"Hand of God" vs "Hand of Tulio"

"Hand of God" vs "Hand of Tulio"

Post by Medved Micha » Mon, 24 Jul 1995 04:00:00

Late Israeli night... There is a live show of two fantastic teams, playing
the most fascinating game of the last years. Every minute is enjoyable, 3
fantastic goals are scored, one sending off is made, Junigno and Batistuta
create miracles on the field, and later, Brazil makes every possible effort
to equalize. And then, comes the impossible. 79th minute: "That's Jorginho
holding the ball... A good pass to the box. Oh, that's a hand! That's a hand,
no doubt... No goal!" And then, in 5 seconds, with a totally astonished
voice: "The referee approves the goal! It's an equalizer!"

It's over now... 17 years after Argentina-Peru game of WC'78, 9 years after
Maradona's "Hand of God" and 5 years after Maradona's hand in his box against
Soviet Union, the biggest injustice has been made. The injustice, which puts
down the very sacred values of football, "FOOTBALL", which means "the game
played exclusively by feet and legs". This time the wheel of fortune was bi-
ased against Argentina, the most attractive team of this Copa America. The
referee from Peru, making hardly any mistake for the first 78 minutes (and
believe me, I'm not the one who will whine and complain about Astrada send-
ing off and Batistuta's offsides, which were rightly seen), made the only mis-
take of the game, the worst mistake ever and the one which will surely cost
him a career.

That's right, two great saves of Taffarel deservedly won the penalty kicks
for Brazil, while Hernan Cristante lacked several sentimeters of beautiful
flight to deny the last penalty of Edmundo. That's correct, Brazil was clear-
ly better in the second half and played not as rude and tough football as Ar-
gentina did. That's precise, Brazil had more chances and could've scored, and
the semifinals without Brazil would lack something. But the way they equali-
zed, makes their victory totally undeserved and makes me say: "Argentina is
the truly winner of this Copa America!"

Dunga, the Brazilian captain, was short after the game: "The winning side is
happy, and the losers seek for ifs and buts. Have you asked Maradona about his
handball then, in 1986?" His teammates were of the same opinion, and the sco-
rer, Tulio, said explicitly that no hand touch was made: "I touched the ball
with my shoulder, and everyone stopped. As a natural forward, I never stop,
that's why I went on and scored". So, it was with the shoulder, wasn't it? I
would have gone further -- it was with the chest. Then, Tulio should enter
the Guinness records book as the man with the biggest ever *** on Earth. 50
cm in diameter, I presume.

There had been unbelievable fouls and referee mistakes, but everytime some re-
ason and logic could be found beyond the ref's decision. The common sense of
the referee was mistaken in 1982, but there was no definite FIFA rule about
sending off Toni Schumacher for such a foul on Battiston. Kurt Rottlisberger
could've missed from a certain angle the penalty, deserved by Belgium against
Germany in WC'94. The serious trauma of Khalil Azmi with two minutes to go and
1:0 to Belgium prevented the referee from sending him off after the brutal ke-
eper's foul on Yosip Weber. The undecisive conduct of the linesman let Belgium
equalize to 2:2 against Soviet Union in WC'86, going to the dramatic victory
afterwards, but again, the angle was hard to decide beyond any doubt. The hand
of Maradona against Soviet Union in WC'90 didn't bring the Soviets an early pe-
nalty, but several replays were needed to see the hand clearly. Even after 25-
30 years, two arguments will still be held and never decided -- whether the
ball went out of the field before finding the Uruguaian forward (Uruguay 1 -
Soviet Union 0, WC'70), and whether the deflect from the bar passed the goal-
line in WC'66 final; still, we see that there is a lot of room for doubts. And
the unforgettable "Hand of God" in WC'86, as somebody claimed here right, was
first thought to be an offside. Great mistakes, that's right, but there was or
is a room for the doubt. On the contrary, in our case no replay was needed --
the most obvious ever hand from every angle, and that was seen beyond any doubt
by tens of millions of people, by every sane man but the referee. THERE WAS A
HAND OF TULIO!

That's sport, unfair as it could be, and nothing can return the potential Copa
America to Argentina, as nothing could console the England squad 9 years ago.
There was only one difference -- Maradona, being a caprice boy and scoring by
hand, found a way, however an original and humorously unusual, of "Hand of
God", to admit his handplay. It wasn't the "Hand of God", but it was the hand
of a great player; in fact, it took him just 240 seconds to make us forget the
most wrong goal of all times by scoring the most fantastic goal of all times,
and I remember people hugging and shouting in joy from the exciting thought of
seeing the miracle live. That game will be remembered for ever, and mostly be-
cause of the "Legs of God" than because of the "Hand of God"; on the contrary,
the last game, fantastic as it was, will be remembered just for the injustice.
Tulio can't make much now, but to admit will be the right thing to do, the one
which will return him some respect. Otherwise, Brazil will never see me again
as their supporter, since the whole team (Tulio, Dunga, etc.) make fools from
the world, and no world will bear it. Many people show solidarity with me.

MICHAEL MEDVED.