Controversial £120,000-a-week footballer Luis Suarez ‘BITES rival player in Premier League match’… but is still allowed to stay on to equalise
- Luis Suarez appeared to bite Branislav Ivanovic in 2-2 draw with Chelsea
- Former Liverpool boss Graeme Souness called incident ’embarrassing’
- Suarez then scored dramatic late equaliser as Liverpool snatched a draw
- He got eight-match ban for racist abuse against another player last season
- Suarez was previously banned in Holland for biting a player while at Ajax
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez appeared to bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in today’s Premier League match – before scoring the equalising goal in the last minute to salvage a 2-2 draw.
The astonishing action by the £120,000-a-week Uruguayan player, which was captured on camera, has been labelled ’embarrassing’ by former Liverpool player and manager Graeme Souness.
Suarez’s spell at Anfield, having arrived from Ajax in Holland having just served a seven-match ban for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal, has already been dogged by controversy.
Scroll down for video
And the orward once more attracted the headlines for all the wrong reasons after the incident midway through the second half of Liverpool’s clash with Chelsea.
That the 26-year-old scored a late leveller to ensure the Merseyside club escaped with a 2-2 draw against the Champions League chasers at Anfield was very much an afterthought.
- Football faces further shame as Stockport fans ‘attack players from both sides’ in vital end of season clash
- Britain’s richest man is Uzbek Arsenal owner Alisher Usmanov as his £13.3bn fortune tops list dominated by foreigners
- Abbey Crouch shares latest modelling photos looking exceptionally skinny after Katie Price slammed her weight
Instead, much of the post-match reaction has centred on his aggression on Ivanovic, with Souness stunned by the incident.
‘I’m not sure what to make of it really, embarrassing,’ he told Sky Sports 1. ‘A football club’s board of directors’ job is to attract and get the best football players and keep them at the football club.
‘He is making it very difficult for himself to stay at Liverpool, I believe that puts him in the last chance saloon. More important than any of that is to safeguard the good name of the football club.
‘This club is a world renowned football club. It is up there with any Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, it is up there with any of them.’
Souness believes the incident came at a bad time for Liverpool, who this week marked the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
The 59-year-old pointed to Suarez’s chequered past that has seen him involved in several controversies in the Barclays Premier League.
‘People will be talking about this for a long, long time and it’s going to show Liverpool in a very bad light – especially in this week of all weeks, anniversary of Hillsborough,’ he added.
Confrontration: The Chelsea defender made no secret of his unhappiness over the incident
‘If you look at Suarez’s track record in the past, his incident with Patrice Evra, this is not the first time he has bitten someone in a football match. It can’t happen again.
‘I firmly believe this puts him in the last chance saloon as a Liverpool player – the board have to see it that way because they’re risking everything this great football club stands for.’
In addition to threatening to undermine what has been a promising season for Liverpool, Suarez makes his case to win the PFA Footballer of the Year, for which he is nominated, even more difficult with every instant of his reckless behaviour.
Suarez had already played a big role in giving Chelsea the lead with a blatant handball that led to Eden Hazard’s 57th minute penalty. The controversial incident then came within the next 10 minutes.
Earlier this season, Suarez appeared to handle the winning goal in the FA Cup against minnows Mansfield. He also admitted to diving against Stoke CIty.
Last season, he was given an eight-match ban after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
And at the 2010 World Cup, he was famously sent off after blatantly using his hands to prevent an important goal for Ghana against Uruguay in the tournament’s quarter-finals.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said: ‘I’ll go away and review it and then comment later. I’ll make an honest appraisal on it and comment afterwards.
‘ It’s not for me to make any rash comments or predictions now. This is a club with incredible values and ethics here.
‘We’ll review it as a club, because there’s certainly no one bigger than this football club, a player or manager.
‘As football managers and staff and players, we’re representing this club, off the field and in particular on the field. But it’s not the time to comment on it now.’
He added: ‘I’ll always speak openly and honestly about the players and protect them when I can, but with all due respect I’ll make an honest appraisal of it [first].
‘I’ll always defend people if I think they’re right – if I think they’re wrong I’ll tell them, and that’s already happened with Luis this year.
‘And then we move on from it. If that’s what the case is, they’ve got to accept the consequences accordingly.
‘It’s disappointing that we’re not talking about the football, because the character and personality we showed in the game was absolutely fantastic.’
Chelsea manager and former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez insisted he did not see the incident.
The forward was last seen getting escorted out of the ground by a club steward with a Chelsea shirt in his hand.
Souness added: ‘Liverpool are not blessed with world-class footballers at this time, and he is genuinely a world-class player, but he’s making it very difficult for them to hold on to him.
‘I’ve never seen anything like that in a football match before. That’s what children do when they are in the pram, they bite things if they are not happy with it.
‘He must be on the borderline of doing something mad, crazy every time he goes out there if he is capable of that.’
Pain: Ivanovic cannot believe what’s happened
Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp said what Suarez did was ‘indefensible’.
He told Sky Sports 1: ‘He got a seven-game ban at Ajax for doing the same thing. He obviously has a real problem.
‘There is that madness-genius gene in him because as a player, you hold your hands up – he’s exceptional with people talking about him being player of the year, but what he did today, is indefensible.
‘Even the staunchest Liverpool supporters cannot look at that and think that’s alright.
‘You can’t defend that and anyone who tries to is completely wrong, because the club is bigger than any player who has been on the football field.
97th minute: Suarez’s equaliser couldn’t have come much later
‘What’s he doing? Why on earth would you want to take a chunk out of someone’s arm when you are on a football field?
‘That is an absolutely incredible act of brutality. It’s madness.’
Redknapp also believes Suarez should face a sizeable suspension.
He said: ‘I’d be surprised if he plays again this season. What message does will that send if he doesn’t get a two or three-game ban.
‘He’s letting the club down.’
Key: Chelsea will perhaps be aggrieved that he was still on the pitch
Regarding the Uruguayan’s long-term future at Anfield, Redknapp said: ‘He’s giving the owners a problem.
‘It’s such a shame because he’s playing for such a great football club. How many more chances are you going to give him?
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still here (next season). I wouldn’t think that’s the end of him at Liverpool Football Club.
‘It’s not the first time now but footballers are valuable commodities, they certainly aren’t going to sack him for that, the only thing maybe is they will sell him in the summer as they think it’s one time too many now.’
Concern: Suarez didn’t look particularly happy on his departure
VIDEO: LUIS SUAREZ APPEARS TO BITE CHELSEA’S BRANISLAV IVANOVIC
LUIS SUAREZ’S CONTROVERSIES
Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is back in the spotlight after appearing to bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the arm during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Anfield, going on to score a late equaliser.
Here are some of the previous controversies surrounding the Uruguayan forward.
February 2007: Suarez made his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia but was sent off in the final minutes after being shown a second yellow card for dissent.
November 2007: Joined Ajax from Uruguayan side Nacional but he was later suspended by the Dutch giants after a half-time dressing-room altercation with team-mate Albert Luque.
July 2010: During the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, Suarez prevented Ghana’s Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and was subsequently sent off. A penalty was awarded but missed by Asamoah Gyan and footage showed Suarez celebrating on the sidelines. Uruguay eventually went through to the last four on penalties.
November 2010: Suarez was handed a seven-match ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.
October 2011: Following his move to Liverpool in January 2011, he was involved in a tackle with Everton’s Jack Rodwell and goes down with apparent minimal contact. Rodwell was then sent off.
October 2011: Suarez was alleged to have racially abused Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a Premier League match. Suarez was later found guilty by an independent regulatory commission and banned for eight matches and fined £40,000.
December 2011: Was seen making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans. At this time he had already been charged by the Football Association over the racism incident, although not yet punished, but was handed a further one-match ban for the gesture.
February 2012: United and Liverpool met again at Old Trafford, but more controversy blew up as Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand before kick-off.
October 2012: Celebrated a goal against Everton by diving in front of Toffees boss David Moyes who had earlier claimed that “divers2 such as Suarez were putting fans off the English game.
January 2013: Handles the ball prior to scoring Liverpool’s winner in the FA Cup third round tie at Mansfield.
April 2013: Appears to bite Branislav Ivanovic on the arm but escapes punishment on the pitch as the referee fails to see it, and scores Liverpool’s equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time as they draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Anfield.
Read more: naijablastz.wordpress.com