Chewy Luis in the news: Luis Suarez is facing a maximum ban of two years after FIFA confirmed they would investigate his apparent bite on Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini. The Uruguay striker appears on every back page this morning after he appeared to chomp on the Italy defender's shoulder in a tussle during the World Cup Group D match. If proven, it will be the third time he has faced sanctions for biting an opponent and could warrant FIFA's maximum ban. The incident has also left Suarez's dream move to Spain hanging in the balance, with the Times claiming that Real Madrid and Barcelona will now have to decide whether signing such a recidivist would be worth the trouble. Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror reports that Liverpool will hold crisis talks on Wednesday in the wake of the incident. The Reds' boardroom will speak with manager Brendan Rodgers in a cross-Atlantic conference meeting, as they decide on a strategy on how best to deal with the player.
Paper Round's view: Unbelievable. It really does beggar belief. What on earth was he thinking? The mind boggles. The knock-on effects could be disastrous for Suarez, whose move to Spain must surely now be in jeopardy, not only because of his sullied reputation, but also because FIFA can extend any international ban to apply to club football if they so wish. Even if he only gets six months, no club would want to spend big money on a player who is just going to sit around picking up a six-figure a week pay cheque. Unfortunately for Liverpool, they look like being the big losers in all this. Even if they can offload him, it won't be for the same price anymore. And Suarez has made the club, who backed him through thick (racially abusing Patrice Evra) and thin (biting Branislav Ivanovic), look rather silly. They must be fuming. At least one hopes they are, and that this time they refuse to give him the support he will surely expect from them.
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Here's what the newspaper columnists had to say about Suarez:
Ian Ladyman in the Daily Mail: At May’s Football Writers’ Association dinner held in honour of 2014 winner Luis Suarez, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers told an audience that he had been privileged to work with the Uruguayan and spoke of the lengths the player had reached to improve his behaviour. What we know now, as many of us suspected back then, was that Suarez had merely been fooling us all along. Inside this gifted footballer’s head is a brain that simply cannot be rewired.
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Jim White in the Telegraph: Sadly for his apologists - actually, sadly for all us who have enjoyed his goals - as Uruguay progress towards the last 16, Suarez is unlikely to be involved any further in this competition. However much his manager Oscar Tabarez might try to evade the question, claiming he didn't see the attack and suggesting to the BBC man who asked about it after the match that he had an agenda against the player, the television evidence is such that the authorities will be obliged to act. Biting an opponent - just like racially abusing one - is not an acceptable part of the game. For the third time in his career, Suarez will be banned from playing football for sinking his teeth into a fellow professional. Three times: this is not unlucky, this is a pattern of behaviour. This is a pathology.
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Glenn Moore in the Independent: It had looked as if Suarez had tamed his ‘inner chimp’, to use the analogy Steve Peters, Liverpool’s in-house sports psychiatrist would use. Last season he played superbly and for the most part behaved impeccably. There was his Easter resurrection after claiming to be injured at Carrow Road but, by and large, even the diving stopped. He deservedly won the players’ player of the year award and the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year award – which stresses the winner should set an example as well as perform. Now this. Suarez is clearly a recidivist. Over the last decade many a forward would have wanted to take revenge on Giorgio Chiellini, one of those old-school Italian defenders, but while some will have ‘left a foot in’ none would have dreamt of biting him.
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Paolo Bandini in the Guardian: And so here we are again: another World Cup and another controversy with the Uruguay striker at its heart. His goalline handball against Ghana in South Africa four years ago divided opinion. There will always be those who stand in support of a player who commits an instinctive foul to keep his country in a World Cup. But there is no such obvious defence for chomping down on an opponent’s shoulder. What Suarez thought this would achieve is not clear but the speed with which he fell to the ground after committing the offence suggests that he hoped to draw a reaction from Chiellini.
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Matthew Syed in the Times: Luis Suarez is one of the most scintillating sportsmen on the planet. When he is on form, fizzing around the pitch, finding space that barely exists, he turns his particular brand of forward play into an art form. It is a testament to the other side of this most paradoxical of modern-day athletes that one can say, without reservation, that he must play no further part in this World Cup. That would be the only legitimate conclusion if his attack on Giorgio Chiellini, of Italy, in which he appeared to sink his teeth into the left shoulder of the defender, was his first such offence. As his third (after suspensions for biting in 2010 in the Dutch league and again in April 2013 in the Barclays Premier League), there is a case for a lengthy worldwide ban that sends an unmistakeable signal that talent can never justify the kind of behaviour that, in other circumstances, might bring a man before a judge for common assault.
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David McDonnell in the Daily Mirror: Suarez's latest despicable act came just 24 hours after he claimed he was victimised by the English Press - justifying his claim that his goal double in Uruguay's 2-1 win was revenge for his perceived mistreatment. How hollow and pathetic that claim now looks in the wake of this latest controversy. There is no defence now left for Suarez, no perceived agenda behind which he can hide. A wonderful player, but a flawed character, who has once again crossed the line of what is acceptable.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Luis Suarez
- Giorgio Chiellini