Even if you aren’t a big football fan, you’ve more than likely read the papers or saw the news this morning with headlines about a certain footballer – Luis Suarez.
Suarez plays for Uruguay and also in the English Premier League for Liverpool FC. Fan of his or not, he is undoubtedly a talented footballer. He’s won plenty of accolades for his skills and was the Premier League’s highest scoring footballer in the 2013-14 season.
However, he’s now facing a potential two year ban from football from FIFA (the guys in charge of all footie related things). Why? He bit someone during the world cup game against Italy.
Yes, a 27 year old world class professional footballer bit someone.
Worst of all, this is the THIRD time he has done it and seems to be rather unrepentant about it, reportedly saying, “These are things that happen on the pitch and you shouldn’t attach so much importance to them.”
To make matters even more shocking, the referee didn’t send him off, or even give him a yellow card, even though the bitten player had clear bite marks in his shoulder. Immediately after the incident, Suarez dived onto the floor (he has a reputation for that as well!) holding his teeth. He claims that the other player thrust his shoulder into his face. With a past record of biting, who is going to believe that???
Footballers, whether they like it or not, are role models to millions of children, who worship their every move. What they do in their personal life away from football is up to them, but when they’re on the pitch, doing a job which they are paid thousands of pounds a week for, they need to think carefully. When they behave like this, it sets an appalling example to kids. On a regular basis we read about footballers getting into scraps on the pitch, racially abusing each other, swearing at the referee and each other, spitting, and now biting. Some kids are going to see that and think it’s an acceptable way to behave, both on and off the football pitch.
Of course, not all footballers are bad role models. In fact, most of them are pretty good, showing how to work and play well as a team, accept defeat and determination. Not all bad role models in sport are footballers – I don’t watch any other sport but Lance Armstrong comes to mind – supposedly one the worlds best cyclist who turned out to be a cheat. However, with football being the most watched sport in this country, they all need to be thinking about their behaviour.
Obviously, it is a parents job to make sure their children known how to behave, and they need to teach them that just because Suarez goes around biting someone doesn’t mean it is right (my two boys, who are only one and three know biting is naughty!). It just makes that job a lot harder to do when someone in the public eye is doing it, and not getting into trouble for it. I can imagine a huge increase in biting incidents in schools and playgrounds over the next few days.
I really hope that this time, Suarez has the book thrown at him and FIFA deal with him harshly, giving him the two year ban that I, and I’m sure many others, believe he deserves. This will undoubtedly have a big impact on his career, which would be a shame as he is top of the game at the moment, but nothing less than he deserves.
What do you think?