Ban or Not: Luis Suarez for Biting
Update: Luis Suarez has been banned for nine matches and from “any football related activity” for four months. That means he can’t train with his club or his country, and we won’t see his smug face in the stands supporting his team in the rest of this World Cup.
This may not be as harsh as some of us feel was warranted, but I can tell you it’s unprecedented and pretty sweeping.
Now that we’ve all seen the video angles, I think it’s pretty clear that Luis Suarez did bite Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini right before Uruguay scored their winning goal.
Red Card or Not seems pretty superfluous in this latest (that would be the third) Suarez biting incident.
Why Marco Rodriguez couldn’t give a red card for the bite, even with the visible evidence on Chiellini, was that he didn’t see it. Remember, even though we were all pretty sure that the bite happened, it took multiple slow motion camera angles to prove it.
And quite frankly, Chiellini is a bit of a pantomime villain himself, and had been flopping about all day. In fact, he visibly threw an elbow at Suarez (though you can’t blame him), which allowed Suarez to play the victim. Faced with two well-known cheats and not having seen it himself, Rodriguez took the safe path and took no action.
There is never an excuse for biting an opponent. Never. I just can’t think of a single one, and I don’t remember very many other players doing it. It’s a horrific thing to do and it suggests a lack of control in anger that actually borders on the dangerous.
So, the question is not should it have been a red card. Of course it should have. The question is whether Suarez should see another game or not.
FIFA can choose not to ban him (which would no doubt cause an outcry at this point), ban him for the standard three matches for violent conduct (which would see him available for a potential Uruguay final), or – given his history – slap him with a longer ban. They have the option to ban a player up to 24 months, though they’ve never come anywhere close.
Note: I did not add “lifetime ban” originally to the poll, because I don’t actually think that’s an option available to FIFA (someone let me know if I’m wrong). But I’ll add it.
Note the second: Allowing a rematch is the most popular ‘other’ choice. The truth is, that’s not realistic. Even with the capability to allow for that were there (and I don’t think it is), Suarez didn’t score. Diego Godin did. Even if the referee saw the altercation clearly and if Uruguay had 10 men, you don’t know for sure that Godin doesn’t score. And don’t forget, if the referee had seen it, he may well have carded Chiellini for that elbow, and Italy would have had nine. Too many ifs to know what would have happened…
Featured photo: The Guardian