By Michelle Ludtka
But we start by putting our spotlight on the World Cup and how every four years, this sport is front and center on the world stage. It’s a time to grow the game, make new fans and inspire kids to give it a try. But this year, futbol might leave a bad taste in your mouth.
During the final match of Group ‘G’ play Luis Suarez of Uruguay bit an Italian defender, yet wasn’t penalized during the game. Play would carry on, Uruguay getting a one-nil win to advance to the round of 16.
When asked about it after the match, Suarez denied any wrong doing, saying quote “those things happen on the pitch. I just collided with his shoulder, they are just casual incidents that happen during a soccer game
Just a casual incident that happens during a soccer match? If that’s the case, then how come FIFA handed down a ban on the 27-year-old from Uruguay’s next nine international matches and four months of any soccer related activities, along with a $112,000 fine?
Which I should note, is the heaviest sanction the governing body has ever given out during a World Cup.
In fact, the closest thing to this happened in the 1994 tournament. That’s 20 years ago, when Italy’s Mauro Tassotti was banned for eight matches for breaking Spain’s Luis Enrique’s nose.
In the case of Luis Suarez, this is his third biting incident in his professional career. The striker, who is nicknamed the Cannibal, was suspended in 2010 and 2013 for biting players as well.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a Norwegian betting site, even took money prior to the World Cup with 175-1 odds that Suarez would bite again.
For those interested, more than 150 people won money thanks to the incident, the highest payout, over $27,000.
But as Suarez becomes an internet sensation popping up in every form that could possibly mock the situation, the question arises, has the biting hurt the integrity of the game?
Record numbers of people are watching, tweeting and talking about the World Cup this summer. Viewing parties are standing room only and more and more Americans are turning their attention to a game that’s historically lacked in this country
Luis Suarez’s ban started immediately and his team was without him as they face Columbia in the round of 16. The Colombians proved to be too much, ending Uruguay’s World Cup with a 2-nil defeat.
After the loss, Uruguay’s Captain Diego Lugano described Suarez’s ban as an act of barbarity that breaches the player’s human rights, saying quote “He has committed a crime, but his ban barbarity. Not even a criminal would receive this penalty.”
I’m not sure about that one, but if people overlook the United State beating the group of death, Messi proving he can play in the World Cup and the number of underdog teams taking out the European Power houses and make the biggest story line to come out of this year’s tournament the Suarez bite, in my opinion that would be barbarity.