FanDuel - WFBC

June 20, 2014

Luis Suarez Pushes England to Brink of World Cup Elimination: Wayne Rooney's first ever World Cup goal drew England and Uruguay level at 1-1 in the 75th minute but Premiership top scorer Luis Suarez scored the winner 10 minutes later for a 2-1 win Thursday night. To survive the group stage, England now needs to beat Costa Rica by 2 goals and Italy to beat Costa Rica and Uruguay.

posted by rcade to soccer at 12:51 AM - 19 comments

I didn't realize until today that Suarez was the Uruguay player whose intentional handball kept a sure Ghana goal out of the net at the end of their 2010 World Cup knockout game. Did FIFA ever consider a rule change to award a goal for such a palpably unfair act?

I wonder what it's like for fans who are insanely dedicated supporters of both Liverpool and England. Suarez is your great hero and bitter nemesis.

posted by rcade at 12:54 AM on June 20

All great entertainment deserves a pantomime villain.

So far in this World Cup we've been blessed by two: Suarez and Pepe.

NB: And pantos must have audience participation. Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie did their best against Australia, and were booed by the Brazilian crowd at very turn, but they stayed on their feet for the most part.

posted by owlhouse at 04:38 AM on June 20

Did FIFA ever consider a rule change to award a goal for such a palpably unfair act?

What rule change is required?

The team gets a penalty kick AND the player is sent off AND he misses the next match.

The fact that the opposition failed to score AND there was no time on the clock to take advantage of the player being sent off is coincidental and irrelevant.

If the Ghana player had scored and if it had happened in the 20th minute instead of the 120th minute, the Ghana team would have been up by a goal AND had a huge advantage for the remainder of the game. Justice would have been served.

The only thing I would have changed is that Suarez should not have been allowed onto the pitch to celebrate with his teammates after they won in the shootout. He should have been forced to stay off the field (as he had been banished from it) and waited for them in the lockerroom.
(That would have also stopped the haters from blowing that extra gasket of seeing him paraded around the field as a hero.)

Are you suggesting that there should be a ref's discretion about automatic awarding of goals? Because, if you were ever looking for a way to cause a riot (or provide an easier match fix), that would be the place to start.

posted by grum@work at 08:11 AM on June 20

If the Ghana player had scored and if it had happened in the 20th minute instead of the 120th minute ...

No player would have done what Suarez did in the 20th minute.

The fact that the opposition failed to score AND there was no time on the clock to take advantage of the player being sent off is coincidental and irrelevant.

You don't think there's a level of unfairness in a player taking a certain goal off the line with an intentional handball and his team suffering no significant penalty? Since penalty kicks fail 15 percent of the time, players at the end of games can get a last-hope tactical advantage doing what he did, and it costs them nothing in that game.

I think a player cheating the way he did is just as likely to provoke upset as a referee awarding a goal for such an exceptional circumstance. I'd compare it to an NFL player being awarded a touchdown when the sideline interferes with his run to the end zone.

The rule I'd like to see considered is for intentional handballs by defenders within a certain distance of the goal line to result in a goal being awarded and a red card. With goal line technology now, it would be possible to determine how close the ball got. It could even be determined within a reasonable level of accuracy whether it was really going in.

posted by rcade at 09:33 AM on June 20

I'd compare it to an NFL player being awarded a touchdown when the sideline interferes with his run to the end zone.

Actually, that's not comparable. The real comparison is a blatant pass interference call in the end zone (tackling the receiver before the ball gets to him). In your analogy, the refs would be allowed to consult the video replay in the NFL and determine that the receiver really would have caught that ball without the defender interfering with him, and then reward the touchdown (instead of the usual penalty).

The proper analogy for the sideline interference in the NFL soccer would be if the keeper is beaten on a challenge for a ball on the edge of the 18 yard box (after rushing out), and a substitute player (who was warming up behind the net) suddenly dashed onto the field and tackled the attacker who had a free path to the (now empty) net. In that case, I'm almost 100% sure that the ref would award the goal.

The only reason everyone seems to get upset by Suarez's play is
1) it was so blatant
2) Ghana failed to capitalize on it
3) he was seen celebrating his act after the game

If the Ghana player scores and they advanced, it would barely be discussed to this day.

posted by grum@work at 10:04 AM on June 20

I think plenty of people were upset before Ghana's PK because they knew there was a not-negligible chance they'd miss and Suarez's cheating would be rewarded.

But if you're listing reasons to be upset, add "4) Denied Ghana the chance to be the first African team to reach a World Cup semifinal, in a tournament on African soil no less."

In that case, I'm almost 100% sure that the ref would award the goal.

If you're willing to award a goal in some circumstances, I think a player standing on the line making a no-doubt-whatsoever intentional handball should be considered for that as well.

posted by rcade at 10:31 AM on June 20

If you're willing to award a goal in some circumstances, I think a player standing on the line making a no-doubt-whatsoever intentional handball should be considered for that as well.

There is already a rule for that situation that doesn't require instant replay or an extra level of referee discretion.

How would you put the rule into text that would make it obvious to everyone watching the game that the ruling was correct?

Is there a certain distance from the goal line the shooter (or offender) has to be for it to be considered "no-doubt-whatsoever"?

