Suarez, the Villain (Again)
So, it’s been more than 24 hours since Luis Suarez handballed his way into Liverpool beating Mansfield Town in the FA Cup, and in addition to having yet another poster-boy (or, more precisely, poster play) for persuading FIFA that video review on goals would be advisable (given that they are important and don’t happen so often in a match to interfere with the flow of a game), it brings up a very interesting ethical question. Namely, what should you do when you score a goal that’s obviously bogus? Do you do what Suarez did, and celebrate it like it’s an actual goal, kissing your wrist as a tribute to your child like you always do, but this time, it’s like your telling your child it’s okay to cheat.
Manager Brendan Rodgers did a very hands-off non-apology version of an apology, saying, in essence, “It’s not your job to let the ref know you cheat”. Which, to a certain degree, is true.
But look at the video:
Here’s what I see — I see Suarez getting a cross that he doesn’t manage to chip in. Yet, when the ball comes back to him, his first instinct is to do what soccer players learn not to do from birth. He punches the ball down first — even though a slight rotation of his shoulder would allow him to chest the ball to his foot or perhaps, even, into the net.
The ref did give him the goal, and since we’ve learned nothing from the France-Ireland debacle of a few years’ back (except that Thierry Henry is more gracious than Suarez in apologizing for his handball goal — this delightful flashback includes Diego Maradona’s “I know how you feel” tweet, which is, on further examination, awesome), and don’t have video review of goals (which wouldn’t be difficult to impose, and would have resulted in a delightful, deserved Suarez booking, which is one of my favorite bookings of all), we have to live with it.
Still, though — the ease with which this alleged professional goal-scorer could have avoided it. And the celebration. And the added bummer of not having Mansfield dispatch Liverpool.
And, just when I was about to kind of like Suarez again, I’m so far back out.