Liverpool beat Conference side Mansfield 2-1 in the FA Cup Third Round on Sunday afternoon, but it was Luis Suarez‘s winning goal that prompted ESPN commentator Jon Champion to call the forward a “cheat”.
Suarez’s goal arrived after the ball hit his hand from close range after rebounding off the keeper. The goal was given.
Suarez then celebrated in the same manner as he has done after every one of his 18 other goals this season – by kissing his wedding ring finger and the tattoo on his wrist of his baby’s name. The image below is from the Everton game. He does this after every goal. He also does it before every match and when he comes on as sub.
The goal itself may be controversial in that the referee allowed it but why people must Blame Suarez purely shows the media driven agenda against him.
When a goal is wrongly awarded from an offside decision or a foul in the lead up to the goal, does the goalscorer get blamed? No.
You can also interpret the handball however you wish (and your agenda will cloud your perspective). You can easily suggest he is actually attempting to move his arm away from the ball but the fact it is happening off the keeper barely a yard away makes this impossible given he is human. Just like the handball given against Joe Allen at West Ham.
Furthermore, no footballer would ever have done anything different. It’s up to the referee to award the goal or not.
Brendan Rodgers commented:
“There is no doubt it was handball but the officials have seen it was not deliberate. I asked the fourth official if it was handball and he said it was. It is unfortunate for Mansfield and lucky for us we got the goal.
“Should he own up? It doesn’t happen in football. You don’t see players owning up and it is not Luis’s job. It has not been a deliberate handball and that is what the officials have to deem, that is what they get paid for.”
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox said:
“Luis is a fabulous player and has fantastic caliber.” (Reporter – “Have you been cheated out of it?”) “No, it had taken a few deflections, Suarez kicked the ball in frustration as he didn’t think the goal had stood”.
“Just because it’s Suarez everyone has a go at him, if the referee doesn’t see it then what can you do?”
Liverpool legend and ESPN pundit John Barnes said:
“You can see Luis didn’t really celebrate, it’s not his fault the referee hasn’t seen it. Luis didn’t think he had scored as he just kicked it in frustration”.
Meanwhile, ESPN commentator Jon Champion completely unprofessionally claimed it was “the work of a cheat”. Champion also described Suarez as showing his arm to the crowd and continuing to celebrate – while the footage on the screen showed Suarez walking, hardly celebrating. And, as mentioned earlier, had simply done his customary celebration after every goal.
Let the witch-hunt continue.
Law 12 on handballs:
“Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following into consideration:
• the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
• the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
• the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement”