Luis Suárez – 3 strikes and out

Luis Suárez being banned from ALL football for four months has got to signal the end of his Liverpool career. The nine international matches he misses pale into insignificance when considered alongside games he will miss for Liverpool, again, including the Champions’ League football he claimed to be so keen to experience with his club.

FIFA began discussing his fate on Wednesday then that dragged on into Thursday, typical, while everyman and his dog debated on everything from reasons why he did it to how long a ban he should receive and just about everything in between, including burning at the stake (I promised myself no puns in this, sorry).

Ironic wasn’t it that after the ‘alleged’ bite the Uruguayan sat down and held his teeth with a pained expression – out of the mouths of babes and innocents, so to speak.

Luis Suárez has gone a bit too far this time and can consider himself fortunate not to have received a greater penalty, notwithstanding his £66,000 fine . He has gone beyond Marmite Man for just about everyone on the planet not Uruguayan.

Everyone knows he has got form; seven match ban in Holland for biting PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal in 2010 and just last year a 10 match suspension for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanović. So a graduated increase in the ban was totally expected.

Of course the Uruguayans closed ranks in trying to defend the indefensible. From his lawyer, Alejandro Balbi, who brought shame on his country and profession by suggesting ‘a European conspiracy’, to the country’s President, Jose Mujica, who stated ‘Suárez should be judged solely on his football ability’. Being a former guerrilla fighter I suppose biting is de riguer in that profession. Senor Balbi, who is also a member of the Uruguayan Football Association, also stated that the bite was ‘casual play’ I shudder to think what happens when Luis’s approach gets serious.

I think it’s almost certain Suárez will not play for Liverpool again. St Brendan (Rodgers) moved mountains to save the Uruguayan’s Anfield career, despite severe internal pressure to cast him adrift. This latest episode will not sit well with the club’s American owners though they may have to consider less than market value bids from any suitor wishing to gamble on future conduct from a serial offender. And that list got drastically shorter before FIFA even came to their decision.

There is and should not be any sympathy for Luis Suárez. How many times before he stops, gets help, or both.

The victim of Suárez ‘casual play’, Giorgio Chiellini, was asked by an Italian journalist if he ‘put anything on the bite’. He answered;

“No, Sembrava piecera come e stato”

*For the benefit of Spanish speakers -“No, parecia que le gustaba tal como era”

For the rest of us, in English, “No, he seemed to like it as it was”.

Longest serving freelance football reporter for Sky Sports, 1,000+ games. Author of Breedon Book of Premiership Records and Three Lions.
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