By, Kyle Gibson
Things were already very ugly between Italy and Uruguay in today’s final group stage game of Group D. Towards the 80th minute, though, things got even uglier when Uruguay’s superstar, Luis Suarez, took a bite out of Giorgio Chiellini, one of Italy’s star defenders.
Sounds crazy right? Who in their right mind would bite another player? This is not the first time Suarez has helped himself to a bite of succulent shoulder, though, Actually, it’s the third time.
In 2010, Suarez, then at Ajax in Amsterdam, bit PSV rival Otman Bakkal and was suspended two games.
In 2013, in a much more high profile incident, Suarez bit Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea, leading to a 10 game suspension.
Add that to today and that’s three separate incidents. That means that three times, during the course of a game of soccer, a man has bitten the shoulder of three separate players.
If you think, wow, three major incidents for one player is a lot, that’s not the end of the controversy for Suarez.
In the 2010 World Cup, in the quarterfinals against Ghana, Suarez blatantly handled a ball aimed at an empty Uruguay net late in the game. Suarez earned a red card, but the damage was done. Ghana was denied a great chance to score and lost due to a cheap trick, an abomination against soccer. Uruguay, without Suarez, went on to lose the semifinal.
Also, in 2011, Suarez was charged by the FA for “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour contrary to FA rules” for an apparent racial abuse of Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a match. Suarez was suspended eight games and forced to pay a $40,000 fine.
Suarez is an amazingly talented player who, when simply playing and not disparaging the game, is one of the best attacking players on earth. Even though he signed a 5 year deal with Liverpool earlier this year, Suarez is being looked at by two of the world’s top clubs, Real Madrid and F.C. Barcelona. One has to wonder if they will still be interested now.
Why would a player with such gifts stoop so low? Is it just part of his nature, or his reaction when his temper hits boiling point? We may never know that answer.
I think FIFA needs to show resolve here and ban Luis Suarez for the remainder of the World Cup. His actions have cast the entire sport in a negative light. FIFA has to send a message to a childish, petulant player who despite his talent, comes off as a very little man with attitude issues.
Bite that, Luis.