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It’s long and curved and menacing, with dark hairs on the knuckle.
Whenever it is raised aloft, the strongest knee may buckle.
It fans deep-ingrained sentiments and stokes up fierce attrition.
Reputations wilt beneath the finger of suspicion.
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Remember Argentina and those tickertape receptions,
Worthy World Cup winners, by the home fans’ own perceptions.
To dare suggesting otherwise is flirting with sedition,
But pointing from the outside is the finger of suspicion.
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Everyone remembers poor Peru’s capitulation,
The short and brutal mauling of a once-proud football nation.
The whispers, murmured cynically, grew loud through repetition.
“J’accuse!” the world exclaimed and raised the finger of suspicion.
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And then, throughout the Final with the discontentment growing,
The Dutch fans soon discovered they’d get little that was going.
Violent fouls abounded with the referee’s permission,
And, poking through the tickertape, the finger of suspicion.
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The players, of course, could not be blamed for how the football bobbled,
But lots of people wondered if somebody had been nobbled.
It should have been a spectacle, a sporting exhibition,
But the picture was distorted by the finger of suspicion.
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It’s possible of course that things were nowhere bad as painted,
But Argentina’s victory will be forever tainted.
Acute and widespread cynicism marred the competition –
It’s never easy to deflect the finger of suspicion.