I would like to know which commentator would not have called Luis Suarez stupid for not trying to stop that goal. Is it Suarez's duty to absolve every cheat, every diver, and handballer on this planet by an act of sportsmanship? Or does he try and give his country a chance to stay alive?
Maybe he should have stopped his hand and seen the ball sail through to goal. Yes, then have Chris Waddle calling him a moron for his attempt at moral redemption. Have the Uruguayans give him a collective finger for subverting a result that will finally move them out of the shadows of their southern neighbours?
Suarez's infraction was detected, the rules were applied. He was punished. That did not happen in the Thierry Henry and Diego Maradona handball- one caused a country to advance unfairly, the other led to a country's humiliation that still rankles a quarter century later. Yes, Suarez's unrepentant and over the top reaction was unseemly but this is a false equivalence.
In this case Asamoah Gyan had his chance. A player who converted a spot kick twice in the same tournament faltered. It was a horribly bad ending but even Ghanaians know it was not Suarez who came between them and a historical precedent.
Why then is there so much teeth gnashing? Again it is not unsurprising that it is the English media that is leading the charge on Suarez. Their miserable World Cup failure has left them with little left to do other than co-opt moral outrage.
As Richard Williams puts it, "Poor Asamoah Gyan's inability to convert the penalty that would have made them Africa's first semi-finalists turned this into the biggest distortion of justice at any World Cup since West Germany eliminated France in the 1982 semi-final after Harald Schumacher's assault on Patrick Battiston."
Please spare me the sanctimonious claptrap about Africa. The Guardian's insinuations regarding South Africa's readiness to host the World Cup - publishing articles that regularly highlighted the crime rate, AIDS, delays in stadium construction, cost overruns, and closeness to Robert Mugabe shows they cared a fig about "distortion of justice."
In retrospect, Suarez's handball served a purpose. In all other instances this World Cup they were self destructive. Ghana benefited twice. Zdravko Kuzmanovic inexplicably interfered with a non-threatening cross - Asamoah Gyan was on target against Serbia. Gyan did not miss against Australia either after Harry Kewell clumsily handled the ball. Rafael Van Der Vaart's moment of idiocy handling a free kick gifted Samuel Eto'o a spot kick.