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After Suarez’s Latest Handball, Does Football Want A Society Of Cheaters?

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The sight of Luis Suarez clearly cheating to knock Mansfield Town out of the FA Cup encouraged me to question the ethics of footballers.

Over the years we have seen players cheat and prosper, from diving to deliberate handball, they continue to try and deceive the officials.

Interestingly, when Suarez passed to himself with his right hand, to end the dreams of a Non League team, denying them a pay day at Anfield, the commentators blamed the assistant referee for missing the call. So TV pundits think the cheat isn’t at fault but rather it’s the fault of the policeman.

Isn’t this like somebody stealing from a store and blaming the cameras for the theft? Surely it’s the act of cheating that needs to be punished.

Imagine if Suarez had run to the Ref and said: “no it isn’t a goal, I handled the ball.”

What would the media have said?

The closest I saw to this was Paulo Di Canio catching a cross against Everton to stop the game when their keeper got injured. In my 48 years of watching football I’ve never seen anyone else act so sportingly.

The disease of cheating has threatened other sports from time to time. Cricket had its moments of ball tampering and betting, and Rugby has also had some difficult issues but both have insisted the sport comes before the cheating and have dealt with the causes efficiently and decisively to the benefit of the game.

Football is in the midst of trying to find a solution to the simulated foul, the dive, perfected by the likes of Ashley Young, Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez. We have seen many games decided by the attacker feigning a foul, and crashing theatrically to the ground.

The problem is that the diver weighs the risks and rewards, yellow card is the worst case, penalty is the best case. No contest, an almost certain goal vs a card. So they cheat. The rules favour the cheater.

These rules need changing! The balance needs to be restored.

Suarez has just cost Mansfield Town 1/3 of a 45,000 gate at Anfield, a game they could have won. So what if the FA fines Liverpool 50% of the notional gate receipt for cheating!

Now that’s a deterrent and the punishment actually fits the crime.

It’s absolutely clear, on TV, that this single act changed the result. So the FA should stamp it out.

Players who admit to cheating on the field, when it happens, should also be rewarded for their honesty. Isn’t that what the Fair Play awards were supposed to be for ?

Football is a game in which play is continuous and mistakes will be made, some errors on free kicks and corners are inevitable but when I see someone clearly deflect a ball out and the referee makes a mistake, I would have no problem if the offender owned up, perhaps because he knows that TV replays will result in some retribution.

There is no doubt in my mind that Luis Suarez will sit at home watching Match of the Day gloating about his ability to cheat his team into the next round of the FA Cup. But if the FA banned him from playing in the tournament this season and fined his club too, then perhaps it would all stop.

I felt so sorry for Mansfield, their dream ended in such an unfair manner, the FA Cup tainted because of it. The game brought into disrepute by a single act of cheating, and it’s not the first time for the man who did it.

Repeat offenders in life get longer, tougher sentences. That should apply here too because the rule of law is as applicable to footballers as it is to the man in the street. Try cheating the Inland Revenue and see what happens, yes it’s about money in that case but isn’t money exactly what Mansfield have been cheated out of?

Kicking racism out of football is a good thing to do, but kicking cheats out of football is also important.

A sad day for the game when we watch, see it and then accept this sort of behaviour because players are role models and which society would want a culture of cheating in the generation that follows?

That’s certainly not one I would want to live it.

Kick Cheating out of Football – let’s campaign for that!

By Steve Burrows CBE @ifollowsteve

16 thoughts on “After Suarez’s Latest Handball, Does Football Want A Society Of Cheaters?”

  1. Ha Ha Ha.

    Why did Manure offere a contract to a racist Goal keeper Mark Bosnich who did a Nazi salute towards Spurs while playin for Villa…? Double standards and the attack on fan by Cantona……

  2. Consulted a dictionary lately? The ball rebounded off the keeper, hit his arm and then he passed it into the net. Nothing about that is cheating, it's just what happened. Of course you're trying to get your two pence worth of controversy so it suits you to take the hard line. Says a lot more about you than it does about Suarez.

  3. Interesting but terminally biased report. No surprise really.

    Shall we kick off the cheating debate with a discussion of Valencia diving to get a penalty at Anfield this year. Or perhaps Berbatov doing the same thing at the Old Toilet a couple of seasons ago. How about Ashley Young's rather embarrassing attempts at dives? Perhaps we should start with perennial cheat Ronaldo. Or maybe thug how Keane finished (or did his level best to finish) Inge Haarlands career. Eric Cantona anyone. How about Rio (drugs ban / racist) Ferdinand?

    Suarez isn't perfect. I don't believe he punched the ball into the net purposefully but I would have been happier if he had owned up to it. That said he also isn't the devil he's made out to be and you seem to have plenty in the United team that are at least as bad.

    Glass houses / Stones.

  4. My memory is not as good as it should be.
    Was It Rio who purposely missed a drugs check. stones and Glass house comes to mind.

  5. Did Carroll race to the ref to sat the ball had crossed the goall line in the Spurs game? Isn't that the ultimate example of cheating?
    Then there's Ashley young…..did he report to the ref that he dived for a penalty and a red card against QPR?

    Generally, would the author of this sanctimonious crap report to the relevant authorities if his car park ticket expired yet he wasn't caught by an attendant?

  6. That’s rich coming from the club whose then star player almost solely brought diving routinely into the English game (i.e., Ronaldo)! Plus what is the obsession with Liverpool? At west ham you were singing the amazingly creative never get a job version of You'll Never Walk Alone!! Sad!!!

  7. I seem to remember many man utd players and manager cheating the law by paying for expensive lawyers to say they were not speeding in cars.

  8. And calling a South American person a “ratface” is racist you pathetic hypocrite. Its like calling a black player a monkey-face. You are a clinically-diagnosed moron. Suarez has indigenous native south American physical appearance. I think we have encountered a rare phenomenon: a writer with a negative IQ rating.

    19 times…isn't that how many times MU touched the ball when they play Barca?

  9. If Tiger Woods kicks his ball into a better position is that ok ? No.

    Cheating is cheating whether its Suarez or Ashley Young and football is rife with cheats.

    If only Suarez had done a Robbie Fowler and told the Ref, we would be praising him and seeing the FA Cup as a revered institution. He doesn't have the mentality though.

    When Liverpool have to cheat to destroy Mansfields dream then football is at its all time low.

    Surely even you myopic fans have the foresight to see that !

  10. Well done for jumping on the media bandwagon, lets get the players to admit to offsides, goals that are cleared from behind the line (that'll be one specifically for MUFC there), foul throws, in fact all fouls not seen by the ref, or any off the ball incidents… any more? Or maybe its just because the person involved was not a Man U player. Anyway I'm surprised he didn't have to have his arm amputated being struck by the ball like that.

    Don't court controversy just because its Suarez the easy target, write something interesting and not just another tainted opinion.

    Finally, ask yourself who do I support? I'll give you a starter for ten, they're in the conference and were knocked out yesterday.

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