Report: Brazil World Cup 2014

Suarez, Muntari, Boateng in trouble, Algeria delivers at last

Uruguay's fans waiting for Luis Suarez's arrival outside Montevideo's international airport, 26 June 2014.
Uruguay's fans waiting for Luis Suarez's arrival outside Montevideo's international airport, 26 June 2014. Reuters/Carlos Pazos
Text by: Paul Myers in Brazil
4 min

On day 15 of the World Cup we learned that key Ghana players have misbehaved, Suarez's ban is bad news for Uruguay and Algeria deliver on their promise at last.

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  • Boys will be boys. Sully Muntari and Kevin Prince Boateng were expelled from the Ghana squad for naughtiness. Boateng, who’d only just decided to come back into the international fold, apparently had a go at the coach Kwesi Appiah – the very man who’d gone out on a limb to reintegrate him with the national squad. Muntari was sent away for allegedly assaulting a football association executive. Great timing lads – just before an important game against Portugal.
  • Chew talking to me? It’s probable that Luis Suarez will never be a taxi driver. But
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  • he’s showing some very Travis-like tendencies. The Uruguay striker was banned on day 15 for nine international games for going medieval on Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during the Italy v Uruguay game on day 13. The ref didn’t see it and Suarez would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky meddling cameras. The ban means Suarez will play no further part in the World Cup. Uruguay face Colombia in the last 16 and it must be noted that without him they lost their opening game to Costa Rica 3-1. With him they beat England 2-1 and Italy were vanquished 1-0. The 27-year-old is also banned from all football activity for four months which means he’ll miss the start of the Premier League campaign in England. Perhaps this is no bad thing. At the beginning of last season in England Suarez missed the first eight games because he was serving the end of a 10-match ban for tucking into the arm of the Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Liverpool v Chelsea league game at Anfield. Insult was added to injury that day because the referee missed the offence and Suarez was on the field to score the equaliser in the dying seconds. However Suarez redeemed himself by bagging loads of goals and inspiring Liverpool to within a whisker of their first Premier League title since 1990.

  • Don’t make a meal of things. Can’t resist the corny food -elated clichés on this. But just to spice up the entire furore the Uruguay football federation has decided to appeal against the ban on their star man Luis Suarez. You’d think, someone, somewhere, would say: “Hey, lads we’re not going to win this one. So let him take it on the chin because we’re not going to make any friends if we continue like this.” Well, at least people aren’t talking about the riots and the lack of infrastructure. We’ve even managed not to talk about the airports.
  • Airports done well. Porto Alegre to Campinas. Left on time. Arrived on time. That’s 4-2. Credit where credit is due.
  • The taxi man knoweth. The taxi driver in Paris who ferried the daily review to Charles de Gaulle for the start of this wild, wonderful adventure has to be hailed. We were speaking about the World Cup and he said that he felt the Algeria team would do him proud this time. For years he said they’d promised a lot but not delivered. This time he believed they would. His last words to me when I headed towards the check-in were: “Think of me when they do well.” Mr Taxi Driver you are in my thoughts. Should have asked him who he thought would win so I could have placed a bet.

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