Have we reached the stage where the art of cheating should be taught to children as no more than a basic technique of football? Examine the differing reactions to Suarez (because he gloated), Neuer (because he denied an Englishman) and Jeremy Robson (because his young lad was the one taking liberties). Is there, Jeremy wonders, just a spot of hypocrisy in our approach to bending the rules? …
Following up on the article from last week about goal line technology, a lot of the debate here on Salut! Sunderland has extended from “righting the wrongs”, resulting from poor officiating, through to a more comprehensive analysis of the problems associated with cheating, which from here on in may be referred to as “Suarezing” or “being Suarezed”.
It’s questionable whether there is any moral difference between Suarez and Neuer the German goalkeeper who got away with cheating in a more comprehensive way than Suarez.
Manuel Neuer denied a rightful goal by cheating. He grabbed the ball as if it hadn’t crossed the line and booted it away as if nothing had happened.
Suarez at least got sent off and Ghana were awarded a penalty kick. The record books show that he committed a foul and was punished for it. Neuer served no suspension and was given no card. Who committed the greater sin?
Gyan missed the spot kick that was awarded, but Frank Lampard was denied the luxury of another shot at goal. Suarez has caused much uproar due to his comments after the match.
The football observing public seem to be more incensed by Suarez’s comments regarding his own behaviour, than the cheating itself. It’s unclear why this is the case. It’s equally uncertain why his actions have been condemned as cheating when players handle the ball in the box week in and week out. These events are forgotten almost immediately, and rarely talked about after the weekend.
What’s different about Suarez then? How many of us are just complete hypocrites?
My own son who is a promising goalkeeper takes great pride in keeping a clean sheet whenever possible.
In the half a dozen games we have played this season he has only conceded four goals, of which he will proudly tell you that one was a penalty and another an own goal.
After a recent league game he told me as we were walking back to the car: “I pulled that kid down Dad when he went past me.”
They had won 2-0 and the home side had been denied by the referee missing it. Ask my boy why he did it and he will tell you honestly. The player had beaten him, and rather than concede the inevitable goal, he will foul the player and take his chances with the penalty, in the hope that the kick may not result in a goal.
Do I admonish him, tell him not to do it and that he shouldn’t cheat? No, I tell him that it’s all part of the game and that he needs to make sure that it isn’t obvious. Was my little lad “Suarezing?” You must be joking! He might have been “Neuering,” but that’s different isn’t it?