Limpag: Bite bites Suarez back, badly

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Friday, June 27, 2014


IT’S funny how everyone but the Uruguay members of the team saw the bite. Their FA president even said the photos circulating worldwide--minutes after Uruguay booted out four-time champion Italy—were just photoshopped.

It’s funny, too, how Luis Suarez—the serial biter who’s now involved in three biting incidents—dismissed it as something that just happens on the pitch. And oh! Lest we forget, he also said he didn’t really bite him, Giorgio Chielline merely ran his shoulder into his mouth.

Classic.

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Suarez is a prolific striker as England learned in their group match in the World Cup and now, the Liverpool forward is now comparable to Diego Maradona, who also had an unceremonius exit in the World Cup in 1994 when he failed a drug test.

The ban is unprecedented—Suarez will have to sit out nine international matches and is banned from all football-related activity for four months.

To the layman, nine matches may not seem that long, but this ban effectively ends his World Cup stint, just because he let his animal nature take over him in the moments he bit the Italian defender. Coincidentally, photos of a 2013 match between Italy and Uruguay shows an attempted bite by Suarez on the same defender.

Even if Uruguay makes it all the way to the finals, that’s only four matches served in the nine-match ban and the striker has to serve the remaining five matches in, according to Fifa sentence, “shall be served in Uruguay’s next Fifa World Cup match(es), as long as the team qualifies, and/or in the representative team’s subsequent official matches.”

And, aside from that, Suarez is also banned from all football-related activities for four months, so if ever Liverpool unloads him and ships him off to another team, his new club will have to wait for four months.

All because of a bite.

By the way, all FAs, even the CFA, can look at the Fifa decision for guidelines for future incidents. Though I hope, it doesn’t have to involve biting.

The referee didn’t see Suarez’s bite and just like all incidents that went unseen by the referee, it never happened. It is one aspect of the game that dirty players take advantage of.

A few years ago, one goalkeeper punched a striker in the Cesafi, and since the referee—and all his assistants—never saw it, it never happened.

Even if the injured player got a medical and had the bruise and medical certificate to show for it, they can’t file any complaint because the incident was never included in the match report, hence, it never happened.

The bite that never happened in Uruguay vs. Italy led to such hefty fine because Fifa didn’t just rely on the referee’s report, as is the practice here.

So, the next time anyone does something similar, the Fifa decision shows, that even if the ref didn’t see it, or didn’t include it in his report, all you need are witnesses and evidence.

Before the decision came out, Chielline said, “Suárez is a sneak and he gets away with it because Fifa want their stars to play in the World Cup. I’d love to see if they have the courage to use video evidence against him.”

So, to those who want to channel their inner Luis Suarez, you are warned.

(mikelimpag@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 28, 2014.

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