I promise this is my last post about football… unless something really excites me in the next couple of weeks :P! So last night, and although Portugal won against Ghana, its result was still not enough to make it through the next round. I was sad, obviously, I even shed one tear or two (or a lot more), but I was pleased that at least we played well (and way better than the two previous games). Our players tried their best, but the result we needed was way improbable – although, if Ronaldo’s aim was a little better, we could easily have scored the 5 goals we so desperately needed!
I’m still sad about the things I keep listening and reading online about our national team. People seem to forget the dimension and difficulties of our little country and expect always more, instead of being content about what we’re given. Until 2002 we hardly ever qualified for a World Cup before, and already then we had our “Golden Generation” and we did worse than we did now. Still, people talk, are stupid about the comments they made, think the players had the duty to the more, even if hurt, and that the fault is all on Paulo Bento, our coach. I know I don’t understand much about football, to be honest, 10 years ago I hardly knew what an offside was, but I think is stupid and close minded to judge a team and all the people involved in preparation in 2 games, and that’s what everyone did. Chill out people, we didn’t pass on to the round of 16, but it was hardly the end of the world… 16 national teams go home at this point, and it is known that European teams do not do so well below the equatorial line!
On a very different subject, after having bitten the italian player Chiellini, FIFA gave a close look to Suárez action and decided to pass on a harsh sentence: FIFA disciplinary committee decided that Luis Suárez is suspended for nine matches and banned for four months from any football-related activity!
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided that:
· The player Luis Suárez is regarded as having breached art. 48 par. 1 lit. d of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) (assault), and art. 57 of the FDC (an act of unsporting behaviour towards another player).
· The player Luis Suárez is to be suspended for nine (9) official matches. The first match of this suspension is to be served in the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ fixture between Colombia and Uruguay on 28 June 2014. The remaining match suspensions shall be served in Uruguay’s next FIFA World Cup match(es), as long as the team qualifies, and/or in the representative team’s subsequent official matches in accordance with art. 38 par. 2a) of the FDC.
· The player Luis Suárez is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four (4) months in accordance with art. 22 of the FDC.
· A stadium ban is pronounced against the player Luis Suárez in accordance with art. 21 of the FDC as follows: the player Luis Suárez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of the ban (point 3). The player Luis Suárez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium in which the representative team of Uruguay is playing while he has to serve the nine-match suspension (point 2).
· The player Luis Suárez is ordered to pay a fine in the amount of CHF 100,000.
The decision was notified to the player and the Uruguayan FA today.
“Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch, and in particular not at a FIFA World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field. The Disciplinary Committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suárez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated,” said Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
Even though many people already came to his defense, including Diego Maradona, who called FIFA a mafia, I do agree with his punishment. Sure, there are much more serious attacks, players that do dangerous entries, or those who decide to step on some other player’s testicules, or stuff in those lines. Bitting, unlike kicking, elbowing or stepping is not (at least in my opinion) a reflective action, which means that there’s more intention behind it. If you saw it at the moment, we can clearly see Suárez coming straight to the other player and biting him. And it was not the first time either, he was already punished two previous times for the same kind of offence. So, this is strike 3, the guy clearly has a problem! You know Suárez, Vampires are coming out of fashion again… you should think about quitting! I do hope that Barcelona thinks long and hard before spending something like 80 millions euros on a player that won’t be able to play until the end of October (and who clearly has some issues!). I’m just sorry that he was not expelled during the game, because, although I wanted Uruguay to win against Italy, at the moment that this scene takes place they were still tied, who’s to say if he had been expelled if the result would be the same?! I think it wouldn’t, and maybe it would be Italy now in the 16 round.
Now without Portugal in the competition, I find it hard to find a country to root for. My choice should fall on Brasil: they have the same language as us and a know a lot of people from there, but, I don’t necessarily think that winning the World Cup would be beneficial for the people. I think that a win would throw sand into everybody’s eyes, and most people would forget everything that went on this past few years in order for them to host the World Cup. The other obvious choice would be some of the european teams… so let’s just go game by game…
- Brasil x Chile – I’m going for Brasil because, well, it’s Brasil!
- Colombia x Uruguay – Colombia, because after what happened in their last game, no way I want Uruguay to win!
- Netherlands x Mexico – Here the rule of Europe and sympathy wins! Netherlands all the way!
- Costa Rica x Greece – Greece has a Portuguese coach, so, while he’s competing (and even though I have not forgotten the Euro 2004), I’ll be rooting for them.
- France x Nigeria – Nigeria is was of the few African teams still in play, so my support goes to them
- Germany x Argelia – Same as above… never liked the Germans.
- Argentina x Switzerland – I just seriously dislike Argentina… It might have something to do with Messi… =/ (sorry!)
- Belgium x USA – USA because I think they deserve it. Their national team has evolved so much, and even got their country interested in football, so good for them.