JOHANNESBURG // Fifa has banned Uruguay forward Luis Suarez for one match for his deliberate handball to deny Ghana a winning goal in their World Cup quarter-final match. Fifa's disciplinary committee has ruled that Suarez was guilty of "denying the opposite team a clear goal-scoring opportunity" and imposed just a one-match suspension. Suarez will serve the ban when Uruguay meet Holland in the semi-finals on Tuesday, and would be available for the final if his team advance.
After Suarez's handball in the last minute of extra-time at Soccer City on Friday, Ghana forward Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty and the match finished 1-1. Uruguay won the penalty shootout 4-2 to advance. Fifa did have the option to ban him for longer as its disciplinary code allows for suspensions of "at least one match" if the panel finds a player guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct toward an opponent.
Suarez watched from the entrance to the players' tunnel as Ghana's Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty with the final kick of the match. Uruguay then won the penalty shoot-out 4-2. Suarez, whose three goals put him in contention to be the tournament's leader scorer, said yesterday: "I made the best save of the tournament. Sometimes in training I play as a goalkeeper so it was worth it. "There was no alternative but for me to do that and when they missed the penalty I thought, 'it is a miracle and we are alive in the tournament'. Now we are in the semi-finals although I was very sad because no-one likes to be sent off.
"The celebration afterwards was impressive, but very quiet because nobody gave us a chance but, with courage, we move forward." * AP