Luis Suarez has been banned from soccer activities and is facing a nine-match ban. That takes him out of the World Cup completely, but does it do enough for his actions? The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has stated that it takes the breaking of the code of conduct, which the footballer has done, seriously and acts accordingly to that. He is not the first player to face a lengthy ban, but is it enough considering his previous actions and the severity of the most recent?
This is the third time Suarez has bitten a player. It would suggest that this is a real problem, as he does not have his anger under control. While a nine month ban from any soccer-related activities keeps players safe during that time, it is clear that he needs other help to make sure it does not happen in the future.
Players have faced harsher bans for arguably lesser actions. In 1998, Paolo Di Canio was banned for 11 Premier League games and fined £10,000 ($17,000) because he pushed Paul Alcock, the referee for the Arsenal vs. Sheffield Wednesday match. This was a shove, and he faced a harsher ban. While this ruling was given by the Football Association, it gives the impression that a shove is worse than a bite.
Under a similar situation to Di Canio, David Prutton was hit with a 10-game ban and a £6,000 ($10,000) fine. The Southampton midfielder’s shove may have been lesser than the Italian’s shove, but it is still a harsher punishment that the Uruguay stalker. It suggests that the nine-game and four month ban for Suraez is not enough. After all, not only did he bite—not shove—a player, but he also has a history of this.
There has been one case that is similar to the current one, but the punishment was still harsher. Many will remember Eric Cantona and his kung-fu kick against Matthew Simmons, a Crystal Palace fan, in 1995. The soccer player was banned for nine months, and had to carry out 120 hours of community service.
These soccer stars are paid a fortune for doing something they love and representing their country at the same time. They are supposed to be role models, but the actions of players give the game a bad reputation. The idea that a four month ban from all soccer-related activities for biting a third player is enough is ridiculous.
If this happened on the street, it would be classed as assault and Suarez would have been arrested. He should be arrested for this—there is, after all, enough evidence to support the accusations as it was filmed. It is time that soccer players are held accountable for their actions legally. It would really show that the behavior is not tolerated by a civilized society.
Maybe something will happen in a court of law later, but right now all it means for the Uruguay striker is that he will be leaving Brazil early. He will not help his team get any further in the World Cup, and he will miss out on all soccer-related activities until October 2014. The question now is whether Suarez’s four month ban from all soccer activities is enough for his third biting incident.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham