Looks like Suarez has decided to make it his personal mission to become the most controversial figure in the media, and it’s working pretty well so far. FIFA decided to punish Suarez with a FOUR month ban on football, meaning he misses 15 matches for Liverpool. The first question that comes to mind here is whether this can be considered a fair ban or not. I personally believe it is a bit harsh, but Suarez does deserve punishment for his actions. However, when it comes to accusations of “Violent Conduct,” we’re treading on some really thin ice here. Let me explain:
Violent actions happen in almost every football match, a player will sneak in an elbow to the stomach, a punch in the back, and so on. If we’re following the notion of “intentionality,” meaning the player committing the violent conduct purposefully intended to cause harm to the other player, then it seems that we should be handing out similar bans to these players as well. We have already seen multiple examples of this in the World Cup already. Slow motion replays constantly show us what actually goes on in the pitch, and yet FIFA seems to hesitate to take retrospective action on these types of situations. Someone who takes a look at the Suarez situation and calls for his head, calling him a cheat, a villain, someone with mental problems, should consider where we draw the line when it comes to intentional violent conduct.
We seem to be judging the outrageousness of the bite, rather than the intensity of its violence. Suarez’s lawyer pointed out that if Chiellini, the victim of Suarez’s bite, can show a scratch mark on his shoulder, then Suarez can show a black eye from the elbow he had received earlier from Chiellini. If we want to compare the two, I would bet that most of us would take a bite on the shoulder as opposed to an intentional elbow to the head, which is much more dangerous. Chiellini even came out and said how unfair and harsh Suarez’s punishment is, which says a lot coming from the victim himself. So why does Chiellini get away with his elbow, yet Suarez is the one to receive the harsh punishments?
Tough question to answer, but it seems like we are judging not the severity of the act, but the reaction that the act gains. Suarez’s bite caused a reaction all over the world, mainly because a bite just seems to be so primal and animalistic. However, I don’t think it is fair to punish a bite this harshly, especially when there is so much violent conduct that goes unpunished throughout the game. Even so, FIFA is somewhat correct for giving such a lengthy ban, as Suarez is a repeat offender.
If we want it to be fair, then FIFA should take a look at all these cases, and be very serious about how they go about punishing violent conduct, because intentional head butts, elbows, and kicks are all violent and potentially more dangerous than a shoulder nibble. If not, then FIFA is being arbitrary and is failing to find some objective rule that they could apply to all situations. If you want to punish violent conduct based on the unusualness of the act, instead of how dangerous it is, you will end up with a very warped and jumbled punishment system.
What does this mean for Liverpool FC?
Well, Liverpool have been through this already last season, when Suarez missed the first 6 games, so it’s just going to seem like Déjà vu… only worse. I think Liverpool is in a much better position now than they were last year at this time, so they will be able to cope with the absence of Suarez even better. Last season, Liverpool managed to win the majority of those games, with Sturridge stepping in and really proving himself in that Suarez-less period.
Liverpool still has an entire summer transfer window to go, and it’s all looking positive; linked with attacking talents like Alexis Sanchez, Lazar Markovic, and Xherdan Shaquiri. Liverpool will be anticipating the absence of Suarez, so this might push them to spend big as early as they can to bring in the signings and settle them in quickly.
Liverpool will also be cautious of the fact that the big clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid will still be interested and will be pushing for a reduced price tag, considering that he will be missing the first 15 games and the fact that he is such a proven trouble maker. I believe Liverpool will stand strong by Suarez as they did the previous summer, because he is just too good to let go. However, some offers might be too good to ignore. Alexis Sanchez could be used as leverage to help Suarez go the other way to Barcelona, but this is all just speculation at the moment. Either way, Liverpool will be prepared for anything and everything this ban will cause. I believe Suarez will come back stronger and receive the help he needs in his time off. Last time this happened he went on to win the golden boot and player of the year in the EPL, so let’s just see what happens.
Video- Suarez Apologizes
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