taking  a detached view of events overseas

taking a detached view of events overseas

This should really have preceded Malcolm Dawson’s short, timely piece on the Luis Suarez biting incident. Monsieur Salut had assorted domestic crises, a heavy extractor fan falling in the middle of the night to smash the hob and my Mac’s refusal to accept the valid password for wifi access being only two of them. So here, out of sequence but welcome, are Jeremy Robson‘s thoughts on footballer’s teeth invading footballer’s flesh …


It would be nice to think
that in days of yore, footballers took some responsibility for their own actions.

Perhaps they once did, and it isn’t simply a fogging of the nostalgic rose-tinted spectacles that I’m wearing. It would also be nice to think, that team mates and fellow professionals would demonstrate a collective contempt and show some solidarity in condemning the errant behaviour of one of their own. It was once the role of the captain (as well as the coach) to take the scoundrel to one side and tell him that he was out of order when a team mate misbehaved, and to get back in line pretty damned quick.

None of this is evident in the wake of what nobody has yet called “Suarezgate”.

OK I was the first to do so, and why not given divided response to the strong punishment now meted out by Fifa (nine-match international ban, four-month total football ban etc). It’s done now.

But nothing could be further from the minds of the Uruguayan squad in defence of their increasingly beleaguered striker after sinking his teeth into an opponent for the third time.

Diego Lugano, the captain refused to answer questions from a British journalist yesterday, preferring to take and answer questions in Spanish only, despite a capable command of the English language after spending some time at West Brom, where he had been paid good money for doing very little.

Lugano claimed that he had no idea why Fifa were investigating Suarez and, prior to the press conference and in the immediate aftermath of the Chiellini incident, he said “anyone who believed that the mark on Chiellini’s shoulder was the result of Suarez biting him must be stupid”.

We can only assume that Lugano has the same view on the incidents involving Suarez and Otman Bakkal and Branoslav Ivanovic. We’ll see who’s looking stupid now that Fifa’s disciplinary committee has made its decision on the matter.

Lugano’s defence of his famous friend is if anything even more offensive than Suarez’s intitial actions.

At the time Chiellini started grabbing the shoulder of his shirt to reveal the template of the Uruguayan’s teeth, you would hardly thought this possible. He even referred to Chiellini, the victim of his assault, as “a coward” and claimed that “the pictures don’t show anything”. Lugano followed this with “I know that the British media persecute Suarez. That is known.”

Is the real truth not that the Uruguayan camp is determined to blame anyone and everyone involved with Italy and England for an incident they describe as either “nothing” or “unimportant”? Self-interest, money and opportunity are the enemies of truth an integrity it seems.

The Uruguayan coach was determined to defend Suarez at the end of the Italy game, proclaiming “this is a football World Cup – it’s not about morality, cheap morality”.

They may find that morality isn’t cheap after all, but their defence of the indefensible and determination to lay blame elsewhere is priceless.

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13 Responses to “The Robson Report: biting thoughts on Suarez” Subscribe

  1. vince June 26, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

    Can’t believe this…..the big Uruguayan baby bites a fellow Italian professional and somehow it is the fault of us English for persecuting the poor bairn…….laughable really.

    OK he has not broken anyone’s legs, but a serial biter just cannot be allowed to carry on with impunity.Why others stick by him though is beyond me,his team mates would be well advised to keep quiet rather than risk further ridicule defending the indefensible.

  2. Jeremy June 27, 2014 at 2:08 am #

    What makes me mad about all of this Vince is the fact that the likes of Suarez and Lugano have been earning a living in England and at the first chance they get they are ridiculing and complaining about everything English and claim persecution etc. They show no respect for anyone other than their own little band of third world urchins and the English game is better off without the likes of these two.

    They constantly defend Suarez who is the most vile of individuals with his remarks about Evra, his biting and his cheating. Pure scum.

  3. Keith Hutton Africa June 27, 2014 at 6:15 am #

    I have been involved in football all my live and can’t remember anybody biting, it is simply outrageous. Johan le Roux bit Sean Fitzpatrick in a scum. What goes on in the front row of a scrum is dark but if your arms aren’t available biting is the only alternative, although not acceptable. Le Roux was banned for a year and no supported or justified what he did. Suarez has done this before and doesn’t learn 4 months is too little.

    • Kieran Robinson September 8, 2014 at 8:27 am #

      Fantastic point! Good to see a wider sporting context considered. Can you imagine the uproar if he received a rugby style punishment?.

  4. Drummer June 27, 2014 at 6:37 am #

    In days of yore ,if Saurez had bitten the wrong one, a true hard man of the game, we all could name a few.Those offending teeth would have being left on the dressing room floor after the rat had faced true punishment and also the problem solved …….. for good .

  5. Jake June 27, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    I’ve heard of one footballer biting another three times in my life, and on every occasion it was Suarez. Some pattern emerging there don’t you think?
    As a World Cup aside….Cameroon, Australia and Honduras, these are the only teams to win fewer points than England. That root and branch review that the FA carried out six or seven years ago has really borne fruit hasn’t it?
    Also…..Capello fails to get Russia out of an easy group, shows what a useless get he is!

  6. CSB June 27, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    Liverpool, thinking of a legal challenge, when will they learn!

    One player has mired a once great club and shown what the modern game is all about.

    it stinks.

    • William C June 27, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      Interesting coming from the club who make such an issue about morality [ rightly ] in situations like ” The Sun’s ” vile reporting of Hillsborough?

      I think Liverpool have a blind spot about this player. The ludicrous show of support for him in the Eva business made them look frankly ridiculous, and IMO severely damaged Dalgliesh ‘s credibility.

      Of course he is a good player, but contrary to Shankly’s famous statement, some things are more important than football.

  7. A T Hedley June 27, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    On our Sunderland board a Liverpool friend has suggested loyalty means supporting his club no matter what, whereas if I did not do the same for Sunderland, who I have supported through good and mainly bad times for years I am not loyal.

    All I can say is turning a blind eye to a cancer in your midst is not loyalty but damaging to the club you love. I suppose it is all about winning and not about sportsmanship and in my opinion it is fine to play to the rules but seek to win at all costs and the game becomes poorer for it..

    Money and blind officials are ruining the game which becomes increasingly like professional wrestling with all the performance of athletic, professional actors, seeking to perform sleight of hand, or foot, in front of both the officials and the crowd to gain an unfair advantage.

    Blind loyalty is in reality no form of loyalty at all.

    • Drummer June 27, 2014 at 10:27 am #

      I remember incidents with Bardsley , Cattermole and Bendtner , Bramble and a particularly odious occurrence by a number of players during the Roy Keane years . Keane correctly ,sooner or later chased the lot of them out of our club and if the other incidents had resulted in the exit of players ,not many SAFC fans would have complained at the time . Not all supporters are the same , the good name of our club matters above all else . Then came Di Canio !

      • William C June 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

        Mind you, Keane was not averse to the odd bit of odious behaviour himself in his playing days!

        • Drummer June 28, 2014 at 7:31 am #

          True, but as our manager I think he got the discipline side about right .

    • malcolm June 27, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

      Tell your Liverpool supporting friend that it is your team you support, but that shouldn’t mean you turn a blind eye and support an individual who behaves the way Suarez has.

      A repeat offender who gets himself lengthy bans through his petulant behaviour is hardly supporting his team mates or his club. If Liverpool get knocked out of Europe and fail to compete for the title during his absence will he still warrant that support?

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