Magazine article New African

Doing a Luissuarez: "Bad Laws Are the Worst Sort of Tyranny" - Edmund Burke (1729-1797), the Irish Statesman and Philosopher Who Moved to England and Served in the House of Commons

Magazine article New African

Doing a Luissuarez: "Bad Laws Are the Worst Sort of Tyranny" - Edmund Burke (1729-1797), the Irish Statesman and Philosopher Who Moved to England and Served in the House of Commons

Article excerpt

I know some people will say I am writing this only because I am a Ghanaian. But "how for do?" as we say in Ghana. As with Martin Luther, the German protestant, who said, "Here I stand, I can do no other," this piece has to be written, so I will write it willy nilly, especially with Henry Kissinger's words ringing in my ears. "Oil is much too important a commodity to be left in the hands of the Arabs," the quintessential American once said; so I say, football is too important a game to be left in the hands of Mr Sepp Blatter and his Fifa colleagues. You know what I'm driving at, don't you? On Friday, 2 July, a great injustice was perpetrated on African soil against Africa's then only remaining representative in the world Cup, Ghana. The end result of this injustice caused millions of people in Ghana, Africa, and beyond, including those who would normally have no truck with football, to curse the laws of the beautiful game; in fact some did have sleepless nights for days! It was agony personified!

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I even heard that one woman in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, who was watching the game on TV with her husband, just fell off her chair and died from a heart attack when Asamoah Gyan smashed what should have been the winning penalty kick into the crossbar at the end of extra time, and deprived Ghana and Africa a historic march into the semi-finals. You see why football is too important a game to be left in the hands of Mr Sepp Blatter and a few folks at Fifa!

Perhaps I must declare my hand here before I go any further. "Bad laws," said Edmund Burke, "are the worst sort of tyranny." So l, this son of Ghana and Africa, and millions, if not billions, more around the world earnestly beseech Fifa to change its current "Denial of An Obvious Goalscoring Opportunity" rule to allow an automatic goal if a player deliberately handles the ball on the goal line and denies a clear goal to the opposing team, as Uruguay's Luis Suarez did in the quarter-final against Ghana. As the current rule stands, a penalty award is given and the offending player sent off. But this is not good enough.

Tell me, what kind of justice is it when you are denied an obvious goal and then told to bring the ball back 12 yards to the penalty spot and have to try to score again, with the goalkeeper, who you had earlier beaten, now in situ and given the right to stop your new attempt at scoring? Would it not be fairer to be allowed to kick the penalty into an empty net, because you had earlier beaten the goalkeeper? But that would reduce football to ridicule, and as such, to be fair to everyone, an automatic goal should henceforth be given if a player does a luissuarez!

What happened to Ghana should never happen to any country ever again! Imagine the cheek of it all-Luis Suarez, the cheat, jumping with joy near the tunnel when Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty! I want to know how Mr Blatter and his Fifa colleagues felt when Uruguay went on to win the resultant penalty shoot-out and marched triumphantly into the semi-finals while the Ghanaians went home crying. And not only that-to rub Ghana and Africa's bleeding noses even more into the mire, the Uruguayans carried Suarez shoulder high around the pitch after the penalty shootout! The man cheated for Christ's sake! And by carrying - yes carrying-him on their shoulders and parading him under our bleeding noses, the Uruguayans were surely asking for too much! Thank God, the days of Nana Kwamena Ansah (Ghana's powerful 15th century king) have passed. Oh, in the face of that great provocation, the Ghanaians would have definitely let gunpowder do the talking on that fateful 2 July night.

But this is 2010, and the worst Suarez suffered for his cheating and great provocation were boos from cheated fans throughout the third place play-off between Uruguay and Germany. His handball in the Ghana game was absolutely revolting! And as the Ghanaian president, John Atta Mills, told the returning Black Stars in Accra: "You didn't win the World Cup, but to me and every person in the world who loves justice, you won the world Cup and united Africa! …

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