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Behind the Bite
June 24, 2014 6:47 PM   Subscribe

So earlier today Luis Suarez, striker for the Uruguay side, bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during their respective teams' final group play match for the World Cup. This is not the first time he's done this--in fact, folks were taking bets that Suarez would bite someone during World Cup play. Biting is a major taboo in sports, and sure enough, Suarez is now facing a ban of up to 24 games by FIFA. Indeed, Suarez has a history of violent behavior and racist statements, even when you leave aside the biting incidents. And yet, despite all this, Suarez is generally regarded as one of the best soccer players in the world today. So it's fitting that, just before this year's World Cup began, ESPN published an essay by Wright Thompson (previously) on the many myths and contradictions that surround Luis Suarez.
posted by Cash4Lead (167 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think that Uruguay should withdrawal from the tournament. The conduct by their player stains the honor of the whole nation and the only way to repair it would be through an act of penance. It would be a great message to players everywhere if the team took at stand against this behavior and in support of the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play to which these tournaments aspire.
posted by humanfont at 6:55 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


Apparently, Subway was going to sponsor him, but, well...

"Subway: Eat Flesh!"

#IHaveMoreDoNotTemptMe
posted by eriko at 6:57 PM on June 24 [45 favorites]


Fuck banning him or dramatic team displays, this is straight-up assault and should be handled legally.
posted by Benjy at 6:57 PM on June 24 [21 favorites]


I think that Uruguay should withdrawal from the tournament. The conduct by their player stains the honor of the whole nation and the only way to repair it would be through an act of penance.

You must not have seen the Uruguay/Ghana game in the 2010 World Cup.

Suarez was pretty much seen as a national hero for that.
posted by echocollate at 7:00 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


> "Subway: Eat Flesh!"

That's pretty good, but it's no Chewy Luis And The Blues.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:03 PM on June 24 [8 favorites]


Suarez was pretty much seen as a national hero for that.

I still call it cheating.
posted by Hoopo at 7:06 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


"I guess any part of the body is up for eating."--Evander Holyfield
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:06 PM on June 24 [10 favorites]


Suarez clearly has mental health issues that need addressing in a much more comprehensive fashion than were used after his previous biting incident.

That said, if you look at around minute 77 of the match, around midfield when the ball is clearly not coming to their line of play, Chiellini sprints up and shoves Suarez in the back and Suarez gets all hand-flappy in anger. Immediately after is when Suarez sprints over and goes after Chiellini, with no pretense that it's really for the ball.

I do find it kind of humorous that Chiellini--a notoriously dirty player--was clearly trying to goad Suarez to get him carded. And he was successful in his goad! But because the ref wasn't watching (and because Chiellini had already cried wolf with ridiculous dives earlier in the match) it backfired on him and he got gnawed for no advantage.
posted by TwoStride at 7:09 PM on June 24 [20 favorites]


Why suspend? Why not ban him for good? I mean - three times? Why would the FIFA let someone get away with this? It was not a fun game to watch. Most of the time someone was on the ground.
posted by nostrada at 7:12 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]


(For successful goading: See Thomas Mueller vs Pepe...)
posted by TwoStride at 7:12 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


"The thrill of victory and the agony of the teeth..."
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:12 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]


Suarez was pretty much seen as a national hero for that.

Okay. That may seem sucky, but for that, he was red carded for DOGSO* and there was a penalty shot, which Ghana missed. Pretty much no player with a clue is not going to do that -- far better to take a penalty shot which will almost surely hit than a goal which will certainly hit. This falls clearly under the realm of "professional fouls" and many sports have them. He committed the crime, and was run, and Ghana was given a penalty kick -- which they missed.

That's football. Biting people? That's wrong.

Not that I have a ton of sympathy for Chiellini, one of the most notorious divers on the most notorious diving team in the world. But seriously, dude. "His shoulder hit my mouth?"

Make him wear the cone of shame.

That's pretty good, but it's no Chewy Luis And The Blues.

I bow to the superior line. I can only offer this -- I understand exactly why he did what he did. Who can resist biting into a fresh Italian sub?

My favorite note on this is apparently someone in Norway bet 175 Kroner that he'd bite someone during the world cup -- and walked away with 3200 Kroner.


* DOGSO: Denial of Obvious Goal Scoring Opportunity. If you commit a foul that denies an obvious goal, not only is the foul awarded -- with the direct free kick or penalty kick -- you are automatically given a red card.
posted by eriko at 7:13 PM on June 24 [24 favorites]


> It was not a fun game to watch. Most of the time someone was on the ground.

I hope that awful game wasn't a sign that the run of mostly-excellent football we've enjoyed this World Cup isn't coming to an end.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:16 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Pretty much no player with a clue is not going to do that

That's not really true, though. It happens very rarely and is scandalous and nearly universally despised behavior.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:18 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Jaws of God
posted by Flashman at 7:18 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


NEED MORE PUNS!
posted by double bubble at 7:19 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Renoroc at 7:28 PM on June 24


Luis Suarez Greatest Hits

But he's never bitten anybody on the penis so he's got that going for him.
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:28 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


The DOGSO situation needs to be an automatic goal. Don't give any incentive to cheat so blatently or injure a player.

In hockey if you commit a penalty on a player who has a no defender between them and an empty net it's an automatic goal. Same rule applies for throwing a stick to prevent an empty netter. It almost never happens because players know it's the dumbest play you can make.
posted by cmfletcher at 7:29 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


It was immediately clear today, when this happened, who in my office was secretly streaming the game.

The Slate link ("major taboo") talks a little bit about hockey, here's a more extensive history of bites in the NHL.
posted by troika at 7:34 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


It happens very rarely and is scandalous and nearly universally despised behavior.

Happens all the time. Suarez's mistake was bragging about it. In the 2011 Women's World Cup Final, Azusa Iwashhimizu took down Alex Morgan on a breakaway in the final minute of extra time in a 2-2 tie. She did so outside of the penalty box, but was given the red card. The US didn't score on the free kick, and the whistle blew for full time.

It worked. Morgan didn't score, it went to penalties, and Japan won the hardware.
posted by eriko at 7:35 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Yea, the "professional foul" thing seems suspect to me. In basketball if you foul someone taking a shot, they get free throws AND any points that result from the initial attempt. In the NFL if you interfere with a receiver, the ball is marked at the spot of the foul. The DOGSO situation seems pretty anomalous to me, and I can't imagine it's usually met with a shrug.
posted by echocollate at 7:36 PM on June 24


I think that Uruguay should withdrawal from the tournament. The conduct by their player stains the honor of the whole nation

I cant decide if this is sarcasm or not.
posted by fshgrl at 7:38 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


I've ingested a lot of ideas about the nature of poor sportsmanship in this post. It's a lot to digest. I'll have to chew on it for a while. There's no use jawing about something that I don't now much about. That would be like adding empty calories to the conversation. Maybe I'll devour a book on the subject and come back once I've had my fill. Then we can really chew the fat.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:40 PM on June 24 [7 favorites]


That settles it. I'm going with one Suárez-sized duck.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:41 PM on June 24 [7 favorites]


Miguel Olivo bit a teammate in a clubhouse scuffle earlier this year and was immediately released.

(He doesn't have Suarez's star power though.)
posted by bukvich at 7:41 PM on June 24


Heh.
posted by kenko at 7:43 PM on June 24 [17 favorites]


Suarez--one of the most talented footballers on earth, and one of the craziest. I still find it hard to believe he did it AGAIN. He's a player who makes me sad, because I love his play, but can't stand his diving, simulation, and so forth; as for biting, words fail.

And Eriko is right--the professional foul is a normal, if regrettable, part of the game (and Italy are masters of it). It's a calculated risk--commit the foul, get the card, but save the situation. Suarez in the last world cup did it in a particularly advantageous way, and then the subsequent penalty was missed, so it all seemed even more unjust.
And it was unjust, and cheating...and common.
posted by librosegretti at 7:47 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


Suarez clearly has mental health issues that need addressing

Is being an asshole a mental health issue now?
posted by Hoopo at 7:47 PM on June 24 [9 favorites]


In hockey if you commit a penalty on a player who has a no defender between them and an empty net it's an automatic goal.

More specifically, if you commit a penalty that would result in a penalty shot, and the goaltender was pulled, it becomes an automatic goal. Soccer doesn't have a history or a rule to grant an goal -- arguably, if a ref is pulling out the red card for DOGSO, they should just award the goal. But the laws of the game forbid that, so it's an ejection plus a direct free kick or penalty kick, depending.
posted by eriko at 7:47 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Why suspend? Why not ban him for good? I mean - three times? Why would the FIFA let someone get away with this? It was not a fun game to watch. Most of the time someone was on the ground.

Well, FIFA have only had to worry about one of them; the previous ones were handled by the national football association he was playing under.

24 matches is a long time in international football - which is why I suspect FIFA won't impose the full penalty if they can avoid it - he's good box office.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:53 PM on June 24


I guess I'd feel pretty shitty if the U.S. won a game that way. Maybe I'd feel differently if I followed one of the high-end european leagues?
posted by echocollate at 7:54 PM on June 24


In the NFL if you interfere with a receiver, the ball is marked at the spot of the foul.

But that only applies to one penalty -- Defensive Pass Interference. Almost all other penalties are fixed distances. US Football realizes this can cause situations where the penalty is worse for the fouled team than the result of the play, which is why a team can decline a penalty and accept the result of the play instead.

DOGSO is harder in that it's a judgement call that there was an "obvious goal scoring opportunity" Clear on to the net is one standard, and that's the one Suarez met when he was run in the 2010 WC -- there was nobody behind him, so his handball was the only reason the goal scored.

A goaltender in a one-on-one playing the man, rather than the ball, will often rate DOGSO. See the 2006 Champions League Final, though the ref erred there in not playing advantage after the foul -- the ball fell back to Barca after the foul and the goal was made, which eliminates DOGSO -- you can't deny a goal that was actually scored. Instead, he red carded the goaltender, disallowed the goal that happened after the foul, and gave a PK, which was missed. In this case, the damage didn't turn the game around, because it happened early in the game, and if you want to play Barca for 70 minutes short one player, you go right ahead, I'll get the popcorn.
posted by eriko at 7:56 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


The story of how Suarez got married is beautiful. Dirt poor, feral. Meets a girl. She tells him he could make something of himself and he believes her. Her family takes him in, the first stability he's ever known. Then she moves to Europe. At rock bottom he conceived an insane plan. If he became a football superstar a European team would pay to fly him over. It was his only hope of getting a ticket.

So he became a superstar, and got his free flight to Europe, and married her.

He's a deeply damaged man who at this point shouldn't be allowed to play without a Hannibal mask, but I don't want to see this man destroyed by the demons he picked up while growing up in hell. If the enablers (including the entire nation of Uruguay) would get out of the way, maybe we could get him the help he needs.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:02 PM on June 24 [21 favorites]


I'm not going to make any claims at being a brawler or anything, but I've been in a few heated scrapes, where I've reacted strongly, in ways I've regretted, and unexpectedly. But at what point does biting become your go-to move?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:04 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


No one has yet mentioned the other effect of a Suárez suspension: A substantial increase in the likelihood of seeing Diego Forlán shirtless.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:05 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]


Forlan was pure class at the last tournament. Uruguay is better off without Suarez.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:13 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Not sure where I found this, but this is a brilliant comment:

Face it, this could happen to any player hungry for fame, and I think he'd probably give his eye-teeth to do that over again. If FIFA gets serious about Suarez this could be his last taste of international competition. Even though Uruguay will advance to the second round, the loss of Suarez due to suspension will be hard to swallow. I'm sure that FIFA officials will ruminate on this one for a while before deciding on a punishment that's palatable enough to the rest of the field. 
Although the incident with Suarez was significant, the game was a veritable smorgasbord of fouls. I don't know how much of an appetite the public will have for such physical play moving forward considering that many of these players are huge stars for their club teams. Suarez is one of the great modern talents in professional futbol. Liverpool fans came out in tremendous support for Suarez the last time an incident like this occurred. They would do anything for him, even give him the shirt off their backs. After today though the table is set for disciplinary action, and the first course will be addressing Suarez's repeat offenses. Some will say that the media feeding frenzy over Uruguay's top player is just reaching for low hanging fruit, but his actions prove that Suarez is a glutton for punishment. This time he may have bitten off more than he can chew and FIFA has no choice but to force Suarez to bite the bullet and shoulder some responsibility for his actions.

posted by dabug at 8:13 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]


Suarez clearly has mental health issues that need addressing

Is being an asshole a mental health issue now?


You bite someone once, you're an asshole. You bite someone a third time--after already serving, cumulatively, a 17-game suspension for the first two incidents--and you're an asshole who's also got a screw loose and/or doesn't learn good.
posted by TwoStride at 8:20 PM on June 24 [7 favorites]


Happens all the time...

Oh. I thought we were specifically talking about intentional goal-line handballs.

You're right, professional fouls happen quite often. Not so intentional goal-saving handballs.

My mistake.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 8:22 PM on June 24


I watched that video and it is plain as day that Chiellini attacked Suarez's mouth with his shoulder. Didn't you see Suarez's reaction and the mouth pain he experienced?
posted by Area Man at 8:29 PM on June 24 [8 favorites]


I'm not hung up on flops, but my favorite part was how Suarez flopped after. He bite-flopped.
posted by benbenson at 8:29 PM on June 24 [13 favorites]


He just wanted Italian for dinner.
posted by exogenous at 8:34 PM on June 24 [8 favorites]


In the NFL if you interfere with a receiver, the ball is marked at the spot of the foul.

Note though that pass interference in the endzone doesn't mean an automatic TD, but the ball is instead placed somewhere close to the goal line.
posted by kmz at 8:36 PM on June 24


I HAVE WORDS THAT MEAN MASTICATION / INGESTION AND ANOTHER THING AT THE SAME TIME I SHALL USE THEM IN DESCRIBING THIS PROFESSIONAL SPORTS PLAYER
posted by lalochezia at 8:38 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


BECAUSE HE BITES PEOPLE
posted by lalochezia at 8:39 PM on June 24 [12 favorites]


Relax everyone, he only bit someone three times. It's not like he raped an 18 year old girl too.
posted by Nelson at 8:40 PM on June 24


I'm sure if Suarez tried pulling that stunt with Totti on the pitch, he would've ended up in a body bag. Don't Mess with Totti.
posted by phaedon at 8:53 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


He lives beyond the grace of God- a wanderer in the outer darkness. He is Wampyr! Nosferatu!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:57 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Amazing that Mexico's most prolific carder managed to miss this. What a terrible ref.
posted by Partario at 8:58 PM on June 24


And phaedon's link led me to this excellent overview of other gentlemanly footballers. (I'd take a bite over some of these stomps).
posted by TwoStride at 9:05 PM on June 24


I'm all for giving people second chances. Sometimes third chances. Even more if it's warranted. Hell it's kind of a joke that I follow Mr. Lynch's "strict 23 strikes and you're out" policy from Home Movies.

Even so, this is the the guy's third time biting an opponent during a sporting event. If it is proven to everyone's satisfaction, nothing less than a lifetime ban will be enough. Despite an apparent long tradition in sports, in my opnion biting cannot be tolerated.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:50 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


Uruguay is better off without Suarez.

OK just stop it.
posted by xmutex at 9:57 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


this is the the guy's third time biting an opponent during a sporting event. If it is proven to everyone's satisfaction, nothing less than a lifetime ban will be enough.

I'm getting the distinct impression Metafilter does not watch a lot of football bar this World Cup.

I'm sure if Suarez tried pulling that stunt with Totti on the pitch, he would've ended up in a body bag.

I commented to my mother that Suarez was a complete and utter moron and/or possibly a zombie with no brain and she pointed out that he never bites the DeJongs or Pepes of this world so he can't be a TOTAL moron. Which... fair point. Then we spent some time as a family imagining scenarios where Suarez bites various people like Totti and Joey Barton. It's true, football does bring people togther.
posted by fshgrl at 9:59 PM on June 24 [11 favorites]


Fuck Luis Suarez. Like there isn't enough racism in soccer already?
posted by Itaxpica at 10:03 PM on June 24


Close up gif of the bite.
posted by iamabot at 10:29 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]


Well he has a bit of a persecution complex - after scoring the two goals to knock England out he was on about how the English media were after him, and how he wanted to see their reaction to him now. Which all seemed quite strange, as he'd won the PFA player of the year award, and also the journalists player of the year after a really cracking year in the Premier League. So he seemed to be a bit of a media darling at the time.

Interesting to see what Fifa do, and what Liverpool will do. Liverpool have really stuck by him through some quite trying times... first the incident with Evra, then the second biting incident, then him wanting to leave Liverpool.

Most disappointing for me was the reaction of the Uruguayan team. Their coach had this reaction (from here):

“This is a football World Cup, it’s not about morality, cheap morality,” Tabárez said. “As we say in Uruguay, there are people who are hiding behind a tree waiting for someone to make a mistake. Suárez, despite any mistakes he might have made, is the preferred target of certain media, of certain press, who give him much more coverage for an alleged error he might have made rather than the things for which he is really in football.”

And the captain (from the same link):

"You have to be stupid to think that mark on Chiellini is from today"

So he is saying that the mark was pre existing and that the Italians had a plan to somehow accuse him of biting?
posted by Admira at 10:31 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]


In hockey if you commit a penalty on a player who has a no defender between them and an empty net it's an automatic goal. Same rule applies for throwing a stick to prevent an empty netter. It almost never happens because players know it's the dumbest play you can make.

Goal must not only be empty, goal keeper must have been removed for a 6th player. Otherwise it would be a penalty shot on an empty net, pretty much an automatic goal.
posted by coust at 10:33 PM on June 24


...and that the Italians had a plan to somehow accuse him of biting?

Honestly, that seems like something the Italians might do. They're so crooked they could walk through a corkscrew sideways.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:36 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


Come on, Metafilter. Not a single person has recommended therapy?!
posted by dvrmmr at 10:50 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]


If they really want to punish him he would be banned from Champions League matches for a season or two. Not sure if FIFA could force that on UEFA though.
posted by PenDevil at 10:58 PM on June 24


seriously where is the askme parody titled "teething problems" posted by an anon who is clearly tabarez

where is the penthouse letter parody written by chiellini I NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD HAPPEN TO ME, titled LOVE BITES
posted by elizardbits at 11:01 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


where is my vampire fanfic
posted by elizardbits at 11:01 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]


fshgrl: “I'm getting the distinct impression Metafilter does not watch a lot of football bar this World Cup. ”
Well, yeah. Even though I pretty much only follow the USMNT, I'm well aware that diving, flopping, time wasting, and various other unsportsmanlike activities take place constantly. I just think biting is a level above the typical bad conduct.

FIFA has opened an investigation into the incident. Apparently 2 years/24 matches is the maximum penalty allowed under FIFA rules.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:03 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


If they really want to punish him he would be banned from Champions League matches for a season or two. Not sure if FIFA could force that on UEFA though.

Wouldn't punishing his club for something he did on international duty be unusual?

I am interested to see what this does for whether Suarez gets sold this summer. There's been a lot of talk about Real Madrid and other possible buyers wanting him but Liverpool not wanting to sell. Will this be enough to put serious buyer's off?
posted by biffa at 11:08 PM on June 24


"So he is saying that the mark was pre existing and that the Italians had a plan to somehow accuse him of biting?

I wouldn't put it past Chielliini!

If they really want to punish him he would be banned from Champions League matches for a season or two. Not sure if FIFA could force that on UEFA though.

Yeah, given that Platini is head of UEFA and he and Blatter aren't exactly mates right now.

There is a certain irony in being accused of cheating at football by Italy. Gary Lineker said of Maradona that in the infamous Hand Of God game, Maradona was cheated against every time he got the ball, and while he wasn't condoning his actions, he could understand how you could get to the point where you just sort of thought "fuck it". (I am paraphrasing, obv.)

Man what a fucker though, biting someone again. He should have just elbowed Chielini in the face or something yeah, not bit him. As we said when we were kids, "biting is for girls." And you all seem pretty het up that a bite is worse then an elbow, or stamping into someone's crotch *cough*rooney*cough*.

And as for putting off buyers, he had bitten one and done his handball when LFC bought him, and bit another when all the interest from Real was in the news, so I doubt it will put someone off buying him, and I don't see how UEFA will allow the club to be punished for something outside of one of their competitions.

And finally, when you first start being a footy fan as a kid back in the mid 70s, never do you think you will have to deal with something like this.

"Fuck Luis Suarez. Like there isn't enough racism in soccer already?"
posted by Itaxpica

Suarez isn't racist, and I would like to see you prove this charge. When the Evra incident happened, it was all over the media that the police were involved and were going to charge Suarez, but the CPS looked at it and there was no corroborating evidence, so they dropped the case.
posted by marienbad at 11:46 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


(this was posted in another thread by someone)

McDonalds Uruguay on Twitter

Can anyone translate the replies?
posted by marienbad at 11:52 PM on June 24


(I will stop in a minute lol!)

Subway in the UK have a TV ad featuring Suarez' LFC teammate (and England "striker") Danny Sturridge. They should edit the ad so at the end, Sturridge turns to Suarez, offers him his sub, and says ....
posted by marienbad at 11:57 PM on June 24


The DOGSO situation needs to be an automatic goal. Don't give any incentive to cheat so blatently or injure a player.

That would be excessive punishment for DOGSO in general, I think. It's only denial of goal-scoring opportunity. This could include a defender fouling a striker who would, otherwise, be one-on-one with the goalkeeper. But often this situation wouldn't result in a goal if the foul wasn't committed.

Suarez's handball in 2010 was an extreme edge case -it denied a certain goal, the red card didn't matter much because it occurred right at the end of the game, and (though Suarez couldn't have predicted this) the penalty was missed. Maybe there's a case that a handball that stops a certain goal is just treated as a goal, but certainly not all DOGSO situations.
posted by Pink Frost at 12:47 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Can anyone translate the replies?

My understanding of Spanish is usually... algorithmically enhanced, but seems like most responses find McD's suggestion of a Big Mac funny.
posted by the cydonian at 12:52 AM on June 25


It's a bit of a shame that the biting incident should overshadow a more positive contribution to the game. Defender Diego Godin scored the winner for Uruguay, meaning that his last three goals have been:

1. To equalise against Barcelona and win the league for Atletico Madrid
2. The opening goal in the Champions League against Real Madrid
3. The winning goal that put Uruguay into the WC second round.

Total legend.
posted by Pink Frost at 12:55 AM on June 25 [8 favorites]


Saving a sure goal at the line happens more often than one might think. According to the rules, it's just a heavy foul, not cheating. Were i in that situation, i'd do it too. It's only logical, using the rules to your advantage, as mentioned, especially in the late stage of a game. Take the red card, possibly save your team. A teammate of mine once did it, we still lost. Could have gone the other way.
posted by The Dot at 1:03 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I couldn't access imabot's gif at work but I found it on er Gawker. Reading through the thread and the Guardian coverage I thought okay maybe Suarez was running towards Chiellini yelling something and Chiellini unexpectedly jumped for the ball and the contact was accidental.

But noooo.

That is someone's neck going out, top jaw going down and CHOMPing, like a giraffe.

So yep the guy is "up there" with Cantona* and Zidane and should be banned, and anyone on the Uruguay squad defending him after seeing the video has despicable motives.


*although admittedly I was a ManU fan at the time and even had a poster of the Cantona kick freezeframe for a bit cos I thought it was cool cos the guy apparently said something racist (and I still think it was a tiny bit awesome, on a lizard brain level)
posted by runincircles at 1:14 AM on June 25


Never underestimate the power of a lunatic like Suarez to bring people together. I'm not close to my dad, we talk perhaps once or twice a year. I occasionally get one line emails from him letting me know something or asking a question. Today I got the longest piece of correspondence I think he's ever sent me....
Rabid racist risks 3 bites and you're out! Vampire scouse nasher notches 3rd victim! Draculean dvd available! Nominated for chomp of the tournament. Cannibal & head hunting nations support their favourite son. Bite of the day award insufficient tribute. Lifetime commemoration suggested. Its a new high for the memorable mandibles! Goes down in world cup history!!!! Jaw dropping event deserves international recognition! One small mouthful for Suarez, one giant megameal for mankind!! Haha!!
This may or may not be his original stream of conciousness, or perhaps pasted from somewhere. But it gave me a chuckle. Well played Suarez you crazy bastard.
posted by samworm at 1:16 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


Via BBC World Cup Sportsday, people are tweeting in their Suarez jokes:

Dean Lipscombe: Suarez now hoping to play Germany so he can try shoulder of Lahm.
posted by marienbad at 1:42 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


There's got to be a GoT/World Cup - Brienne of Tarth/Suarez joke in here somewhere
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 1:53 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Norwegian man places bet, at odds of 175-1, and wins...
posted by Wordshore at 2:01 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


For anyone having trouble keeping track: www.howmanypeoplehasluissuarezbitten.com
posted by ominous_paws at 3:00 AM on June 25 [7 favorites]


Honestly, that seems like something the Italians might do. They're so crooked they could walk through a corkscrew sideways.

Sure. That's how Materazzi gave poor Zidane a headache in 2006.

Bullshit. Suarez BIT a player. I'm Italian and a huge football fan. We played like crap and lost, but you can't tell me the game wouldn't have been different if the ref had actually called this.
posted by lydhre at 3:59 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


I'm not a soccer fan (and maybe that's the difference) and am really surprised at the number of people who think this is high-larious. Why doesn't this merit an immediate banhammering? Especially when it's the third time?? Seriously, what is wrong with this guy?
posted by orrnyereg at 4:27 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I doubt he will even see the full ban. He'll get something like 12 matches in all competitions, and be back at Anfield by November.

Remember, Eric Cantona had to go into the stands and attack a Palace supporter to get five months.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:33 AM on June 25


There's been too little attention paid so far to the curse of Mick Jagger.
posted by ardgedee at 4:53 AM on June 25


Sure. That's how Materazzi gave poor Zidane a headache in 2006.

According to the Laws of the Game (pdf, p.38)
A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the
following seven offences: unsporting behaviour
A player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the
following seven offences:using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures

These rules were already in effect in 2006 and Materazzi insulted Zidane's sister.

Forlan was pure class at the last tournament. Uruguay is better off without Suarez.


Unfortunately, these four years haven't been kind to Forlan. He was fantastic at his best though.
posted by ersatz at 5:02 AM on June 25


It disgusts me that some of you are seeking to impose the maximum punishment on this poor man - a total ban on him making a living in his chosen profession - without even a trial. And his so-called "crime"-? Merely trying to give his respected opponent a lovely little kiss, and accidentally brushing a tooth or two along his shoulder. Let's just remember that international football is all about compassion for others and global friendship, not "hate".
posted by the quidnunc kid at 5:07 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


I'm not a soccer fan (and maybe that's the difference) and am really surprised at the number of people who think this is high-larious. Why doesn't this merit an immediate banhammering?

Well, I think because soccer fans are realistic. Suarez is a confidence player, so his manager, who has short-term goals to achieve, is going to support him immediately. He is also going to use the incident to make the team feel like it's them against the world, to try to motivate them. FIFA don't care much about a team like Uruguay, but a star like Suarez is a different matter - so, they'll probably try to strike a balance between enforcing the rules of the game and not alienating him completely. It should be the end of the World Cup for him, but I doubt he'll get a 24-game suspension.

Diego Maradonna did get 15 months for cocaine use, and was effectively deregistered from international competition and pushed into retirement near the end of his career rather than facing a suspension when he was caught taking ephedrine... that said, I honestly don't know if the rules even for drug use, or at least non-performance-enhancing drug use, would be applied as harshly as they were in 1991 for a real draw like Maradonna. But perhaps I'm being cynical.

When Suarez was under investigation for racially abusing another player on the field, his manager insisted on his innocence and his team-mates wore T-shirts supporting him. Even after he was found guilty, Kenny Dalglish downplayed it and Suarez kept insisting he was innocent, even after the board told them both to cut it out.

In part, this is about player power as well - if your star player thinks you are mistreating him or don't have his back, he can (after his suspension is served) stop exerting himself, demand a transfer, destroy dressing room morale and generally not only get you fired but potentially destroy your career.

Still, this is hardly unique to soocer. I mean, what's worse - biting a man, or funding gambling on matches in which dogs are forced to bite other dogs for five years? And yet Michael Vick was back playing pro football for the Eagles as soon as it was physically possible for him to do so, pretty much.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:14 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


"Even after he was found guilty, "

In which court? citation please.

"I'm not a soccer fan (and maybe that's the difference) and am really surprised at the number of people who think this is high-larious."

We find it disgusting, violent, and vile, as we do many other of the vicious and nasty things people do on a football pitch (did anyone see Paul Pogba being stamped and kicked by the Honduran player the other day?) and cannot understand how someone can lose their head to such an extent that they would bite an opponent during a televised World Cup Finals game, which is being watched by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. So its a crazy and dark situation; just because people are making jokes about it, don't think we don't understand the seriousness of it.
posted by marienbad at 5:51 AM on June 25 [7 favorites]


Got to the end of your comment and read this:

"funding gambling on matches in which dogs are forced to bite other dogs for five years"

WTF? Wow - way before the dog-fighting he was doing stupid stuff.
posted by marienbad at 5:54 AM on June 25


Animal fighting is something that happens internationally, and I would be rather surprised if you couldn't find at least as many and probably more professional soccer players who are into it than American NFL players. Regardless, it isn't something that happens on the field of play so it's a weird comparison.
posted by cribcage at 6:02 AM on June 25


The phrase, cribcage, is "bringing the game into disrepute". Diego Maradonna also did not snort cocaine or take ephedrine on the field of play. Although it would have been kind of epic if he had, so I will happily read your Diego Maradonna fanfic.

In which court? citation please.

Well, there's a 115-page report by the FA, but I'm not sure whether you are asking about that, or making the point that he was not tried in a criminal court... which is true, but I think the general process of an FA inquiry is describable in those terms - you are charged, you can appeal, and so on and so forth.

if you simply mean "I did not know that happened", then there are excerpts from the report here. Obviously, trigger warning for racially charged language and all that.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:37 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


It disgusts me that some of you are seeking to impose the maximum punishment on this poor man - a total ban on him making a living in his chosen profession - without even a trial. And his so-called "crime"-? Merely trying to give his respected opponent a lovely little kiss, and accidentally brushing a tooth or two along his shoulder. Let's just remember that international football is all about compassion for others and global friendship, not "hate".



Nice try, Sepp.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:53 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]


I'm not a soccer fan (and maybe that's the difference) and am really surprised at the number of people who think this is high-larious. Why doesn't this merit an immediate ban hammering?

I think it's high-larious and it deserves an immediate ban hammering.

I also think that refs should carry ban hammers instead of red cards.
posted by eriko at 7:00 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


Diego Maradonna also did not snort cocaine or take ephedrine on the field of play.

I'll take your word on that. The comment, to my understanding, was not about drug use but rather, "what's worse - biting a man, or funding gambling on matches in which dogs are forced to bite other dogs for five years?"
posted by cribcage at 7:02 AM on June 25


(I am so into Diego Maradonna, Animal Fighter:

"I am not so surprised to see you here, Barrilete Cósmico. After all, it is a well-known fact that soccer players are super into animal fighting. But I think you will find this more of a challenge even than England's indefatigable full-back Gary Stevens. You may have defeated your yen for la cocaína, but can you defeat Mischka, the 500-pound Russian bear?")
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:03 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]


I'll take your word on that. The comment, to my understanding, was not about drug use but rather, "what's worse - biting a man, or funding gambling on matches in which dogs are forced to bite other dogs for five years?"

Honestly, your understanding is really strange, in that case, to the point of not being a functioning understanding at all.

I mean, if you were to ask me whether biting a man during a soccer match was worse than being involved in dog-fighting for five years, I would probably have to ask you what you meant by the hugely imprecise term worse. Morally? Legally?

So, for example, the former in common law would be battery, probably, if it came to court. The latter, in the case of Michael Vick, was tried as a federal conspiracy. So, is that worse? It's felonious, certainly.

Likewise, is biting a human being better or worse than participating in the killing of underperforming dogs by electrocution, drowning and various other methods, morally? That probably depends on how much you like dogs. Personally I'd say "less bad", absent other factors, but YMMV.

I think those are general questions that depend on no specialized knowledge of soccer. However, if you are having to take my word on the fact that arguably the best soccer player in history* did not snort cocaine on the field of play, it's pretty clear that you have no knowledge of soccer at all. That's fine - the USA's performance is clearly bringing a lot of new people to the sport, and that's great. However, it does mean there's going to be a hint of mansplanation to anything you tell me about soccer, e.g the extent to which its players at the highest level are into animal fighting, or the disciplinary practices of FIFA.

Considered in sporting terms... well, it's worse in the sense that, while Suarez could be fined by his club if he did that in a Liverpool match (we fortunately have a precedent to reference here - he was fined by his club for biting a player in 2013), it would be difficult for Liverpool to have terminated his contract, or indeed to have sued him for the balance of his signing bonus. Whereas it turns out you can do that if your player has spent five years involved in a dog fighting crew.

It may not be worse in the sense that the maximum suspension (2 years) Suarez is facing is only about as long as Vick spent out of the game - although Vick was in a federal prison for much of that time, and thus definitively unavailable for selection.

The point I was making, which I think most readers would probably get pretty instinctively, is that a talented practitioner in a profession where talented practitioners are able to generate huge amounts of money for their employers and themselves can remain employable despite having done things that attract significant condemnation and, indeed, federal conspiracy convictions.

I understand why exceptionalism happens, but imagining that someone is besmirching the name of Michael Vick, and springing to his defence, is kind of a double black diamond hill to die on.

* Pele would argue it pretty hard, for starters
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:30 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Come on, Metafilter. Not a single person has recommended therapy?!
Also, Chiellini really should read The Gift of Fear.
posted by Flunkie at 7:36 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]


As we said when we were kids, "biting is for girls."

You should stop saying that, now that you're all grown up
posted by ericost at 7:46 AM on June 25 [14 favorites]


Considered in sporting terms... well, it's worse in the sense that, while Suarez could be fined by his club if he did that in a Liverpool match (we fortunately have a precedent to reference here - he was fined by his club for biting a player in 2013), it would be difficult for Liverpool to have terminated his contract, or indeed to have sued him for the balance of his signing bonus. Whereas it turns out you can do that if your player has spent five years involved in a dog fighting crew.

Different contracts, different laws those contracts are based on. NFL contracts universally have a clause that allows the team to void the contract if you are unable to perform because of criminal acts you have committed -- nobody throws a good pass from jail.

Indeed, NFL contracts allow the team to cut you at any time, but in most cases, your guaranteed money remains yours and in many cases, your base salary remains yours. The "in jail" provision allowed Atlanta to attempt to claw back a pro-rated portion of the singing bonus, which was a significant factor in Vick's filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

I'm surprised that EPL contracts don't have similar, but I'm also aware that labor/workrule law in England is *very* different that the various US states, and it may be such a provision is simply not legal.
posted by eriko at 7:52 AM on June 25


"if you simply mean "I did not know that happened", then there are excerpts from the report here. Obviously, trigger warning for racially charged language and all that."
posted by running order squabble fest

I'm a LFC fan, it is impossible for me not to know about this! Basically it comes down to he said/he said, and no other evidence, in someone's second tongue which they admit they do not understand properly. No one else heard it at all, not even any of the Spanish speaking players around them, and it wasn't picked up by any of the microphones around the ground. Further, as the article states, it was Evra who began that exchange with a crude comment about Suarez' sister's vagina.

I find it strange that people still try to pin the racism label on a player who has spent virtually the whole of last season playing alongside Sturridge and Sterling with no problems.
posted by marienbad at 8:08 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


We are missing a major point here guys:
Chiellini reacted with fury, pulling the neck of his shirt down and across his left shoulder to expose what still photographs revealed to be a bite mark. The Mexican referee Marco Rodríguez – whose nickname is Dracula – took no action, as he did not have a clear view of the flashpoint, but Fifa is investigating and Suárez, not for the first time, faces a massive ban. [source]
VAMPIRES CONTROL FOOTBALL.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:10 AM on June 25 [7 favorites]


So, marienbad, the answer to "in which court? Citation please " was in fact "by the FA", and you already knew that?

Not trying to be a dick, here, but you personally not believing that Suarez racially insulted Evra does not mean that he was not found to have done so by his sport's governing body. Which was the quod that was demonstrandum.

Indeed, NFL contracts allow the team to cut you at any time, but in most cases, your guaranteed money remains yours and in many cases, your base salary remains yours. The "in jail" provision allowed Atlanta to attempt to claw back a pro-rated portion of the singing bonus, which was a significant factor in Vick's filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

I may be wrong, but I think the point in the signing bonus part was not just that he was in jail, but that he knew he was involved in illegal activities when he signed the contract and didn't tell them - so, in effect, he concealed information relevant to his valuation by not revealing the risk that he would go to jail. If a player was jailed for a crime he committed after signing - a vehicular homicide, say - I think it would create a different case.

You can terminate a contract in the EPL, of course, but unless you wanted to pay it off you'd have to show cause - unless it was built into the contract, an isolated disciplinary offence probably wouldn't count unambiguously as cause. It would certainly be legally contested.

(Winston Bogarde, legendarily, declined to accept a transfer or leave Chelsea, despite having almost no chance of first-team football, because he was earning £40,000 a week and would never be offered terms like that again. He turned up for training every day and in every way acted like a model professional, but simply refused to consider leaving until his contract expired and he was released, at which point he retired. Four years, eleven first-team appearances, about $25 million in wages.)

The point remains, though, that both biting and dog-fighting are bad things for a professional sportsman to do, and might have consequences (fines, cancellation of contract, jail), football (Assocation or American) teams are often ready to extend second chances to athletes who they think can help them to perform better and thus make more money.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:30 AM on June 25


I'm not a soccer fan (and maybe that's the difference) and am really surprised at the number of people who think this is high-larious.

1 - Footie fans, particularly those from the UK or those who mostly consume UK media, love puns.

2 - As Simon Burnton on World Cup Football Daily (around 6:05) "I mean biting is weird. It is weird, but there was no injury actual or potential in what Suarez did today." So if he's banned longer than 8 matches (what Tassotti got for breaking Enrique's nose in 1994), it might send a message, but what kind of message? Don't be creepy weird on the pitch. If you're going to be violent, keep it within social norms of elbows, headbutts, kicking/stamping.

Suarez's biting and England's horrid performance makes me question the efficacy of Dr. Steve Peters. Or maybe it's just too much to help?

And to the point of whether or not he's racist - it's true the courts determined he's not criminally racist, though the FA found enough to warrant there was enough evidence he brought the game in disrepute. (Here's the full report.) I remember reading the whole thing when it came out - it's clear the FA tried to investigate it as best as they could with little cooperation from Liverpool and they had to do something because people were angry and they couldn't look soft on racism.

All in all, yeah - Suarez is an extremely talented player who belongs on par with Messi and Ronaldo, but he's also troubled and needs treatment to keep whatever causes him to lash out and bite people at bay. I will continue to make biting puns, but also call for more acknowledgement of mental health issue in professional athletes and their need for treatment and some compassion. Basically what Stan Collymore wrote.
posted by kendrak at 8:38 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


"Not trying to be a dick, here, but you personally not believing that Suarez racially insulted Evra does not mean that he was not found to have done so by his sport's governing body. Which was the quod that was demonstrandum."

Bullshit. The report said that in a fast paced game, it would be impossible to remember exactly the order of things, and because Evra's recollection was slightly better then Suarez hey gave him the decision. They found no other evidence other than Evra saying he said it, and lets be honest, there was a big anti-racism campaign at the time, so the FA had to look strong, whether Suarez was guilty or not.
posted by marienbad at 8:40 AM on June 25


I find it strange that people still try to pin the racism label on a player who has spent virtually the whole of last season playing alongside Sturridge and Sterling with no problems.
posted by marienbad at 3:08 PM on June 25 [+] [!]


Seriously you guys, two of his best colleagues are black!
posted by Reggie Knoble at 8:40 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


So, again, Marienbad, although you don't accept the ruling of the FA, the answer to "in which court? Citation please " was in fact "by the FA", and you already knew that? You don't refuse to accept that there was a hearing, in which a ruling was made?
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:51 AM on June 25


For the benefit of marienbad: Suarez's own defence was that he did use the word 'negro' when addressing Evra but that he did so only once (not seven times as accused) and that he used it in the context of his own culture and had not intended to cause offence (and had not used it aggressively as accused).

So at best he is an imbecile. At worst his is a racist.

I think any sensible person viewing the footage (even though you cannot hear the words) and reading all the testimonies would draw the conclusion that it was a highly charged and aggressive environment and using the word 'negro' to address a black skinned player was very ill judged. I'm going to go further and say that having read it all and having seen how he has behaved before and in the past - he knew what he was doing.

He may not be a racist, but he acted in a racist way to try and rile an opponent. He is a nasty character and deserved the guilty verdict the court handed down (yes, a COURT by any sensible definition - as you well knew when you kicked that back!)

Don't be an apologist for horrible people trying to be clever after the event. He was trying to get at Evra. He used unacceptable language. He got banned. Good.

His uncontrollable urge to bite people is just another horrible side to his deeply flawed charater. He is a superb footballer, but a truly awful person.
posted by samworm at 8:58 AM on June 25


And, in todays hopefully bite free action!

Argentina took little time to make a Messi of Nigeria, and it's ARG 1-0 NGA…whoops, while I was typing, it's now 1-1, and we haven't hit 5 minutes.

BIH-IRN still 0-0. Bosnia-Herzigovina, whom I'm now calling BosHerz to save time, is strictly a spoiler, but Iran could advance.
posted by eriko at 9:06 AM on June 25


eriko - come to this thread to talk about today's games. I made an FPP but it got deleted as "we can't have an FPP for every single game," despite it covering 4 important games.
posted by marienbad at 9:12 AM on June 25


Regarding that hearing, then, and:

I find it strange that people still try to pin the racism label on a player who has spent virtually the whole of last season playing alongside Sturridge and Sterling with no problems.

It's... yeah. It's complicated to argue that someone who earns about $15 million a year to play in a football team could never have acted in a racially offensive fashion ever because he consents to play in that football team alongside people of color. That's a very low bar.

Also, "racism" was never the issue. To quote the report:
Mr Greaney emphasised the limited nature of this task in his opening written argument for the FA as follows:

"First, this case is not about whether Mr Suarez is in fact a racist. Indeed, the Commission will no doubt conclude that there are some indications that he is not. For example, Mr Suarez is himself of mixed heritage, it seems clear that he has experienced the diversity of life and it is plain from the materials submitted on his behalf that he has done good work in the field of community relations. Moreover, even Mr Evra says in his witness statement: "I don't think that Luis Suarez is racist".

However, the question is not whether Mr Suarez is in fact a racist. Rather the question is whether, on 15th October 2011, for whatever reason, Mr Suarez used language and behaviour which was racially offensive. This is an important difference and, we submit, that the Commission will need to take care to ensure that the questions it answers at the end of these proceedings are the narrow questions posed by the charge and not any broader question as to the personal attitude of Mr Suarez."

We agree with that submission subject to one qualification. We would not ourselves describe the question for us as whether Mr Suarez used language and behaviour which was "racially offensive". Those words are not found in the relevant Rules or in the Charge brought against Mr Suarez, and are prone to mislead. The question for us is, as we have stated, whether Mr Suarez used abusive or insulting words or behaviour which included a reference to Mr Evra's ethnic origin, colour or race.
This is classic MetaFilter stuff. It's not that anyone is being called a racist. It is about whether they said a hurtful thing, which was hurtful because racism exists.

See also:
We remind ourselves that the test for a breach of Rule E3(1) is an objective test.

That means that it is for us to form our own view as to whether Mr Suarez's words or behaviour were abusive or insulting. It is not necessary for the FA to prove that Mr Suarez intended his words or behaviour to be abusive or insulting. We are concerned with whether the words or behaviour were abusive or insulting when used in a football match played in England under the FA Rules.
and finally:
We conclude these Reasons with the following comment. The Charge against Mr Suarez was that he used insulting words which included a reference to Mr Evra's colour. We have found that Charge proved on the evidence and arguments put before us. The FA made clear that it did not contend that Mr Suarez acted as he did because he is a racist. Mr Evra said in his evidence that he did not think Mr Suarez is a racist. Mr Suarez said in evidence that he will not use the word “negro” on a football pitch in England in the future, and we believe that is his genuine and firm intention.
If anyone is accusing Suarez of racism, it certainly isn't the regulatory commission, or indeed Patrice Evra.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:16 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Maybe I'm not searching the page for the right thing, but really? No jokes about Uruguayan sports and cannibalism? Too tasteless?

I see what I did there...
posted by elsietheeel at 9:25 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Happens all the time...

Oh. I thought we were specifically talking about intentional goal-line handballs.

You're right, professional fouls happen quite often. Not so intentional goal-saving handballs.


It literally happened about a week and a half before the quarterfinal, in the same tournament during the group stage, when Harry Kewell for Australia prevented a clear goal with his hand. Amusingly, this was also against Ghana. Kewell was sent off, and Gyan scored the resulting penalty, and I have never heard anyone refer to Kewell as a cheater or as some kind of objectionable character based on this series of events. Suarez's real crime in that quarterfinal was that Gyan did not score the resulting penalty and that Ghana did not subsequently win the penalty shootout.

I mean, he's a horrible person and the book should get thrown at him (anyone who thinks that a bite has "no injury actual or potential" should really investigate oral transmission as a vector for disease and infection), but we should really stop acting like this handball off the line was, if not routine, a uniquely horrible offense.
posted by Errant at 9:33 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Suarez would have never done it if not for his impoverished background.

As a child, he never knew where his next meal was coming from. Or, where he was going, or what his name was.

In all seriousness, the bite was as tactically savvy as the handball in the last world cup. He meant to get Chiellini to respond and draw a red card, instead it just flabbergasted and disoriented the team leading to the nearly immediate goal. If he hadn't done it, Italy probably would have held on, Uruguay would have been out, and he'd never play another match in the world cup. By doing it, he'll never play another match in the world cup, but Uruguay will. From a risk/reward point of view, it's remarkable that he didn't bite anyone sooner. Really showed some restraint to wait until the 80th minute.

Logically, the only way FIFA could punish the event that would be in anyway meaningful (i.e. carry a penalty that is worse than Uruguay not having won the match) would be to force them to forfeit their next game. Of course, this is as likely to happen as Blatter announcing that they'll use video review to punish dives and time wasting, but a boy can dream.
posted by artichoke_enthusiast at 9:41 AM on June 25


The BBC World Service's World Have Your Say is discussing the situation right now. Somebody made the point that there are lots of players from impoverished backgrounds at the world cup, and none of them have bitten opponents before.
posted by kendrak at 10:19 AM on June 25


How did we end up with the narrative that the poor bite people?
posted by Partario at 10:24 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]


It's a cheap joke that people have been making about Suarez's urge to bite opponents. Like so just above:
Suarez would have never done it if not for his impoverished background.

As a child, he never knew where his next meal was coming from. Or, where he was going, or what his name was.


I don't actually think any rational person thinks the poor bite people. Sorry for being sloppy with words.
posted by kendrak at 10:38 AM on June 25


Yeah, there's an unusual (for MetaFilter) inability to parse sarcasm going on in this thread. Maybe all the diving has confuddled people's radars.
posted by cribcage at 10:49 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I know, right? I'm starting to suspect Diego Maradonna never even fought that bear.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:51 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


I know, right? I'm starting to suspect Diego Maradonna never even fought that bear.

Of course he fought that bear I was there and I beheld it all with a shocked and disbelieving stare. So there!
posted by winna at 10:53 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]


It literally happened about a week and a half before the quarterfinal, in the same tournament during the group stage, when Harry Kewell for Australia prevented a clear goal with his hand...I have never heard anyone refer to Kewell as a cheater or as some kind of objectionable character based on this series of events

Harry Kewell was standing in front of the goal hoping to block a shot and it hit him in the arm. He probably shouldn't have had his arm out like that and deserved the red card. Suarez leaped in the air and swatted it with his hand like he was playing volleyball. I realize the rules don't differentiate when there's hand contact in this situation but there is a damned good reason why Suarez gets called a cheater and Kewell doesn't.
posted by Hoopo at 10:55 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I realize the rules don't differentiate when there's hand contact in this situation but there is a damned good reason why Suarez gets called a cheater and Kewell doesn't.

The reason everyone lays into Suarez is "The Hand of God now belongs to me. Mine is the real Hand Of God, I made the best save of the tournament. "

You make the play you have to make to keep the team alive. You don't brag about it, esp. by referring to the "Hand of God." England remembers the last Hand of God, which was never punished.
posted by eriko at 11:04 AM on June 25 [3 favorites]


Rather dry announcement by FIFA that they have commenced disciplinary proceedings.

Suarez and the Uruguayan FA have until 5pm Brazilia time to submit any evidence in their defence, which is not long, but of course it has to be done and dusted before the round of 16.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:38 AM on June 25


Given the way Suarez shamelessly flopped and held his mouth as if Chiellini attacked Suarez's teeth with his shoulder, some part of me hopes that he submits video of the event as evidence in his defense.
posted by Flunkie at 11:44 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I would love it if he complained Chiellini somehow initiated contac and this is all an Italian conspiracy to frame him.
posted by Area Man at 11:57 AM on June 25


Close. The actual party line is Uraguay accusing the British press of conspiracy.
posted by like_neon at 12:05 PM on June 25


I would love it if he complained Chiellini somehow initiated contac and this is all an Italian conspiracy to frame him.

This has actually already happened.

Diego Lugano: "I’ve just watched the TV images and I didn’t see anything. What I saw was a struggle and a photo of Chiellini which showed an old scar. You have to be stupid to imagine that scar is recent, very stupid."
posted by Errant at 12:05 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


I would love it if he complained Chiellini somehow initiated contac and this is all an Italian conspiracy to frame him.

That's exactly what the coach did. He said the bite marks were pre-existing.

Suarez is simply a disgusting animal and everyone in England hates him apart from Liverpool fans.
posted by colie at 12:06 PM on June 25


“You are more likely to be bitten by Luis Suarez (1 in 2,000) than a shark (1 in 3,700,000),” Ian Steadman, The New Statesman, 25 June 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 12:44 PM on June 25 [13 favorites]


It literally happened about a week and a half before the quarterfinal, in the same tournament during the group stage, when Harry Kewell for Australia prevented a clear goal with his hand.

Nope, not comparative at all. Kewell's arm was at his side in a "natural position." And a reasonable argument could be made that the handling was unintentional. Still a foul, red card & PK, I know. Suarez, on the other hand, intentionally threw both hands above his head to swat the ball out of the air.

eta: on preview, what Hoopo said
posted by zakur at 1:01 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Whether or not it was deliberate cheating doesn't really have a bearing on what I was responding to, which is the idea that handballs off the line are extremely unusual. Uncommon, sure, but only because defenders aren't on the line very often.

The funny thing is that if Suarez had contrived to miss, his teammate who was standing next to him doing exactly the same thing probably would have handled it instead.
posted by Errant at 1:20 PM on June 25


I'm enjoying all the biting jokes and the analysis of which fouls are especially egregious, but as far as I can tell only one comment out of over a hundred is actually responding to the last link, the essay by Wright Thompson, which is absolutely brilliant reporting and which you should all go read if you haven't. It doesn't make me like Suarez any better, but I understand him a little more. I am adding this thread to my folder of evidence that fewer links are generally better.
posted by languagehat at 1:23 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


I'm not a soccer fan (and maybe that's the difference) and am really surprised at the number of people who think this is high-larious.

Did you see it? Suarez unhinged his jaws like a python and lunged at Chiellini like something from a cheap horror movie. Then he threw himself to the ground and pretended he didn't. Meanwhile Chiellini, a famously dirty player himself, ran around as so perfectly described here on mefi "like Marcus Antonius displaying Caesar's toga".

It was pretty fucking funny. Appalling but funny.
posted by fshgrl at 1:40 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


running order squabble fest: "Diego Maradonna also did not snort cocaine or take ephedrine on the field of play. Although it would have been kind of epic if he had"
I take it you may not be aware of Robbie Fowler?

For those who think FIFA will come down hard on this, I'll remind you that Di Canio was doing Nazi, sorry, Fascist salutes for years with no banhammering. They're impotent.
posted by brokkr at 1:44 PM on June 25


Whether or not it was deliberate cheating doesn't really have a bearing on what I was responding to, which is the idea that handballs off the line are extremely unusual.

No, you weren't. You quoted me saying:

You're right, professional fouls happen quite often. Not so intentional goal-saving handballs.

...and then brought up Kewell.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 2:07 PM on June 25


Errant: "Whether or not it was deliberate cheating doesn't really have a bearing on what I was responding to..."

Right. Here's the exchange:

ISC: You're right, professional fouls happen quite often. Not so intentional goal-saving handballs.

Errant: It literally happened about a week and a half before the quarterfinal...

Unless you're going to attempt to parse the difference between "deliberate" and "intentional," that is exactly what you were responding to.
posted by zakur at 2:11 PM on June 25


Well, for a handball to be deemed a foul, the referee must consider it to be a deliberate attempt to play the ball with the hand. If it's not deemed to be intentional, it's ball to hand and not a foul. So "intentional handball" is the same thing as "handball", in terms of what constitutes a foul. I personally think Kewell's handball is intentional, because I do not see a meaningful difference between leaving your arm out to narrow the goal and moving to handle the ball. I am gathering that you guys disagree with me about that, which is fine.
posted by Errant at 2:36 PM on June 25


I thought you are meant to have you arms by your sides and your hands out of the way.

Here is the FA's Interpretations of the laws of the game, law 12 [pdf] (scroll down for handball)

You know how in Pratchett, Sweeper has Rule 1? I want a t-shirt with Rule 10 on it.
posted by marienbad at 3:32 PM on June 25


It wasn't as if Suarez bit a child, say experts.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:33 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]


Uruguayan FA to claim bite marks photoshopped.
posted by Admira at 6:32 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]


Guardian Suarez round-up - some great image jokes here.
posted by marienbad at 1:59 AM on June 26


Suggestion on radio last night that he is regressing to pre-school violence when under stress.

The Wright Thompson article suggests that Suarez connects any threat to his playing football with a threat to his family.

I think he is acting like a big baby, which is not unique in the world of prima donald footballers.
posted by asok at 2:11 AM on June 26


From the link in my post:

Toddlers bite if they lack the language skills necessary for expressing important needs or strong feelings like anger, frustration, joy, etc. Biting is a substitute for the messages he can’t yet express in words like:

I am so mad at you

You are standing too close to me

I am really excited

I want to play with you
posted by asok at 2:14 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


The comparisons to headbutting and spitting is a bit silly. The real big thing is that this is his third time. I think if he had headbutted or spat in someone's face three times, it would also have this much criticism.

Uruguayan FA to claim bite marks photoshopped.
They need to simmer down, they are embarrassing themselves.
posted by like_neon at 3:12 AM on June 26


A doctor writes in the Guardian:

"... biting is significantly more dangerous than the other actions listed as it carries the potential to transmit blood borne viruses including HIV and hepatitis as well as other potentially fatal bacterial infections including tetanus. There is also a strong (9-50%) likelihood of infections with other bacteria that can cause significant and potentially life-threatening skin infections. As a result, current guidelines recommend that all human bite victims receive antibiotics and that wound closure is delayed until the area can be properly debrided and washed."

Biting is one up from spitting and a couple down from stabbing.
posted by colie at 5:16 AM on June 26


To be fair, if Luis Suarez has tetanus a suspension is the least of his problems.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:36 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Suarez banned

Says 9 matches and four months from all football so not sure quite what it amounts to yet.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 7:01 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


It amounts to insufficient punishment for a racist thug.
posted by colie at 7:09 AM on June 26


Yep.

I think I have it figured out now anyway.

Banned for 9 Uraguay matches however long that takes and banned for four months from today for all matches.

Won't play club football until the start of November (and it was suggested on the Guardian website that he might not be able to sign any new contracts during the four months so if anyone else wanted to buy him that might be off the table now).
posted by Reggie Knoble at 7:29 AM on June 26


FIFA have confirmed the ban would not prevent a transfer.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 7:37 AM on June 26


Called it.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:39 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Any growing interest in soccer a sign of nation's moral decay.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:55 AM on June 26 [4 favorites]


"Any growing interest in soccer a sign of nation's moral decay." - This is actually by Ann Coulter, ffs.
posted by marienbad at 8:00 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Well... I guess it's something.


Three top players effectively kicked out of further 2014 WC activities today.
posted by edgeways at 8:04 AM on June 26


Any growing interest in soccer a sign of nation's moral decay.


Oh, Ann Coulter- never change.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:11 AM on June 26


Yeah, this is desperate race baiting by Ann Coulter (quelle surprise) - drawing a line between the popularity of soccer and the swamping of real (i.e. white) America by the foreign hordes.

Obviously, "Ann Coulter desperate for attention" is not exactly news, but the funny thing is that she's accidentally passionately defending collectivism and central government. Soccer is, of course, in most nations a far more free-market sport than American Football. The idea of the draft, where the worst-performing team of the previous year gets first pick of the best young players in the country, would be inconceivable to the most socialist soccer fan. Talk about all-shall-have-prizes!
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:15 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Also, she calls most sports "sublimated warfare" but excludes soccer. Does she not understand the difference between positional warfare and maneuver/combined arms? Why does Ann Coulter hate current United States military doctrine?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:24 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


the draft, where the worst-performing team of the previous year gets first pick of the best young players in the country

wtf? I had no idea. In soccer the best players go to the wealthiest teams, with bribes and backhanders smoothing the way. Just the way capitalism likes it.
posted by colie at 8:30 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Also, it has been 439 2 days since Luis Suarez has bitten anyone.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:39 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]


wtf? I had no idea. In soccer the best players go to the wealthiest teams, with bribes and backhanders smoothing the way. Just the way capitalism likes it.

I know, right? Exciting young players are forged by clubs, like REARDON STEEL, and traded to highest bidder.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:41 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


God you truly can't even parody Coulter anymore. I seriously thought this was fake when I first saw it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:13 AM on June 26 [3 favorites]


I don't think I've ever read an American anti-soccer column that didn't read like a parody.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:05 AM on June 26


> Any growing interest in soccer a sign of nation's moral decay.

It's also bad for capitalism.
posted by ardgedee at 10:05 AM on June 26


Frank Deford has repeatedly criticized soccer because "God gave us" hands to "separate us from the beasts fo the field." In 2010, he even said "Maybe that’s why we’re the only superpower left in the world, because we don’t depend on soccer.” I take those as jokes, though.
posted by Area Man at 11:28 AM on June 26


“If the Luis Suarez bite incident had happened in rugby, the referee could have looked at the video and sent him off,” Nigel Owens, Wales Onlines, 26 June 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 6:10 AM on June 28


ok but where are we shouting about the current match this is important
posted by elizardbits at 9:11 AM on June 28


Over at the Round of 16 Thread.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:15 AM on June 28


Luis Suarez Apologizes And Promises Never To Bite Anyone Again
........ and this time he means it!
posted by lalochezia at 7:50 AM on July 2


The rumour is that Barcalona made him as they could not consider buying him with being such a lying liar. Considering they specifically commended him for it and it's like the lamest apology ever, that's pretty believable.
posted by like_neon at 9:30 AM on July 2


LFC have seen sense and he is gone. BBC says £80m but we really need a replacement so maybe Sanchez to LFC as part of the deal? Not followed EPL news lately, been too caught up in World Cup.
posted by marienbad at 1:14 PM on July 2


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