Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Luis Suarez and his moral compass

I was not able to watch this in full, but this happened in the quarterfinal game between Africa's last man standing and (unknowingly for the Uruguayans) the eventual last South American team standing in the semifinals.

Yup, this match featured the handball dubbed as the new version of the original "Hand of God," this time not to secure a win but to save themselves from one. Obviously, it was an automatic red card that would suspend him for the semifinals. Ironically, that game will be against the Netherlands, the country of Ajax Amsterdam, where Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez (and midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro) plays his club football. Luis also serves as its captain. This weirdly would avert an Ahn Jung Hwan scenario that occurred back in 2002.

This is what he said after the match:
"I think I made the best save of the World Cup,"

"It's difficult to be sent off at a World Cup. It's complicated," said the high-scoring Suarez, who left the field in tears. "But the way in which I was sent off today — truth is, it was worth it."
The question of whether he deserved suspension that is more than a game is unwarranted. According to FIFA guidelines, automatic red cards equate to next game suspension which can be reviewed under certain circumstances to determine if it can be extended. FIFA did review the situation and decided the suspension was enough.

The handball elicited philosophical and ethical thoughts on whether it was right to do the call. Sure, a lot of prognosticators and observers slammed Suarez, I am sure if they were in the situation, they'll exactly do the same thing. It is an instinctive thing that Suarez did. A decision that had to be done and done quickly. as what he said, he sacrificed himself for the team and for the country. What nobility can you ask for (even if it was an illegal act)?

Note that I used illegal, not immoral. The circumstances forced Luis' hand (no pun intended). He knew the consequences and accepted it wholeheartedly. And now, Uruguay have a new lease of life.

Luis Suarez - Man or Superman? (c/o San Francisco Chronicle)

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