Luis Suarez of
Suarez is widely acknowledged to be a fine player. Just a few days ago his two goals kicked
But Luis has a problem. Rarely content with playing his opponents off the pitch, he insists on trying to chew them off.
His latest alleged offence, in a long string of on-field outrages dating back several years, is to have bitten an Italian opponent, one Giorgio Chiellini, in a World Cup match. Perhaps Luis likes pasta. But as British policemen like to say, Luis has ‘form’, sometimes also known as ‘a bit of previous’. In 2010, when he was playing for
To be scrupulously fair, it is not always Luis’s errant incisors that are engaged. Playing in the last World Cup in
Another point in Luis’s defence is that he comes from a poor family, and from a country in which poverty is not entirely unknown. When a young boy’s family dinner table is short of food, eating people may be considered a justifiable last resort – and such habits tend to linger.
Even so, Luis’s salary, which I’m guessing makes him one of his country’s richest men, should by now have enabled him to curb the impulse to take a lump out of anyone who blocks his progress to sporting glory.
Luis can hardly complain if his fellow-professionals start calling him Hannibal, although those who consider doing so would be well advised to consider the attendant risk of being served up with a dish of fava beans.
Naturally Luis denies that he deliberately bit the Italian gentleman. “These situations happen on the field,” he explained, though this failed to anticipate the obvious retort that they only seem to happen when Luis is on the field. “I had contact with his shoulder, nothing more,” he added. In the realms of plausible deniability this ranks with Ronnie Kray pleading to the court that his enemies kept trying to hit his knuckle-duster with their faces.
Luis could find himself banished from the World Cup, which I dare say will now come to be known as the Hunger Games. That could be a mistake. When potential cannibals are on the loose, surely it’s better to keep them in plain sight.
I don’t know who