Following the 1-0 victory earlier this week for Uruguay against Italy, the normal topic of discussion would be the fact that they advanced to the Round of 16. Instead, all the talk has been about the Uruguayan superstar, Luis Suarez, and his biting incident involving Giorgio Chiellini. In the 80th minute of their game, the two players were in front of the Italian goal and that is where the apparent biting incident occurred.
Television replays showed the motion of Suarez’s actions and images of the Italian players shoulder reached the world soon after the final whistle. Earlier today, Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, the governing body of football around the world disciplined Suarez to the tune of nine official matches, four months of “football-related” activity, financial penalties and he won’t be allowed to enter the premises during their matches.
The main backlash behind Suarez’s actions during the final game of the group stage for Uruguay is that this isn’t his first incident involving biting another player. This is the third recorded instance where he bit an opponent during a match and he has also been disciplined by FIFA for making racial comments. This latest incident brings on a question of whether Suarez even deserves to ever lace his cleats up again for the national team. He is one of the most talented players in the world and is just 27, but is appearing to not be worth the drama that he brings.
It’s funny how time changes the opinion of people. When Suarez was able to play for this World Cup a month after knee surgery, he was applauded for his ability to persevere and lead is team. Now, just two weeks later, he is being ridiculed and bashed from fans, pundits and peers.
Uruguay will take the pitch next in the Round of 16 against Colombia on Saturday from Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. It will be a huge test for Uruguay without their leader, but they do lead the all-time series against their fellow South American rival, 18-11-9.