Thursday, June 26, 2014

Luis Suarez: what will FIFA do? The measured response is to "do" nothing … by gimleteye

The following view is not going to be popular, but here it is.

For those of you who haven't been following the World Cup controversy, Luis Suarez is the Uruguayan football star who plays for Liverpool and won the British Premier League Player of the Year award after a dismal season the previous year, shortened by a major penalty for biting an opponent at a heated moment during a game. Scarcely a month ago, Suarez had knee surgery and his appearance in Brazil was reason enough to marvel, much less his massive role in leading Uruguay to two victories with goals seemingly based in sheer willpower.

It is hard to imagine both the pressure and relief on a player of immense talent and one who fought and won his own vindication against -- at the least -- a hostile press. Then, a few days ago in the midst of another heated moment in a match against Italy, Suarez did it again. Not everyone reflexively responds to the constant pressure in a World Cup game by biting another player, in fact we don't have another example.

Instantly, commentators were calling for Suarez' head. Ban him from the World Cup. Be gone, biter!

Biting is an egregious foul, but this wasn't a Mike Tyson style latching onto an ear with his teeth. He didn't break someone's leg or shatter an ankle or knee with a deliberate foul. He didn't break skin. Suarez did what a child would do. The paradox is clear: we want our sports stars to be adult role models but the physical performances that make them stars requires a recessive lack of self-awareness. It is no surprise that in many sports, top athletes leave the best of themselves on fields of play.

So when ESPN's commentators -- some of them former world class players -- instantly condemned Suarez, my antennae went up.

The Suarez moment was reflexive like a third grader reacting to a play ground insult. The only difference is that he did it in front of a world wide television audience. Only the field officials apparently missed it. Now it is up to FIFA officials to decide what to do.

My view is they shouldn't "do" anything. If he had torn an ear, like Mike Tyson did with his teeth: then, yes. But that is not what happened. Banning Suarez from the rest of the World Cup will mean the end for Uruguay. Give Suarez a warning -- attached to a harsh penalty for future biting -- but, not a death penalty. The embarrassment to Suarez is penalty enough.


Anonymous said...

Just to be clear, this is NOT an isolated incident. This would be the THIRD time that Suarez has bitten an opponent. Each of the other two times, he was penalized and fined.

So, letting this, the third incident pass without some significant penalty is just ridiculous, and demeaning to those he has attacked. (In most parts of the world, a vicious bite would be Criminal Assault)

Anonymous said...

Suspend or ban that asshole.

Anonymous said...

Suspension is critical in this highly visible event. It sends a signal to all players. When Mike Tyson bit that ear, I was finished with boxing. And never returned. Many will never even watch that sport if they even think they will be witness to someone bite another person.

Gimleteye said...

Very hard to argue against the position expressed by our readers … obviously mine didn't get very far!

UK Guardian: "
Fifa’s independent disciplinary committee has banned Luis Suárez from all football-related activity for four months after he was seen biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.

The decision means the Liverpool striker, who has also been fined £66,000, will miss the rest of Uruguay’s World Cup campaign and the start of the domestic season. He is banned from Uruguay’s next nine competitive matches in total, and from entering any stadium during this period.

Uruguay’s FA are able to appeal against the sanctions, but even if the appeal is lodged and the process is under way he will not be able play in any matches."

Anonymous said...

As little as FIFA is legally required to do. Learning from their idols Florida Youth Soccer Assoc and South Florida United Youth Soccer Assoc NOTHING NADA just blah blah blah not liable blah....
FYSA is affiliated with US soccer US Youth Soccer
November 13, 2013
I would like to thank those of you that have responded to our letter of a couple of days ago, in reference to parents and spectator behavior. Overall, the response was that all of you were in accordance that the actions of the parents and/or spectators, especially the ones involving attacks on referee's and other parents, has got to stop immediately. However, what most concerns you is that the coaches will be penalized for the actions of others. Please note that in most of the Rules of Competition, like the FYSA State Cup, Region Cup, FSPL, the USYS National Championship Series, the rules read that" The coach is responsible for the actions of his/hers parents"
This is nothing new. Since the incidents are becoming more frequent, FYSA is going to become more proactive and enforce this rule more stringently than in the past. For those of you that are concern that you will be suspended, I recommend that you speak with your parents. You, as coaches and managers know who has sideline issues. if you have to let go of little Messi, or little Ronaldo, or little Abby, because his or hers parents are the ones that are causing all of the problems, that will be a decision that you and only you can make. Several years ago, I was put into that situation and had to make the difficult decision to remove a player from my team and the club that I was associated with supported me
100%, Additionally, as a High School coach, I had a problem parent and the player wanted to play bad enough that he asked his father not to come to the games and the father never said another word.
FYSA cannot be at every field at every game, but you and your club representatives are out there. You are the best police. Every team knows who the unruly parents are. Do not worry about the other team, but work with the problem parents within your team and club. In one of the responses that I receive someone went as far as to say that the other team parents will dress like the other team so you could be thrown out, WOW. What we must realize is that we need to start behaving like adults, and LET THE KIDS PLAY. A U6 player is not going to lose his or hers college scholarship by losing this coming Sunday, because the referee made a bad call. It is up to you as the leaders of your teams and clubs to teach your parents to enjoy their kids and do not worry about what others are doing. We need to respect the referees. How would a parent feel if every time that
their child made a mistake, the referee started screaming at their child, "you are blind", " you do not know what you are doing", " you are terrible", and those are the nice words we all hear. Should we should teach the referee's to do that, so that everyone is on an even playing field. Parents yelling at referees and referees yelling
at players? Or should we teach the parents to be parents and enjoy their children and the game that they love to play? Personally, I like the second one, but we could try the first one, if you would like. Regards,
Marino Torrens President
Florida Youth Soccer Association