Hansen: Suarez has no duty to confess

Former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen does not feel that Luis Suarez has a responsibility to confess that he committed a handball before scoring against Mansfield.

Luis Suarez of Liverpool goes around Alan Marriott

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

The incident has generated much controversy as Suarez has been something of a repeat offender having previously committed a handball to stop a goal-bound header and deny Ghana a place in the 2010 FIFA World Cup semi-finals.

The Uruguayan's integrity is being questioned once more as a shot blocked by goalkeeper Alan Marriott rebounded onto his hand but the striker made no mention of the incident to referee Andre Marriner and accepted the goal.

Hansen has defended the player in a stirring column and has come down strongly against those voicing morally charged sermons over the incident. As far as he is concerned, the striker had no obligation to do the referee's job.

"What exactly was Suárez supposed to do? 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," Hansen wrote in the Telegraph.

"You can tell from Suárez's reaction he expected it to be disallowed and when it wasn't, he has decided to get on with the game. It is not like he ran off celebrating.

"He did exactly what anyone who has ever played professional football - and anyone who plays in the future - would do in the same situation.

"There will be outrage about it, firstly, because it was a high-profile incident in a high-profile game. Second, because it is Suárez. He has become an easy target."

The Scotsman also pointed out that Suarez was not actively looking to commit a handball and was just the beneficiary of a stroke of luck.

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

"There is no way Suárez has moved his arm to control it. If anything, it looks as if he is trying to move his hand away when it has hit him.

"The speed it was travelling, it simply ricocheted forward and struck him at angle which, unfortunately, the officials could not see."

He then went on to emphasise that the onus should be on the referee and those involved in officiating the game instead of the much-maligned Liverpool striker.

"One of the first things I was taught as a youngster breaking into the first team was if I ever make a foul, particularly in the box, never look at the referee. It is seen as an admission of guilt and he is more likely to give it.

"So, you are trying to get away with fouls. Is that cheating too?

"Of course not. You are playing within the boundaries all the time, and it is for the officials to determine where there has been a misdemeanour.

"There have been one or two situations where players have been acclaimed for their sportsmanship - Robbie Fowler telling the referee not to award a penalty against David Seaman in the early 1990s springs to mind. You will not find too many others.

"The sad thing for Suárez is his reputation goes before him. In recent weeks he has been staying on his feet far more and there have been fewer incidents where opponents have accused him of diving.

"He scored a goal against Sunderland recently where he could easily have thrown himself to the floor, but instead he retained his balance and scored. Nobody seemed to say much about the honesty of his play in that case.

"Suárez 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."

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