What a day in the World Cup, right? I mean it seems that every large sporting event these days ends up being overshadowed for a small (or sometimes large) portion of it due to an unfortunate event. Of course what happened today though wasn’t anything new for Uruguayan striker, Luis Suarez. As most of you know, one of the hottest goal scorers in the Premier League this season marred his home country’s Round of 16 berth with his third (alleged) biting incident of his career. That’s right…THIRD.
Don’t get me wrong; although there is so much wrong with the story and with Suarez’s actions, the memes going around the internet, as well as the headlines are hilarious. Not to mention, I am constantly reminded of the Austin Powers scene where Dr. Evil warns that Mini Me is a biter and every time I think of Dr. Evil saying this about Suarez instead, I laugh. Thank God I am the only one in my office; otherwise I would look completely insane.
Putting all the humor associated with the incident aside though, this is actually quite serious and what FIFA ends up deciding could have a huge impact on the 2014 World Cup (at the time this is being written, no decision has been made), but the big question is…what is the right punishment?
I have heard rumors that he could face a six month suspension from both National and Club play. Although some are calling for a lifetime ban, I do suppose that six months would send quite the message to the repeat offender. However, on the other hand you have some people asking “What’s the big deal?”, a bite isn’t as damaging as the majority of tackles right? I mean it’s embarrassingly immature and bizarre beyond all belief, but it’s not like he went “Walking Dead” on anyone….well not yet I guess. Does the absence of severe or possibility of severe injury justify a lighter punishment?
Here is how I see it. I think at the very least, FIFA needs to suspend Suarez for the remainder of the tournament. The severity of physical damage may be relatively low, but the psychological advantage of having the nibbler out on the pitch is actually pretty high. I mean just imagine if you are defending a corner and you have Suarez to your left or your right. I don’t care how much of a professional you are, it is simply in our DNA. Nobody wants to get bitten by another human being! No matter how likely or unlikely it is that Suarez would actually do it again, trust me….all that would be going through your head is “**** is this guy going to bite me or???” His antics have proven to be successful in messing with his opponents and when they get to be this level of “WTF”, there is a point where you say enough is enough. Especially after the THIRD time!
That all said, the last thing FIFA wants to do is boot out the little mosquito. Whether you like seeing him score or not, he does do it frequently and he may very well be one of the most talented strikers in the game, but now that this is BIG news around the world, I feel like FIFA would be doing a disservice to the beautiful game and would lose another large chunk of integrity after what has been an already miserable spell for them over the last few years if they didn’t punish him is some shape or form. If Uruguay were to go far through the knockout stages with Suarez in their lineup for every match, it would end up turning their National Team into a villain because of one guy and God forbid they win; people would mostly remember that “the biter” won the World Cup in 2014 rather than Uruguay winning it as a country.
This isn’t Suarez’s first offense and as a 27 year old man with children, I would think he knows better by now not to bite someone (safe to say his poor kids will not be getting any playdates anytime soon). There is no excuse for what he did and the quicker FIFA can take care of this in an appropriate way, the quicker we can move on with this tournament that has managed to be one of the best ever.Before that happens though, I want to know what you all think is appropriate punishment for Suarez.