Luis Suarez has been handed a four-month ban for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini. The decision from Fifa has been met with varying responses - here we seek to offer the different sides.
Mark Howie in LIVERPOOL
While the Liverpool chief executive, Ian Ayre, met his press department at the club’s city-centre offices to strategise their public approach towards Luis Suarez’s unprecedented suspension, the Uruguayan’s sanctioning was met with confusion on Merseyside.
Although there is an acceptance that Suarez deserved punishment for biting a third opponent in four years, there is frustration that the suspension affects Liverpool, given that his last ban 14 months ago, committed while playing for them, did not cover games for his national team.
Only Suarez and representatives from the Uruguayan FA will be able to appear for the defence at any appeal lodged with Fifa and if the ruling is eventually upheld the striker will be missing for more Liverpool games than for Uruguay.
He will not be able to play any club football until 26 October 26 nor train with Liverpool, thus extending his period of absence through a lack of conditioning.
Jamie Carragher, the former Liverpool defender, believes the club might decide the time is right to sell. “It all comes down to numbers,” Carragher said. “Liverpool are not going to let a player worth between £80m and £100m leave for a cut-price fee, there’s no chance of that. But if someone maybe did offer that type of money, whereas before they’d have been desperate to keep him, they may think now they’ll take the money.”
Liverpool’s shirt sponsor, Standard Chartered, which revealed its profits would be 20 per cent down this year only two hours before Fifa released its findings on Suarez, are believed to be dismayed by the player’s latest indiscretion. The bank had already held “robust” talks with Liverpool after Suarez refused to shake hands with Patrice Evra in 2012 after the racism row between the two players.
Neil Clack in MONTEVIDO
Uruguay is normally a calm country, certainly in comparison to its noisy neighbours in Argentina and Brazil, but people took to the streets yesterday, performing neighbourhood cacerolazos – the loud banging of pots and pans, a form of protest normally reserved for political issues.
There are no sensationalist newspapers in Uruguay, and the two main dailys, El Pais and El Observador, had previously tried to play down the biting incident – their only indignation was at the manner of reporting in Britain. However, now, upon hearing about Suarez’s ban, there was no holding back as politicians from all across the spectrum took to social media with talk of “lynching” and “Fifa mafias” – conspiracy theories that have their roots in the 1966 World Cup when English referee Jim Finney sent off two Uruguayans in their quarter-final match with West Germany.
The member of parliament Horacio Yanes said: “England and Italy cannot accept the result that happened on the pitch, and Brazil fears the Uruguayan team. A 21st-century lynching of Suarez. Lamentable.”
Musician and politician Sergi Abreu tweeted: “The only thing lacking is the electric chair. A sanction is one thing, an execution is another. C’mon Uruguay!”
Carl Worswick in BOGOTA
Suarez’s World Cup is over and so, some would argue, are Uruguay’s hopes. But in Colombia, their opponents in the last 16, the loss of La Celeste’s striker was greeted with caution.
Colombia have made a blistering start to the World Cup scoring nine goals and winning all three games so far. Tomorrow Jose Pekerman’s side face their South American rivals in the Maracana. But the country’s leading journalists have warned not to read too much into the loss of Suarez. Golcaracol editor Alejandro Pino tweeted: “Suarez is a world-class striker, but they still have Cavani, Forlan and Stuani. Uruguay are still very dangerous.”
Nicolas Samper, editor of cult Colombian football blog Bestiario del Balon, went even further, warning the ban could galvanise a country marked for its never-say-die attitude. “Will this be a blow for Uruguay or will it actually strengthen them?” he asked.
Many other commentators also argued the ban could play a negative effect by heaping pressure and expectancy on Colombia. “A triumphalist attitude has been our undoing before,” claimed one fan. “We can’t fall into that trap again.”
Michael Day in ROME
Italy was still more concerned with the ignominious exit of the Azzurri to pay too much attention to Suarez’s fate. But there were not too many standing up in support of the striker.
The football correspondent of La Stampa, one of the country’s leading papers, said: “He’s exaggerated; gone beyond the bounds of decency this time, and he’s done it because he’s used to believing that his infinite talent has made him immune. He probably has a serious problem. He bites before he thinks in moments of crisis... like a child, he throws himself down and cries, and hours after it happens isn’t really able to explain why.”
The state of the Suarez’s mental health was also a popular subject for readers on the website of La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Diarodelweb.it news website said: “Justice was done. Certainly it’s a real blow to the biting striker, but who knows if it will be enough to curb not the mouth of Suarez but his teeth.”
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