Editorial

FIFA ban on Mr Suarez quite fitting

Saturday, June 28, 2014    

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The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) took the correct decision in banning Uruguayan striker Mr Luis Suarez for biting Italian defender Mr Giorgio Chiellini during their World Cup match on Tuesday.

In fact, given that this was Mr Suarez's third such disgraceful action, he was quite lucky to have been banned only from all football-related activity for four months, suspended for Uruguay's next nine internationals and fined 100,000 Swiss francs.

The punishment, though, is just and FIFA should ignore the nonsensical harping by some people, including Mr Suarez's countrymen and the Uruguay coach, Mr Oscar Tabarez, that the ban is excessive.

Mr Tabarez has said that he will resign from two FIFA posts in protest and is insisting that Mr Suarez has been made a scapegoat.

"We know the mistakes he's made, but there's another side to this person. The severity was excessive," Mr Tabarez said at a news conference yesterday. "Many times you forget that the scapegoat is a person who has rights."

According to Mr Tabarez, the ban was "more focused on the opinions of the media".

Surprisingly, Mr Chiellini, the bite victim, shares the view that the ban is excessive, stating so on his personal website.

"I have always considered unequivocal the disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies, but at the same time I believe that the proposed formula is excessive," the Italian defender wrote. "I sincerely hope that he will be allowed, at least, to stay close to his teammates during the games because such a ban is really alienating for a player."

One football fan, who claims that Mr Suarez is his favourite player, is reported by Agence France Press as saying that he believes the Uruguayan player resorts to biting opponents "when he gets frustrated".

All that, of course, is absolute balderdash.

It is clear from video footage of the incident that Mr Suarez was quite calculating in his action, for he attacked Mr Chiellini off the ball.

In fact, his second biting offence in April 2013 during an English Premier League game against Chelsea was also committed off the ball.

What many of the people making ridiculous excuses for Mr Suarez need to accept is that his behaviour suggests that he needs treatment, because there must be something wrong with his thinking.

Associated Press sports columnist Mr John Leicester puts it quite well in a piece published in our sport section today.

"Instead of blindly closing ranks, trying to defend the indefensible and pretending he is the victim of a conspiracy, now is the time for teammates and Uruguay officials to sit in a semi-circle around Suarez and one after the other explain how he is letting them and himself down. Peer pressure might be more effective than simple punishment in moderating his behaviour. They could help themselves by helping him stop ruining what should be a glorious career, given his skills with a ball," Mr Leicester wrote.

Need we say more?

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