Sunday, 21 April 2013

Biting news: Luis Suarez: yes, he's hungry but can he EVER play for Liverpool again

This is the first tweet from Luis Suarez after yesterday's incident: "I'm sad for what happened this afternoon, I apologize Ivanovic and all football world for my inexcusable behaviour. I'm so sorry about it!!" But as you can see above, he's done it before. Here's what happened today...

The first point that needs to be made about Sunday’s unbelievable Luis Suarez biting incident is: he’s done it before. Like his infamous use of the hands in vital situations, he doesn’t seem to learn the lesson.

The second point? The 26-year-old CANNOT play for Liverpool again. Enough is enough. Prominent hands are one thing, prominent teeth are another. Ask Mike Tyson.

Playing for Ajax Amsterdam against Feyenoord in 2010, there is clear video evidence of the controversial Uruguayan biting the neck of Dutchman Otman Bakkal, a tasty misdemeanour which earned him a seven-match ban.

That first attempt at cannibalism came AFTER the infamous handball which devastated Ghana at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but BEFORE his eight-game ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Since then, he has managed to get in to trouble for diving, using his hands, stamping and erm... scoring goals.

Just yesterday he needlessly handled to give away the penalty which gave Chelsea the lead seconds after the first goal and scored the last-gasp second in a pulsating 2-2 draw at Anfield – but only because ref Kevin Friend ignored those Branislav Ivanovic tooth marks, despite the Serbian defenders’ animated complaints.

The question is, can Suarez play again after yesterday's incident, which echoed around the football-speaking world? Clearly, Liverpool are worried. The Football Association will charge him (violent conduct or vampirism), with one eye on the career-changing seven-match suspension for the first incident in Holland.

After that, he never played in the Ere Divisie again. He moved to Liverpool. On Sunday night, Suarez said: "I have tried to contact Branislav Ivanovic to speak to him personally. I apologise also to my manager, playing colleagues and everyone at Liverpool for letting them down."

His long-suffering Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers said: "Having reviewed the video footage and spoken to Luis, his behaviour is unacceptable and I have made him aware of this."

More conclusive is this from Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s managing director, who cancelled a Reds-promoting trip to Australia as Suarez’s arm-chewing went global.

Ayre said: "His conduct is not befitting of a Liverpool player. Luis is aware that he has let himself and everyone associated with the club down. We will deal with the matter internally and await any action from the Football Association."

Tellingly, Rodgers said in his post-match interview: "This is a club with incredible values and ethics. There's certainly no-one bigger than this club, a player or a manager. You think a player can’t be released then another one comes along.

"As football managers, staff and players, we're representing this club, off the field and in particular on the field."

Former Liverpool and England midfielder Jamie Redknapp, trying to explain the remarkable scenes on Sky in England, said: “There is that madness-genius gene in him because as a player he’s exceptional, with people talking about him being player of the year, but what he did today, is indefensible.

“Even the staunchest Liverpool supporters cannot look at that and think that’s okay. Why on earth would you want to take a chunk out of someone when you are on a football field? That is an absolutely incredible act of brutality. It’s madness.”

Former player and coach Graeme Souness growled: "He has to be in the last-chance saloon as a Liverpool player."

There is another awkward debate about to dawn too. Suarez, who scored his 30th goal of the season six-minutes in to injury-time yesterday, has been named on the PFA Player of the Year shortlist.

PFA chairman Gordon Taylor, one of the world’s richest union leaders, said: "It is very depressing and embarrassing that it should happen. If it wasn't for all the controversies he's been involved in he would be a more highly regarded player.

"Players are role models and are highly rewarded. This sets such a bad example. We cannot exclude him from our awards but this is embarrassing."

You can hear me discussing Suarez's hunger on eTV Sunrise (DSTV 194) at 7.15am and eNCAnews (DSTV 403) at 8.15am. A version of this story will appear in The New Age newspaper on Tuesday morning.

1 comment:

  1. Glory Glory Man United ... as the REDS go marching ON ON ON .....