STORY BY SARAH MOBBS
You may or may not recall, in the early days of That’s What She Said, my rant about Mario Balotelli. I made no bones about the fact that I did not like him, and my reasons were many, but mostly my dislike stemmed from his abhorrent personality. His personality, I could handle, if it were just the fact that he perhaps wasn’t a nice person and was simply arrogant and rude, but the problem with Mario “Why always me” Balotelli was the poor example he was setting for his younger fans.
In light of further allegations of “Chewy Luis” really getting his teeth stuck into their World Cup clash against Italy, I’ve found myself another poor role model; Suarez! Luis’ antics this week have very possibly overshadowed every other event that’s taken place at the World Cup in Brazil so far. FIFA have reviewed the evidence, and clearly also taken into account past offences and have revealed they have slapped Suarez with a £66000 fine and a 4 month ban. The evidence of course being the clear bite marks on Chiellini’s shoulder. Uruguayan coach Oscar Tabarez claims not to have seen the incident, and also states that there were “more important things in this game” (Goal.com, June 25th, 2014). Tabarez has also seemingly claimed that the British media have made Suarez a target for negative publicity. As to whether this is true or not, I could not say, but there have outcries on both sides of this latest punishment ranging from it being far too harsh, to not harsh enough. Uruguayan captain Diego Lugano, takes a different view of the incident and claims the scars on Chiellini’s shoulder are old ones and that he is “a bit of a cry baby” (The Independent, June 25th, 2014). It must be just pure coincidence that Suarez was seen rolling around on the floor holding his teeth, as though he was the one in the real pain.
After Suarez’ second biting offence, against Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, back in 2013 he was handed a 10 match ban and became the subject of several morbidly amusing MEMEs with slogans such as “If you can’t beat them, just eat them” and several images containing Suarez with vampire teeth, as the “Uruguayan Werewolf in London” and in that famous mask sported by Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs (a selection of my personal favourites can be seen below). But is it really funny?
Well, the short answer is no. Like Balotelli, “Chewy Luis” is setting the poorest example for his fans both at home in Uruguay and here in England. Tabarez has expounded that Uruguayans never lose the feelings that they have as children, which to me would imply, that they never grow up. If this is the case, I really feel for the children that grew up with Suarez. Biting is something children and animals do, not grown men, and especially not during a game of football. We were obviously, however, meant to take this statement light-heartedly, and see it as a brilliant thing that the Uruguayans never lose their childhood dreams, passions and excitement for anything. Surely he would not have been aiming this at Suarez’ biting, for fear of being seen to criticise Mummy & Daddy Suarez’ parenting.
I myself however, have no qualms in saying that, for Suarez to continually attack players in this manner, there must be something wrong with him. Quite what, I couldn’t possibly comment, but if punishment has not seen him take stock of himself, perhaps a course of behavioural therapy or anger management alongside his ban would be more effective than a ban and fine alone. FIFA have taken into consideration his previous misdemeanours, and rightly so, they are all the same offence with no clear provocation (not to mention his ban for racially abusive language).
This Friday morning it’s been revealed that Suarez’ Grandmother has jumped on board the media/ FIFA hating bandwagon, to make it clear what she thinks about his punishment. She claims that Suarez was wanted out of the World Cup from the off, and now we’ve had our chance. She states that Luis has been “chucked out like a dog” (The Independent, 27th June, 2014), but to me, it’s no more than he deserves. He has let his country down, he has let his fans down, he has let his club down but most of all he’s let himself down. I’m sorry Luis, and to your Grandma too, but when you behave like an animal, eventually people will start treating you like one.