Suarez handed one-game ban

JOHANNESBURG - Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was given a one-match ban by FIFA on Saturday for the controversial last-minute handball which denied Ghana a World Cup semi-final place.

The decision not to give him a stiffer sanction means he will be eligible to return for the final should Uruguay beat Netherlands in Tuesday's first semi-final in Cape Town.

Suarez denied Ghana the prize of becoming the first African team to reach the last four of a World Cup when he handled on the goalline in the dying seconds.

He was sent off for the offence but Ghana's Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty, the match ended 1-1 after extra-time and Uruguay won the shootout 4-2.

The Uruguay striker said his conscience was clear, however.

"It was worth being sent off in this way because at that moment there was no other choice," Suarez told reporters. "I'm very calm."

His coach Oscar Tabarez rejected assertions that the team had won by cheating.

"Yes, he stuck his hand out but is that cheating?" he asked.

"I think it was instinctive. He was thrown out (of the game), he can't play the next match. There are consequences."

"When he handled, he didn't know Ghana would miss the penalty. Is Suarez to blame for Ghana missing the penalty in the shootout?"

FIFA's disciplinary committee met to consider the incident and could have banned the player for longer than one match.

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