We could debate for hours, days, months, years , perhaps until the next World Cup in Brazil, but there can never be a definite answer to our perambulations, our speculations on what could have been. England fans will berate Sepp Blatter and other FIFA officials for not bowing to demands for the introduction of Hawk-eye technology: Frank Lampard’s goal would have been allowed and a recharged, rejuvenated England side would surely have thumped Germany into submission. Or so they would have us believe.
What if Luis Suarez had not succumbed to his heart-felt instincts to prevent the Ghanaian goal, throwing his hands at the ball, to stop it from crossing the goal-line. I wonder if Suarez is a betting man. If so, he surely knew that the odds of saving a penalty kick were much better than expecting a magical tailwind to swerve the Jabulani ball away from the goal line and towards safety. Did that thought cross his mind?
His words describing the incident were something on the lines of Maradona’s Hand Of God. Funny how Maradona gets quoted by all the cheats. Perhaps, they hope that his cheeky greatness will gloss over the heinousness of their folly.
But this article is not going to dwell on the Uruguayan fortune in entering the semis on the back of a piece of impudence by a suave Suarez , a hero to his countrymen , who has been termed – tongue-in-cheek – the best goalkeeper of the tournament. His save on the line was ,arguably, the most significant save of the tournament.
Our hearts and minds went out to that man from Ghana- Gyan – who had till then not missed a single penalty. And in that instant of despair, his stricken face told the story. In that moment , all our hearts cried for Africa, for Ghana, for Gyan. We were one in solidarity with the Ghanaian team. But those are the rules of the game: a handball deserves a penalty and a red card. And that is how it is. To twist a cliché: Abide By The Rules, Die By The Rules.
The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.
- George Eliot, writer.