Inevitably Luis Suarez has become involved in the most controversial moment of the World Cup, allegedly biting the Italian defender. What punishment should FIFA impose on the Uruguay player?
Having attracted the headlines last week when scoring the two goals against England, Luis Suarez, once again, has become embroiled in a headline grabbing story with his bite on the shoulder of the Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, in their final World Cup group game. The officials didn’t see anything but television evidence shows clearly that Suarez has bitten the defender’s shoulder and the marks were visible when Chiellini pulled his shirt down. Having sunk his teeth into the Italian’s shoulder, Suarez then threw himself to the ground holding his face as if he had been the one who had been struck.
FIFA have launched an investigation. This is the third occasion that Suarez has committed the same offence. He was banned for 7 games when he did it in Holland when playing for Ajax. The Football Association imposed a 10-match ban for the bite on Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic towards the end of the 2012-13 season – a ban which stretched to the end of September, 2013.
Chiellini was angry and his comments were reported in the Daily Express. After the game he said,
Suarez is a sneak and he gets away with it because FIFA want their stars to play in the World Cup. It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off.
The Uruguay captain denied that Suarez had committed any offence but the FIFA vice-President, Jim Boyce, said that the incident would have to be “investigated seriously”.
Commentators and the media have been out-raged that Luis Suarez has again committed such an act. There have been calls for a lengthy ban to be imposed by FIFA with Glenn Hoddle one of many who called for a ban.
Some are suggesting that Suarez should be shown understanding, wanting him to receive help for his obvious problem and a financial punishment so that he can carry on with his career. While it is clear that he needs support, he must also be banned from the game for a lengthy period as a financial punishment is meaningless for a player who is earning millions. FIFA do have the power to ban a player for a maximum of 2 years.