Alan Hansen believes that the furore surrounding Luis Suarez's handball for Liverpool on Sunday is a result of his reputation, with the former Red insisting that the striker was at no fault as he scored the winning goal in the FA Cup against Mansfield.
Suarez appeared to handle the ball in the 59th minute as he slotted it into the net, and though he looked over to the officials, there was no whistle and as a result he duly celebrated his goal.
Debate has raged since over whether he should have owned up to the mistake, but Hansen believes that the Liverpool star was not at fault as he fought for the win.
"The sad thing for Suarez is his reputation goes before him," he said in the Telegraph. "In recent weeks he has been staying on his feet far more and there have been fewer incidents where opponents have accused him of diving.
"He scored a goal against Sunderland recently where he could easily have thrown himself to the floor, but instead he retained his balance and scored. Nobody seemed to say much about the honesty of his play in that case.
"Yesterday, Suarez simply followed the golden rule every youngster is taught when he first plays football. 'Play to the whistle.' If that whistle does not come, it's the fault of the referee, not the player."
Suarez is no stranger to handball-related controversies, with the Uruguay international receiving a red card in the quarter final of the 2010 World Cup against Ghana after catching the ball in front of goal.
Since his move to the Premier League, the media spotlight has often been on his actions besides scoring goals, and Hansen believes he's become a target for the media to concentrate on.
"He did exactly what anyone who has ever played professional football - and anyone who plays in the future - would do in the same situation," he explained. "There will be outrage about it, firstly, because it was a high-profile incident in a high-profile game. Second, because it is Suarez. He has become an easy target.
"I can imagine if other players were at the centre of such a controversy it would be simply shrugged off as a stroke of luck - or bad luck so far as Mansfield are concerned - and the debate would not focus so much on the identity of the goalscorer."