Thursday, April 25, 2013

being Luis Suarez is enough punishment in itself

I'm a Man United fan. So I really dislike Luis Suarez. But the fuss that has surrounded his 'bite' of Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last weekend is ridiculous.

If you're not familiar with the story, Suarez, who plays for Liverpool, is supposed to have bitten Ivanovic, who plays for Chelsea, in last Sunday's 2-2 draw. Supposed to? Haven't I seen the footage?

Read this from The Guardian:
"Ivanovic was checked over for injuries by Chelsea after the game - there were none - and the Met police officer who visited the club's training ground also looked for bite marks or bruises. He too saw nothing. The officer, acting with police on Merseyside, asked Ivanovic whether he wanted to press charges. He did not."

Suarez has a screw loose. He's an animal. Unlikeable. A great footballer, not a great person. Even Liverpool fans must struggle to warm to him.

And yesterday, for this 'crime' of not biting Ivanovic he was banned for ten matches.

Brendan Rogers, Liverpool manager, has accused the FA of punishing "the man rather than the incident". Usually, as a United fan, I'd be thinking - typical Scouse whining.

But actually - Rogers is right.

Maybe Suarez meant to bite Ivanovic. Maybe he thought better of it in the nick of time. Maybe Ivanovic shrugged him off. Whatever, no bite happened. You can't punish someone for a thing they didn't quite do.

Well, I guess you can - but not like this, and not with any credibility. Not in a context where racism crimes in football get an 8 match or 4 match ban; where similar 9,10 or 11 week bans have come in the past only for breaking a bloke's jaw or for assaulting the referee.

It may be that more serious bans would generally be a better thing for the game; but that's not the decision here. The decision here is that Suarez gets a ban for biting a player. If he were playing rugby, it wouldn't even have been noticed. There wasn't even any bruising. Most of the other players on the pitch did more damage to each other in this match than Suarez did to Ivanovic. He got a ban for looking bad. And for being Luis Suarez.

Being Luis Suarez is enough punishment in itself some days. Listen carefully, you can hear bouncing; there's a kangaroo court in session. It has nothing to do with justice, and everything to do with self-righteousness.

Mind you, David Cameron disagrees with me - as a parent, not as Prime Minister. To be fair, I'm neither, so perhaps I'm always going to see this differently. Here's a tweet from BBC5Live this morning:
PM : Luis set "the most appalling example". Listen >

So - Should the Liverpool-loving Bishop of Bradford fight to free Gnasher? Can we suddenly move the goal posts on justice? Or is it enough that he's just a bad sort? There - lock him up; then he can't frighten the children anymore.

What do you think?

1 comment:

kitchenish said...

What do i think?... he didn't break skin....God is Merciful

Had this happened though, it would have been a whole other matter. Human bits can be nasty experiences ...