There was no doubt that Louis Suares’ latest bite would result in punishment but as the offence was committed whilst playing for Uruguay surely the punishment should have been levied against player and country but not the parent club who were not involved.
Foremost among the so called pundits calling for the death penalty was Alan Shearer who has no doubt forgotten his deliberate stamp on Neil Lennon’s head several years ago when Lennon played for Leicester City. The bold Alan got away with that offence unpunished, no doubt because he was captain of England at the time. And before all the cyber hawks suggest it, I am not a Celtic or even a Leicester supporter.
Spitting and biting are rightly seen as particularly offensive acts, yet less fuss is made over stamping, leg breaking tackles or jaw breaking elbow smashes to the face. in this respect the critics laid into Paul Pogba for his elbow incident in the world cup even though he used his arm to free himself from a veritable “cling on” who was using unfair means to prevent him from successfully going for the ball.
This prompts me to raise the issue yet again of the need for referees to punish the first offence right away which in this case was the defender, even at the award of a penalty. It is accepted that the referee’s attention might have been focused on something else but there is a fourth official there who just seems to be like the “proverbial spare one at a wedding”.
Fans and pundits alike go on and on about the need to stop the penalty area mating dances and the only way to succeed is constant referee action until the players get the message. The first offender is usually a defender annoyed about an attacking player blocking his keeper which is clearly obstruction as soon as the keeper tries to move. So the award should be a free kick for the defending side as soon as the keeper is prevented from coming out for the ball.
There are those who advocate that goalkeepers are a protected species but the way some players interpret the meaning of a fair challenge is laughable.
For example the way Robin Van Persie cleared out the Spanish keeper to allow a mate to score was criminal and the goal should have been disallowed. That said, Spain would still have lost in the end but at least all the other goals would have been fair.
To conclude it’s the act of biting that is offensive but no one’s careers have been ended by a bite as bite marks usually clear way, but I have in my time in the press box witnessed goalkeepers being hospitalised and over the ball tackles which have put players out of the game for good, by players who claimed that they were just going for the ball.