News24

Suarez rap for commentator

2013-01-07 21:18

London - A British television commentator who labelled Luis Suarez "a cheat" following his controversial goal in Liverpool's FA Cup win at Mansfield on Sunday, has been spoken to by his employer.

Jon Champion, an experienced soccer broadcaster, made his views clear while working for satellite station ESPN which was carrying live coverage of the match between English Premier League side Liverpool and fifth-tier Mansfield at the non-league club's Field Mill ground.

The ball hit Suarez on the right wrist before he put Liverpool 2-0 up in a game they eventually won 2-1 but the Uruguay striker's goal was allowed to stand by the referee.

Video highlights: Mansfield v Liverpool

However, as ESPN showed a replay of the incident, Champion said: "That, I'm afraid, is the work of a cheat."

But an ESPN statement issued on Monday distanced themselves from Champion's comment, saying: "We take our responsibility to deliver the highest standards of coverage to our viewers.

"ESPN's editorial policy is for commentators to be unbiased and honest, to call things as they see them.

"Inevitably this can involve treading a fine line on occasion, especially in the heat of the moment.

"Comments during the Mansfield v Liverpool match caused offence where none was intended and we have spoken to our commentator about this incident."

Sunday's incident was just the latest in a series of flashpoints that have dogged Suarez since his arrival in English soccer, with the most high-profile being his ban for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra last season.

"If it was someone else we probably wouldn't even be discussing it," said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers of Suarez's goal after Sunday's match. "Sometimes these sorts of things will follow players."

"That's part of his life. He deals with it remarkably well. He's got thick skin. He's had it throughout his life and his career in this country."

And Suarez received further backing, over this incident at least, from former Liverpool defender turned football pundit Alan Hansen.

"What exactly was Suarez supposed to do?," Hansen wrote in his column in Monday's Daily Telegraph.

"Run to the referee and tell him it hit his hand? His team-mates would go berserk, and his manager would not be too impressed either.

"The first thing to make clear is Liverpool's second goal in the third round cup tie was not a deliberate handball."

Hansen added: "He (Suarez) did exactly what anyone who has ever played professional football - and anyone who plays in the future - would do in the same situation.

"Yesterday, Suarez simply followed the golden rule every youngster is taught when he first plays football. 'Play to the whistle.' If that whistle does not come, it's the fault of the referee, not the player."

AFP

Comments
  • jacques.duplessis.3785 - 2013-01-07 21:30

    Hahah you have to love suarez:)first he puts ghana out with a hand ball now liverpool has to beat a 5th tier team with a hand from suarez,depends how u look at him I suppose...still a top class player!

  • Edison Nyamayaro - 2013-01-07 22:25

    cheats , shameless

  • reven.chetty - 2013-01-07 23:20

    What exactly was Suarez supposed to do?," Hansen wrote in his column in Monday's Daily Telegraph. "Run to the referee and tell him it hit his hand? His team-mates would go berserk, and his manager would not be too impressed either......duh????????? To think that Alan Hansen was once Liverpool great and now has the mentality of a retard with no moral fibre - surely there is more integrity to conceding to a foul than "playing for the whistle' Where is the sincerity in our sport today? - what do characters like Saurez offer to our up and coming youth...definitely no fair play here...Mansfield deserves a replay at least.

      nervern - 2013-01-07 23:37

      Dude can u please shut the phuk up...!!! Tellme what does characters like fergie got to offer...the fact is every god damn player would do the exact same thing in that situation...

      henri.langeveldt - 2013-01-08 06:44

      Taking into account how many times football players "take a dive" or fake an injury, one has to think that most of them are cheats? :). So Suarez did what all football cheats do...."let's see what bs we can get away with".

      russel.lunt - 2013-01-08 08:48

      If you bothered to watch the incident (which you certainly didn't) you would see that Suarez either has astonishing reflexes to handle deliberately after the ball cannons off the keeper, or it's ball-hit-hand. The fact that he didn't celebrate the moment the ball crossed the line with his pistol shooting celebration (which he does for every goal) suggests he didn't expect the goal to stand. There is no moral high ground on this - no professional player in the world would ask the ref to overturn the decision. But because it's Suarez everyone has something to say? What about the deliberate "Suarez-like" handball by Phil Neville against the same Liverpool to try save the game in an FA Cup tie a few years prior to the Ghana incident? He too was sent off, Everton penalized, and yet no one said anything about "cheating" then. This is the same Neville who was so vocal against divers, yet produced one of the most blatant dives of the season in the very next game (yup, against Liverpool again, and yup again no one called him a disgrace to the game).

  • nervern - 2013-01-07 23:38

    The best player in the premier league...!!!!

      she.is.here.777 - 2013-01-08 00:56

      And the happy juice is flowing strong again I thought people would start working again today I was wrong....

  • jonathan.mumo.3 - 2013-01-08 07:02

    Biased comentating if it were an english man he wud call him genius.

  • leendert.stolk.3 - 2013-01-08 14:33

    No, we would be discussing it, just like we did with Henry's blatant cheating. Jon Champion called it as we all see it: Suarez is a cheat. Simples.

  • leendert.stolk.3 - 2013-01-08 14:36

    @russel,lunt - Being a highly paid player he should have incredible reflexes, duh! Also, if YOU look at the video you can see his hand is in a completely unnatural position to play the ball and is definitely NOT ball to hand, but hand to ball = handball=red card = big, fat cheat!!!

  • pages:
  • 1