Fifa has confirmed Uruguay have launched an appeal against Luis Suárez’s ban for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini but the world governing body appeared to contradict its earlier ruling by stating the striker would not be barred from training during his suspension.
Suárez was banned from “all football activity” after the incident in Uruguay’s World Cup match against Italy, and this was assumed to include training.
However Claudio Sulser, the head of Fifa’s disciplinary committee, appeared to clear Suárez to take part in pre-season training at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday . “No you can’t limit those rights to the player, because it would be disproportionate,” he said.
Sulser went on to confirm that said Uruguay have launched an appeal against the ban, which also rules Suárez out of their next eight internationals.
“This is still an ongoing case and an appeal has been filed, so I prefer not to give my opinion,” he said.
“When the committee was analysing this case, one thing I mentioned in my capacity as the chairman is we don’t need to impose an exemplary sanction, we need to have justice and reach the sanction in a very severe case.”
Sunday Times: Suarez: Who will bite now?
Uruguayan bad boy gives Liverpool a headache as they must decide if it’s good for business to keep a serial offender
YOU can analyse or moralise about Luis Suarez all you like. Goodness knows he invites it. He grew up poor, in a broken home, one of seven brothers: did he literally have to scratch and bite to avoid being bottom of the pile? Is he still that child? In the tunnel when Liverpool are ready to walk out he’ll be at the back of their line of players, behind a contrastingly stony Daniel Sturridge, flicking ears and making jokes like a kid without a care.
Once he’s on the pitch this same lack of nerves — but also lack of control over his nervous energy — is striking to Brendan Rodgers and his coaching staff. Inside Anfield, they are weary of Suarez debates. In different days, the club indulged him after his racial abuse of Patrice Evra but since Rodgers arrived effort has gone in to reforming and rehabilitating the player.
There’s been discipline when needed — Rodgers excluded him from training last summer when he started disrupting sessions as part of efforts to force a transfer. But more than anything, there has been patience, encouragement and aid.
Suarez’s four-month ban from all football for biting Giorgio Chiellini feels to Liverpool unfair, since it punishes them for an offence committed while he was released to play for another team. The club have received Fifa’s written ruling in Spanish, will have it translated and examined by a QC who specialises in Fifa judgments by tomorrow, but are unlikely to mount a legal challenge. There’s no outrage. Nobody at Anfield is rushing to the T-shirt printers. The reaction is measured, a little sad — and not that surprised.
“People have put a lot into looking after him, especially Brendan and Steven Gerrard, but there are deep-rooted issues that need professional help and it’s up to Luis to seek it,” is the personal view of someone who has worked with Liverpool’s first team. “Does he need to go on a course? Does he need to complete a course like an offender? Otherwise bans are meaningless.”
In Uruguay they want to explore different themes. “I present you the theory of the scapegoat,” said Oscar Tabarez, Uruguay’s manager, reminding everyone he was once a school teacher — in an attempt to add intellectual ballast to his argument. In fact, it proved no more rational than blaming the “English-speaking media” for, if not the bite, Suarez’s plight.
In Boston they will leave treatises to others. Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s owners, must shut out the noise and bring everything down to cold hard logic. With Rodgers’ input, they have to decide if there’s long-term business sense in retaining a serial offender who, including the 13 Liverpool matches he’s ruled out of by this latest sanction, has been banned for a total of 31 Liverpool games in two and a half years.
If FSG elect to keep him, come November 1, when he is finally eligible to return to Premier League duty, Suarez will have drawn in excess of £4m in wages from Liverpool for weeks when they have had matches but he was forbidden participating. The flipside, of course, is his 82 goals in 133 games for the club, the countless assists, the surges of brilliance that continually elevate the team.
It’s an equation. A get-out clause in the £10.5m-a-year contract Suarez signed in December is viewed as binding, unlike one in Suarez’s previous deal that FSG challenged when Arsenal tried to activate it last year. It is thought an offer of around £65m would trigger Suarez’s release. Liverpool have their sights on more — £80m — and might achieve that valuation by persuading buyers to include makeweights.
Real Madrid are not pursuing Suarez but Barcelona retain an appetite, despite the bite. Barça are set to try and leverage Suarez’s disgrace by offering closer to £50m for him. Alexis Sanchez, superb at this World Cup for Chile, interests Liverpool and could be included in a deal to achieve a valuation both clubs accept.
FSG’s calculation is whether it’s worth holding on to Suarez if the buyout isn’t met. Suarez’s incredible defence against Fifa’s charges was that teeth played shoulder accidentally; that despite his “previous” for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal, while playing for Ajax, and Branislav Ivanovic in a Liverpool v Chelsea game, this latest chomp was involuntary.That doesn’t suggest a contrite offender ready to seek help.
Welcomed back in Montevideo like a returning guerrilla hero, Suarez may feel he doesn’t need to change. But until he accepts he has problems how much more could Liverpool do for him? Much was made of Steve Peters’ impact on Suarez’s improved behaviour (only six bookings) last season but, in fact, Suarez was not a regular user of the sports psychiatrist. Language barriers made it difficult and Peters, in any case, only works with Liverpool one day a week.
Rodgers has tried everything. A familiar sight at training would be the manager with his arm round Suarez or patting his cheek. “He treated him like a loving father,” said an observer of their interactions. “But Steven [Gerrard] may feel even more let down. He protected Luis.” Rodgers works with all his players on “impulse management” but Suarez seems beyond normal techniques. Staff at Anfield have noted the similar pattern of his transgressions: the bites on Bakkal, Ivanovic, Chiellini were all eruptions, late or at the end of a game when Suarez’s side were losing or drawing, a direct opponent was physically in his way — and he hadn’t scored.
It suggests an idiosyncratic reaction to a build-up of frustration under pressure. During Liverpool’s title run-in, Suarez’s form suddenly slumped (he scored just twice in Liverpool’s final six games) and his record in the club’s very biggest matches is mixed. “Is he a truly great player?” asked a coach who has worked with him. “Or do the strongest pressures make him crack, in a way you’d never see from Messi?”
Adam Lallana will complete a £23m transfer to Liverpool tomorrow. Deals for Emre Can, Rickie Lambert are sealed. Divock Origi’s is close. Liverpool are poised to trigger a £20m release clause for Lazar Markovic, Benfica’s outstanding young Serbian winger. If Sanchez and two other targets, Dejan Lovren and Xherdan Shaqiri also join, the incomings to Anfield will be as spectacular as a Suarez departure. You can sell big, reinvest and get better. Mind you, Tottenham thought they’d pulled off that trick last summer when they spent £100m on players but found the one they’d sold, Gareth Bale, to be irreplaceable.
the guardian//sunday times
Isn't it curious that now that it looks like Barcelona will get him, he can suddenly train? But keep on thinking Liverpool is the only club that's ever acted despicable when it comes to Luis Suarez, tbh!