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Tuesday 1 July 2014

Luis Suarez Apologises for Biting Chiellini... And Barcelona Apparently Buy It

On June 24th, I came to the interesting realisation that I have psychic powers. Prior to heading out to watch the crucial Group D game between Italy and Uruguay, I posted this on Facebook:

'OK, Italy. Win this. But if you can't win this, at least get Suarez to bite one of you so he is suspended for the rest of the thing.'

A couple of hours later, I was in a pub watching the game, and, in accordance with the prophecy, everybody's favourite horse faced cannibalistic waste of skin Luis Suarez did indeed have a little chomp on Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini. 

This was the third time the Goofmeister had done something like this, and by something like this, I mean something exactly like this, i.e. using his not unsubstantial teeth on another player in a competitive game of football. His previous victims, who happily don't seem to have succumbed to rabies, were Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in 2013 where Suarez was playing for Liverpool, and PSV's Ottman Bakkal in 2010 when he was playing for Ajax.  

When Giorgio Chiellini revealed the bite mark that showed that once again, ol' Chompers had been feasting on the flesh of the living, even I, who had forseen the event in a vision, heard Austin Powers' voice in my head, like 'who throws a shoe?', 'who bites someone at the World Cup?'.

The last time I had been so astonished that someone would do something so weird in such a crucial match was when Zinedine Zidane, in his last game before retiring for France, in the World Cup final itself, headbutted Marco Materazzi. You could forgive Italy for thinking they were 'always the victims'...

Anyway, FIFA were quick to send Suarez for one of their telling offs. The Panel of 7 Elders (which is what I think it should be called - it sounds way wiser than 'a FIFA tribunal', which sounds like one of the least wise things ever) convened the day after the incident to discuss his fate, and he submitted his version of events in writing. It included the following:

'In no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite.'
'After the impact ... I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent,'
'At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth,'

So, he fell on him. With his mouth open. And then his pitbull like instincts made him have a little bite, unpremeditated, exactly what anyone else would have done. And owwwwww, his teeth hurt and he had a bruise. Isn't that a bit like a man, caught by his wife naked in bed with another woman, trying to convince her that he merely fell on the woman and his penis landed inside her? Like, the most rubbish attempt at a defence possible that doesn't involve aliens or ghosts?

Well, anyway, FIFA thought so, and taking into account his track record for similar offences, weren't having a bar of any of this 'I fell on him' shenanigans. Luis Suarez was issued with a four month ban from doing any football, and a ban for playing for Uruguay for 9 international matches. I wonder how heavily the ban on him participating in any football activities will be policed, though. Will there be a FIFA official on hand to shoot him in the face if he tries to have a kickabout with his son? You never know with FIFA, is all I'm saying.

Uruguay has gotten behind their star player in a way that would be baffling even if the Liverpool supporters who were previously branding anyone who criticised him as jealous 'haters' did it. The president of Uruguay Jose Mujica apparently called FIFA 'a bunch of old sons of whores' and branded the 9 match ban, which it is safe to say they want to appeal, as 'fascist'. Suarez also received a hero's welcome as he returned home prematurely from the World Cup. Where else would this happen? 'Oh, you were our best chance of doing anything good in this competition but then you went and bit someone again, but don't worry, we don't blame you, mate.'. In England we'd probably pelt you with our now useless St George's cross paraphernalia, or, you know, knives, on arrival at Heathrow if you'd taken a bad corner, let alone that...

So, having had some time to calm down in the bosom of his family (who he cheats against at Monopoly - I saw it on Being: Liverpool), it seems now that Suarez has suddenly remembered that he did bite Chiellini after all. Suddenly, he finds himself overwhelmed with remorse, and as we all do when we are overwhelmed with remorse, he takes to Twitter to express it. Attached to a tweet that said he apologised to Giorgio Chiellini, Suarez gave a rather convoluted new account of events, which included 'the truth'. Here is 'the truth':

'the truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me.' 

This has generally taken as being an admission of the bite, but it is quite a vague one still, really, isn't it? It sounds like a cagey lawyer on a TV show. This week, on CSI: Montevideo: 'The victim appears to have suffered the physical result of a bite, following the incident the billions of witnesses saw where the suspect collided with him, making what could, by some, be construed as a 'chomping motion' with his jaws'...

Now, those of a cynical mindset may be inclined to think there is some kind of relationship between Suarez's sudden urge to apologise, six days after the event, and the fact he is linked with a move to nicey nicey nicest team in the world Barcelona. Those of a cynical mindset may also say that the fact Barcelona's football director praised Suarez for apologising, even risking everyone in the world laughing at him by referring to the repeat chomping offender as 'humble', may mean that the whole apology was part of some sickening charm offensive orchestrated by both parties to make the move more palatable when it almost inevitably happens. Personally, I don't care, I am just hoping when he goes he will liven up the tedium that is La Liga by making it a bit more like watching a particularly good episode of The Walking Dead.

Now, to end on something nice, here is how Giorgio Chiellini replied to Suarez's tweeted apology:

'It’s forgotten. I hope Fifa will reduce your suspension.'

Which is a heartening example of a sportsman being classy. I do however, wish he had instead used the most memorable line from the werewolf movie Dog Soldiers, and replied with: 'I hope I give you the shits.'  

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