26 Jun 2022

Condemnation of Suarez masks the fact that the striker is in need of serious help

The dust may have somewhat settled but the self-righteous posturing emanating from the footballing world over the Luis Suarez ‘Bite-Gate’ scandal still leaves a rather bitter taste in the mouth.

The dust may have somewhat settled but the self-righteous posturing emanating from the footballing world over the Luis Suarez ‘Bite-Gate’ scandal still leaves a rather bitter taste in the mouth.

‘Lock him up in prison’ and ‘ban him for as long as possible’ were just two of the replies from Danny Mills and Alan Shearer – both with notorious reputations for poor challenges in their playing days.

Football fans the world over were falling over themselves in indignation at just how disgusting this lad Suarez was and how the book should be thrown at him – the mob mentality in full effect.

No one in their right mind could look at what the Uruguayan has done over the course of his career and condone his actions - match bans totalling 32 without even receiving a red card is quite an achievement by anyone’s standards – but what the majority of people seem to be glossing over in the queue to stone him is that this is quite obviously a mentally sick man we’re dealing with.

That line of thinking may leave some aghast, like it’s an excuse, but frankly any adult that bites another for no apparent reason whilst playing football cannot claim to be in full control of their own faculties.

It is imperative that is taken into account when making absolute judgements.

Do we treat people with mental instabilities who commit crimes or offences in the same way as everyone else? No. And for good reason.

For instance, if someone diagnosed with autism bites in frustration, is there an outcry? Of course not.

It should not be any different for a clearly very troubled footballer. One could argue it is the repeated nature of these bizarre offences that lends justification to the public haranguing.

After the second bite on Branislav Ivanovic, Suarez had been receiving continued counselling sessions whilst at Liverpool and throughout last season had been pretty well behaved.

It was only after he’d returned to his national team and the subsequent interruption of the counselling sessions that a relapse occurred.

One of the other major complications in this whole affair is the enabling of Suarez’s actions by his own countrymen. Like a family refusing to see a problem in their golden child, they continue to be complicit in his derangement.

His defence of what happened - no doubt constructed by the people around him - was an embarrassment.

“In the run-up to the impact, my knees came together, I lost my balance and that destabilised my body and I fell into my opponent.

“In the moment, my face came into collision with the player, causing a small bruise on my cheekbone and a lot of pain to my teeth, which caused the referee to stop play.”

Manager, Oscar Tabarez and legendary defender, Diego Lugano have continually and wilfully ignored any wrong-doing and the lack of remorse from Suarez and Uruguay’s end has quite obviously exacerbated the entire issue.

Until he is categorically and absolutely aware that his actions are wrong, then his apparent insanity will continue to feed - if you’ll excuse the pun - on their support of him.

FIFA have handed down a four-month ban from all football-related activities. Some believe it too lenient, some not severe enough.

One could argue that the lengthy ban issued by the governing body was merely a show to appease a crowd baying for blood.

There’s little doubt an appeal will take place and there is sufficient belief that it should result in a culling of the original four months.

Either way, it is crystal clear that Suarez needs some time away from the game to deal with his demons.

Psychologists say that past behaviour is a good predictor of future behaviour – without much-needed help, Luis Suarez will continue to be enveloped by his own madness.

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