We dream of football and the world is full of dreams

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

When Suarez bites it damages the game

Photo credit: Getty Images

Luis Suarez did the unthinkable. Again. He bit Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder in today's deciding match in group C between Uruguay and England. But where does this leave him, FIFA, and the game of soccer?

For Suarez this should be no coincidence. In 2010 he bit PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal when playing for Ajax of the Dutch Eridivisie. In 2013 he bit Chelsea's Ivanovic when playing for Liverpool FC of the English Premier League.
Clearly, the man is disturbed. Such a childish, hurtful and plain disgusting gesture lies outside of professional sports. Just ask Mike Tyson. Is this what we want to show the quarter-billion children watching this World Cup? These are kids looking up at role models. What should we tell them when Suarez commits such an act? It's certainly not part of the game.

The match ended in a 1-0 win in favor of Uruguay, with the lone goal coming a couple of minutes after the purported bite. Italy was down a man after Marchisio was ejected and had little to show for as they combated the well-poised Uruguayan defense. We can't credit the win to Suarez's bite, as Godin scored a perfect header to put the "Charruas" in front. Still, some measure of psychology has to work itself into the conversation.

Should FIFA act, it will likely be a suspension for Suarez. Maybe a ban for life from international competition. Why not? This is the third offense of this type.

Let's also not forget that most of Africa already harbors a deal of dislike for Suarez for his handball at the mouth of goal, with the goalkeeper already beaten, to deny Ghana the goal and the win. Ghana would have advanced to the 2010 semifinals, the first African team to do so. Instead, they settled for penalties and Gyan missed, sending Uruguay to their first semifinal since 1970. 

And also we should remember his racist remarks towards Manchester United's Patrice Evra, his suspension for this, and, once back, his refusal to shake Evra's hand. So, my friends, as much as I like to watch him score and play for club and country, I have to say this: time to let him go.

No comments: