Alright, that’s not exactly what Barcelona/Uruguay striker Luis Suarez writes in his newly released ‘Crossing The Line : My Story’, but in an excerpt that appeared in yesterday’s Guardian, the prolific scorer/serial chomper of opponents is equal parts contrite (“I had just become a father to a young daughter, Delfina, and the thought that she would grow up to see that I had done this upset me more than anything else,”) and weirdly defiant (“banning me from all stadiums worldwide? Telling me I couldn’t go to work? Stopping me from even jogging around the perimeter of a football pitch?…I was an easy target”).
After my 10-match ban in 2013 for biting Branislav Ivanovic, I had questioned the double standards and how the fact that no one actually gets hurt is never taken into consideration. The damage to the player is incomparable with that suffered by a horrendous challenge. Sometimes English football takes pride in having the lowest yellow-card count in Europe, but of course it will have if you can take someone’s leg off and still not be booked. When they can say it is the league with the fewest career-threatening tackles, then it will be something to be proud of.
I know biting appals a lot of people, but it’s relatively harmless. Or at least it was in the incidents I was involved in. When Ivanovic rolled up his sleeve to show the referee the mark at Anfield, there was virtually nothing there. None of the bites has been like Mike Tyson on Evander Holyfield’s ear. But none of this makes it right.