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Luis Suarez - 'Bitegate' Part III

Monday 30th June 2014
“The player Luis Suárez is to be suspended for nine (9) official matches. The first match of this suspension is to be served in the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ fixture between Colombia and Uruguay on 28 June 2014. The remaining match suspensions shall be served in Uruguay's next FIFA World Cup match(es), as long as the team qualifies, and/or in the representative team's subsequent official matches in accordance with art. 38 par. 2a) of the FDC.

The player Luis Suárez is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four (4) months in accordance with art. 22 of the FDC.” – FIFA

Liverpool and Uruguay's Luis Suarez has, it appears, bitten off more than he can chew in his latest act of shameful behaviour on a football pitch. Unbelievably, this is the third time he has deliberately bitten an opponent since 2010, with Giorgio Chiellini his most recent victim in last week's final group game.

Suarez is a fierce competitor who plays the game to his very maximum, with a win at all costs attitude that has now cost him dearly. Despite his ever increasing portfolio of shocking moments, it is clear that he does not have the mental capacity to tame his desperation to gain an advantage by any means necessary. As Jerome Valcke, Secretary General of FIFA, explained succinctly, he believes that Suarez should seek “treatment”.

On a football pitch, all those playing or watching expect to see physical competition which can spill over in to bad tackles punished by yellow and red cards. The act of biting falls outside any expectation and even eludes the written rules and regulations of the game. One of the first things you are taught as a child is to not bite other people, as that is a behaviour seen in animals and for Suarez to have done it on three separate occasions, it is clear that he has a deep psychological issue. Whether it is his instinct when he feels threatened or his reaction to intense pressure, he should not play football again until the safety of people playing against him can be guaranteed.

Even more concerning than the bite, is the reaction of the Uruguay striker, his team mates and the Uruguayan FA. ‘El Pisotlero' is hailed as a mythical, God-like creature in his native country and despite the instant, worldwide explosion of clear replays, media reports and social media comment vilifying Suarez for his actions, his team mates rallied around him stating that no incident of note that happened. Suarez then offered the following explanation to FIFA;

“In no way [did] it happen how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite. After the impact ... I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.” – Luis Suarez

You may be forgiven for thinking that actually, the above statement is a twisted joke. It is clear that firstly, Suarez cannot accept his severe behavioural problem and that he is being advised by moronic management who are ignorant to the disgusting nature of the event and more interested in retaining his status as a hero in Uruguay. Everyone from FIFA to the English media have been blamed for the ban that he now faces, when in reality the man that sunk his teeth into an opponent is being starved of the support and attention he evidently needs.

In being banned from all football activity for four months, I believe Suarez has got off lightly and if it wasn't for the obvious impact it will have on his club, Liverpool, it would have been a much heavier penalty. For example if a team's reserve goalkeeper, who plays sporadically, had bitten an opponent for the third time, would he ever play the game professionally again? I doubt it highly. The ban should be based on how long it is expected it will take for Suarez to get the appropriate help and deal with the issues that cause him to act like a crazed animal, which after being found guilty of both biting and racism is a period that may well be in excess of four months. In just being banned from football too, he is a lucky man. If I had bitten three people at work I would have been arrested. True, my work does not involve performing in front of millions people and carrying the hopes of a nation, and that is why Suarez needs support from experts.

Liverpool are now faced with an impossible task of deciding whether to protect the reputation of their club by cutting their losses and selling up, or by standing in support of their prized asset yet again. They stood by Suarez in the wake of him racially abusing Patrice Evra, a PR exercise that backfired horribly. They also refused to sell after his attack on Branislav Ivanovic. This incident may well, and should, be the last straw. A club with the pride and history of Liverpool do not need to stand by an individual shrouded in controversy and a refusal to admit wrong doing.

Unfortunately now, the mercurial and brilliant talent that is Luis Suarez will be forever remembered by his short fuse and his never before seen attacks on opponents. A player so great will be remembered for the use of his teeth instead of his feet.
James Dean
A lover of football. Season ticket holder at Sheffield Wednesday and known as the "Andrea Pirlo of the North".

Total articles: 24

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