably would have been wise to skip this part of his celebratory routine for this one, eh?
Finally, there’s Suarez’s history of handball shenanigan.
During World Cup 2010 in South Africa, playing for Uruguay, Suarez intentionally used his hand to prevent a late Ghanaian goal during extra time of a quarterfinal. He was ejected, but it proved to be the “right” choice, for Ghana missed the ensuing penalty kick and was eliminated during a subsequent penalty kick tiebreaker.
Here’s the goal in question from Sunday: