Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ban Luis Suarez For Life: Not For Biting but Because He's a Cheat

Another incident involving Luis Suarez's teeth and an opponent's body has thrown the entire soccer establishment into turmoil.

Many, including Roberto Martinez and Alexi Lalas, say it's sad and that Luis Suarez needs help. True. Others, such as ESPN's Taylor Twellman, argues that biting is a disgrace and Suarez merits a lifetime ban.

In my opinion, the biting is comical, sad, and unfortunate. And Suarez deserves some sort of sanction for going McGruff The Crime Dog on Chiellini yesterday.

But if he deserves a lifetime ban it is for his consistent, willful attempts to undermine the integrity of the game by cheating. His intentional handball on the goal line during the last World Cup is only one example. His constant diving and embellishment, scoring by handling the ball, whining and complaining to the referee, racially insult opponents are all behaviors that unfairly and deceptively do harm to the credibility of the sport. What he does on a regular basis is no better than what Armstrong did to cycling or what Charles Van Doren did to TV quiz shows.

So if Suarez is kicked out of soccer, I won't shed a tear. But I'd prefer FIFA do it because of the way he has consistently behaved over his entire career instead of for occasionally mistaking an opponent's arm or neck for the buffet at Chuck-A-Rama.

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