Is there a specific description about how the hand is positioned? Does it have to be over his head? Shoulder level?

How does the ref determine that it was "intentional"? Do the arms have to move in the way of the ball? What if he's standing still and it hits an outstretched hand? What if he was dashing to dive in front of the shot and instead of it hitting his head/chest like he hoped, the ball was further away/above him and hit his arms? What if he was raising his arms to block his face and it hit his hands then?

Does the ref have to consult the goal line technology to determine the path of the ball?

posted by grum@work at 10:43 AM on June 20

"4) Denied Ghana the chance to be the first African team to reach a World Cup semifinal, in a tournament on African soil no less."

So now we also need to take context into account?

;)

To be fair, I was upset that Ghana didn't advance as well. I was cheering for them the entire game.

Oh, and Suarez's take? He'd do it again, if he had to.

posted by grum@work at 10:47 AM on June 20

Sport's like life. You don't get what you deserve, or often even what's fair, you get what you get and you carry on the best you can. And many south american footballers have a similar attitude to "cheating", not least Maradonna, who was arguably lauded more in 1986 when they beat England because he scored with his hand than he would have been had he scored "fairly".

posted by JJ at 11:17 AM on June 20

I'm surprised that the concussion protocols in soccer are so lax. At least twice in the past year, we've seen someone literally get knocked out cold (Hugo Lloris in a game against Everton and lvaro Pereira in this England-Uruguay game) and then return to the match. Considering that studies have shown that the risk of a second concussion and lasting damage are much greater in the aftermath of a concussion, it's just amazing to me that there is no automatic removal from a game or even just a real evaluative process in the event of serious head trauma. I appreciate that soccer is not the same as American football, where the substitutions are free-flowing and whether a concussion has occurred and whether a player should be removed can be assessed without losing a player for the entire game, but soccer seems to be a bit behind the curve on this one.

posted by holden at 11:37 AM on June 20

Oh, and Suarez's take? He'd do it again, if he had to.

I think most World Cup players in a knockout game would take an 85% chance of losing over a 100% chance of losing, even if it meant a red card for them.

If I recall correctly, as Suarez slowly exited the stadium he was despondent and on the verge of tears. In the short time I've been obsessed with the World Cup (SportsFilter converted me), this incident is the one I remember best that didn't involve the U.S.

posted by rcade at 03:28 PM on June 20

If I recall correctly, as Suarez slowly exited the stadium he was despondent and on the verge of tears. In the short time I've been obsessed with the World Cup (SportsFilter converted me), this incident is the one I remember best that didn't involve the U.S.

You remember the tears, but not the obnoxious reaction that followed.

posted by holden at 03:45 PM on June 20

I remember the fist pumping on the sideline. I forgot the ride-'em cowboy stuff on the pitch that followed. But until yesterday I just thought it was some random player for Uruguay. He wasn't in the EPL yet so I didn't know him from Yeltsin Tejeda.

posted by rcade at 07:10 PM on June 20

Everyone (except Australian fans) seems to forget that Ghana only advanced from the group stages in 2010 because of a very similar incident against the Socceroos. Harry Kewell was red carded in the middle of the first half against Ghana for a "handball" on the line, when the ball hit his arm as it was alongside his body. In many cases, not a penalty, yet he received the red. Ghana scored, but Australia managed to equalise with only ten men, and probably should have won it. With eleven on the park, they most certainly would have and progressed instead of Ghana.

Bitter? Yes. Although I did want to see Ghana prevail against Uruguay in the quarters, I had a definite feeling that karma was at play.

posted by owlhouse at 05:42 AM on June 21

As a Liverpool fan, it was tough to see the Liverpool-heavy England team lose regardless of who beat them. I take some solace that Suarez looked brilliant as usual and enjoyed the consolations he appeared to give Gerrard after the match.

And in what way is Suarez a pantomime villian of this World Cup? He seemed to clean up much of the nonsense this past EPL season and has done absolutely nothing remotely controversial in Brazil.

posted by Ricardo at 11:11 AM on June 21

Suarez did to Cahill, Jagielka and Hart what he did to EPL defenses all season. Yes, Gerrard tipped the ball to him but that was still well out of scoring range, it was the defenders who just don't know how to deal with Suarez.

As a fellow Red (waves to Ricardo) I am very much looking forward to the new season.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:24 AM on June 21

And in what way is Suarez a pantomime villian of this World Cup?

Oh yes he is!

Oh no he's not!

Oh yes he is! etc.

posted by owlhouse at 01:55 AM on June 22

And in what way is Suarez a pantomime villian of this World Cup?

Not specific to this World Cup, but he's the most fascinating figure in football because he's . . . I mean, what is he, exactly? It's hard to put into words even before starting to worry about sounding patronizing. He's like a being of pure Id attached to some amazing feet. Plus one evil hand and a set of teeth more fearsome than anything swimming in the Amazon currently (well, any fish). But he's capable of moments of perfection and off the field he is apparently a nice fellow. I have 0 idea what to think about him and I'm an Everton fan to boot.

posted by yerfatma at 10:56 AM on June 23

and has done absolutely nothing remotely controversial in Brazil.

The guy that said this is an idiot

posted by Ricardo at 02:19 PM on June 24

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