The Suarez incident: v3

by Timothy Masters on June 25, 2014

SuarezChiBiteThis isn’t the first time we’ve had to try and make sense of a bite from Luis Suarez here in the UK, or even here at Bet123 Towers for that matter, and the prevailing opinion around the world of sport psychology seems to be that there is a good chance it won’t be the last either, but if you know the history of the man and his teeth understanding why he’s done what he has gets harder each time. The first instance of a bite in his career may have been in some ways justified, if not entirely as he was under attack from an opposition player stamping on his toes in an effort to injure him, but since then each incident of jaw locking has seemed less and less explicable, to the point where last night’s aberration is utterly baffling from any direction.

As mentioned, the first bite came at the end of a stressful game in a stressful situation generally, and Liverpool fans in particular are ok with largely overlooking the moment that not only first damaged the Uruguayan’s reputation, but also went some way to lowering his asking price at a time when the Anfield club were looking to buy, where the second was slightly stranger. Some posited the theory that he may have simply been trying to engineer another move by forcing his club to sell him, while others wondered if it may have been a reaction to the way Branislav Ivanovic was marshalling him that day. A third, more cautious group did discuss the possibility that Suarez may simply have some mental issues that cause him to lose control at times, but that was viewed as something of an extreme view back then.

Now, in the wake of his clear chomp at the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini that is an opinion a lot of people seem happy to subscribe to, and it’s very tough to argue with them when you consider the facts. At a competition like the World Cup, where the cameras are everywhere and the world media in attendance there is no way he was ever going to get away with the ‘crime’ he committed in the long-term, and even the chances of getting a short-term gain seem negligible when you consider the ref couldn’t really know what had gone one. Now, at a time when his country need him more than ever it looks like Luis Suarez will be taking another enforced hiatus from football, and it is the honest opinion of this writer that he cannot be in full control of his facilities.

For a man with such astonishing physical control it is a tragedy, but he has nobody but himself to blame, and the penalty paid is likely to be massive in light of previous transgressions, and possibly even his future career. That the player knew the situation he’d created was undoubtable by the end of the match as his joy turned to anger and despair at his own actions, and we’ll find out later today how heavily he’ll pay for what he did. We probably won’t see Luis Suarez at the 2014 World Cup again, and when you consider the billions of people, and hundreds of millions of children watching and learning from the tournament that isn’t actually a terrible thing, at least not compared to the alternative. A victim of his own madness he may be, but right now Luis Suarez has hurt himself more than anyone else, and may struggle to recover his reputation, ever.

Image credit: Antoon Kuper

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