Suarez should be kicked out

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

Luis Suarez’ pun­ish­ment for munch­ing on Ital­ian de­fender Gior­gio Chiellini’s shoul­der dur­ing a Foot­ball World Cup match the other day was pal­pa­bly in­ad­e­quate.

The Uruguayan star was sus­pended for four months, banned for nine in­ter­na­tional matches and fined £ 65,000 (NZ$126,000).

Con­sid­er­ing Suarez was re­signed by Liver­pool in a £75 mil­lion (NZ$145 mil­lion) deal last year and earns £ 160,000 (NZ$310,000) a week, the fine is mean­ing­less.

Suarez in­sisted he did not bite Chiellini, that in fact the Ital­ian’s shoul­der had been forced into his mouth.

Un­for­tu­nately for the Uruguayan, his­tory is not on his side.

He missed part of last sea­son be­cause of a 10-match sus­pen­sion for bit­ing Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in an English Pre­mier League game.

And in 2010, when play­ing for Ajax, he was sus­pended for seven games for bit­ing PSV Eind­hoven’s Ot­man Bakkal.

Fur­ther­more, pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence has emerged that he tried to bite Chiellini dur­ing a 2013 Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup game.

Surely foot­ball should have a ‘‘ three strikes and you’re out’’ sys­tem for of­fences as se­ri­ous as bit­ing.

Be­cause Suarez is a great player, foot­ball seems to op­er­ate a par­al­lel jus­tice sys­tem for him.

The Uruguayan Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion was ap­par­ently fum­ing at his World Cup ejec­tion and he re­turned home to a hero’s wel­come.

Never mind the in­ci­dent oc­curred off the ball and was en­tirely un­pro­voked.

Foot­ball’s han­dling of Suarez does not com­pare well with other fa­mous bit­ing in­ci­dents in sport.

Mike Tyson chewed off part of Evan­der Holy­field’s ear dur­ing their heavy­weight box­ing ti­tle fight in 1997. It took him two at­tempts. He was warned af­ter the first bite and disqual­i­fied the sec­ond time.

Tyson was fined US$3m and banned from box­ing for life. Of course, be­ing box­ing, he was back in the ring 18 months later.

Spring­bok prop Jo­han le Roux had a good chew on All Black cap­tain Sean Fitz­patrick’s ear dur­ing a test in Welling­ton in 1994. Le Roux was sus­pended for 18 months, and was mighty sour about it, too.

‘‘For an 18-month sus­pen­sion, I feel I should have prob­a­bly torn it off,’’ he said.

‘‘ Then at least I could say, ‘ Look, I’ve re­turned to South Africa with the guy’s ear’.’’

Bri­tish Lion Danny Grewcock was ex­traor­di­nar­ily lucky to get away with a two- month sus­pen­sion for bit­ing Keven Mealamu’s ear dur­ing a test against the All Blacks in Christchurch in 2005. There was vir­tu­ally no mes­sage in that pun­ish­ment that such be­hav­iour would not be tol­er­ated.

There have been lots of strange bit­ing in­ci­dents in sport over the years.

Def­i­nitely the weird­est I know of con­cerned Sevilla striker Fran­cisco Gal­lardo in 2001.

In a spon­ta­neous on- field cel­e­bra­tion dur­ing a Span­ish league match against Val­ladolid, Gal­lardo bit the pe­nis of team­mate Jose An­to­nio Reyes, who had scored.

Gal­lardo was sus­pended by the Royal Span­ish Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion for vi­o­lat­ing stan­dards of ‘‘sport­ing dig­nity and deco­rum’’.

The player said he was shocked to be pun­ished for what he termed ‘‘a mi­nor in­ci­dent, soon for­got­ten’’.

But back to Suarez. It is as­tound­ing that foot­ball ad­min­is­tra­tors con­tinue to tread so lightly around him. They are send­ing a poor mes­sage and do­ing nei­ther the player nor the sport any good.

It’s time they got a lot tougher and stopped pan­der­ing to su­per­stars.

Photo: GETTY

Trou­bled: Luis Suarez pon­ders his

fu­ture af­ter the Chiellini in­ci­dent dur­ing Uruguay’s game against Italy.

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