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Luis Suarez: A hero or a cheat?

Uruguay's striker Luis Suarez, left, stops the ball

Uruguay's striker Luis Suarez, left, stops the ball with his hands to prevent a last-second goal against Ghana. (July 2, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Will Luis Suarez be remembered as a hero or a villain?

Certainly, his status in his homeland of Uruguay won't be debated. I'm not quite sure if they televise their own version of PTI.

But, here and around the world, his intentional hand ball on the goal line that prevented Ghana from scoring the game-winning goal and in Friday's World Cup quarterfinal will be scrutinized for its classlessness, unfairness and general unsportsmanlike nature.

PHOTOS: Highlights from the Uruguay-Ghana match

FIFA officials are thinking about extending his one-game suspension for the rest of the tournament. It's certainly an engaging debate.

But was it really unfair ... or is it soccer's tuck rule?

If there was any time to risk unsportsmanlike conduct in any sport, that was the time. Suarez' play single-handedly (I think it was both hands, actually) allowed Uruguay to advance to the semifinals and possibly beyond. Was it worth it -- winning by any means possible? His teammates, coach and countrymen would say it was.

One look at the face of Asamoah Gyan and you would probably argue it wasn't.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said: "I think (calling him a cheat) would be too far-fetched and too twisted."

Tabarez even reminded everyone that Ghana won a penalty kick in a group-stage match against Australia because of the exact same rule. Granted, the play -- in which Harry Kewell was sent off in the 24th minute -- looked a little less intentional in a far less significant moment (Check it out below), but he has a point.

Does the rule need to be changed? Should a goal be awarded, instead?

One thing's for certain, Suarez won't get to play in Uruguay's next game. He sent Uruguay into the quarterfinals with his right foot. He then sent Uruguay into the semifinals with his cheating hands. He'll live with it ... hands down.

Ghana 1-1 Australia

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