The World Cup has offered a lot of exciting soccer plus some serious controversy. The most controversial incident came in the quarter-final match between Uruguay and Ghana, in the 120th minute (that is, the last minute of overtime).
Ghana had been awarded a free kick, and the Ghana player unleashed a strike toward the net. The Uruguayan goal keeper leaped and missed the ball. It was the game-winning goal, until…Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez stretched his hands up and slapped the ball away.
Suarez’s action violated Law 12 of soccer’s official rules:
A player is sent off if he …denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)
So Suarez was sent off (i.e., kicked out of the game) and Ghana was awarded a penalty kick—an unchallenged kick from twelve yards from the goal. Penalty kicks are converted to goals about three quarters of the time, but Ghana’s star striker, Asamoah Gyan, hit the crossbar with his kick. The game then proceeded to a shootout (alternating penalty kicks by either side), which Uruguay went on to win, 4-2. Ghana was eliminated from the World Cup, while Uruguay goes on to play the Netherlands in Tuesday’s semi-final match, but without Suarez, who was suspended for one game.
Did Suarez cheat? Not according to his coach (more…)