On Suarez: Good riddance to bad rubbish

On Suarez: Good riddance to bad rubbish

Luis Suarez got what was coming to him.

He shamed the game. He embarrassed the best World Cup in decades. He made fools of Fifa organisers.

The last one sealed his fate.

Claudio Sulser, a retired striker and a serious Swiss born to be chairman of the Fifa Disciplinary Committee, said: "Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch, and in particular not at a Fifa World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field."

UNHINGED

That final point cannot be overstated. This World Cup continues to walk on eggshells with political and security concerns hanging over the Maracana, the last thing this tournament needs is a psychologically-unhinged individual biting Giorgio Chiellini in the penalty box.

Fifa had no room for manoeuvre. There could be no half measures, no possibility of misinterpretation. The corporate juggernaut could not veer towards the rich individual, but had to come down firm on the side of the disillusioned masses.

The eyes of millions of people were watching. Suarez had no chance. He was suspended for nine Uruguay matches. His World Cup is over. More crucially for long-suffering Liverpool supporters, he is banned for four months from any football-related activity and all its stadia.

He cannot even join his adoring Scousers for their spine-tingling, pre-match anthem. He walks alone until October.

But he deserves no sympathy. His tiresome, indefensible acts of puerile violence are unworthy of our time and any other emotion beyond contempt.

An unreformed serial offender with obvious anger management issues, Suarez seeks out neither the professional help he needs nor the remorse that might earn public support.

An unapologetic recidivist, Suarez has now been found guilty of biting another opponent for the third time. His previous victims - Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and former PSV Eindhoven man Otman Bakkal - responded with a dignity that is utterly beyond this nauseating individual.

Until yesterday, his vulgar display of aggression undermined the joyous achievements of his countrymen in Brazil.

Oscar Tabarez's magnificent men punched above their weight in Group D as their opponents smashed into the wall of sound created by their invigorating, intimidating blue and white army in the stands.

But the empathy has dissipated. Suarez twittered on like a UFO-obsessed conspiracy theorist about European media plots while the Uruguayan Football Association claimed he was the victim of a smear campaign by the Italians and the red marks on Chiellini's shoulder were photo-shopped.

In that moment, the general public crossed the floor and joined the Colombians. When the South American sides meet here at the Maracana, Suarez will not be the only Uruguayan to feel like God's lonely man.

Though rapidly dwindling in number, blinkered souls still seek a justification that isn't there, a slender carrot to stand up to all the sticks beating down on the self-flagellating Suarez. Some wonder how a bite can be treated any differently to a heavy tackle; the burden of loyalty clearly crushing all common sense.

Animals bite. Toddlers bite.

It is the brutal act of the mindless thug with a dubious grasp of morality and an inability to recognise that being human is to be humane.

That's why children stop biting when they reach kindergarten age. They recognise human decency and no longer dance with the Lord of the Flies.

Suarez dances only with the devil.

INHUMANE

His third act of gross indecency is dwarfed only by his refusal to acknowledge that his behaviour is inhumane.

He is incapable of physical restraint; a remarkable talent tempered by his refusal to step back. He is a damaged man seemingly beyond redemption.

Fifa has acted accordingly.

On this occasion, the World Cup organisers occupy the moral high ground. It doesn't get much lower than that for Suarez.

Now Uruguay and Liverpool face a dilemma not of their design, but one they must address nonetheless.

How many principles must be swallowed in exchange for a healthy goal tally?

For now, Fifa has made the right decision. This wonderful World Cup is unworthy of such a repugnant stain.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

npsports@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 27, 2014.
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