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Uruguay: Suarez's shame

Team Assessment Jul 1, 2014
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Bite-Gate revisited

Men in Blazers Jun 28, 2014
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 Posted by Felipe Miguel
Jun 26, 2014

How Uruguay is dealing with Suarezgate

The Last Call crew discuss what action should be taken against Uruguay striker Luis Suarez after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Everyone in Uruguay is talking about Luis Suarez. Well, the entire world is. From the sports journalists to your next-door neighbour, everyone has an opinion. Even the official Uruguayan Twitter account of McDonald's invited Suarez to grab a hamburger at their place "if he was still hungry."

Here, in Suarez's country, you can't stop at a downtown corner without overhearing: "I don't think he'll get suspended" or "What about Neymar's elbow to the face of a rival?" And many other comments.

The Suarez phenomenon just keeps getting bigger and bigger, for better or for worse. As it happened after his other incidents, there are as many points of views as there are people giving their opinions.

Suarez's defenders surely have their opinions. Some say that Giorgio Chiellini, the player Suarez allegedly bit, can't complain because he's very aggressive and has injured many others playing in the Italian Serie A.

Others claim that retrospective bans make no sense, and if they are applied, every aggression in every match needs to be measured under that law, too.

About this subject, one of the most popular hashtags in Uruguay today is #DeOficioTodosoNinguno, which criticizes the possible retrospective ban. In addition, pictures of a mark on Chiellini's shoulder, which apparently existed while he celebrated a victory with Juventus in 2012, filled the Uruguayan Internet in minutes.

As you may tell, the general Uruguayan attitude toward the Suarez incident is to support the striker, coupled with a massive search for excuses and proofs that could help him get away free.

But are Uruguayans right in establishing this no-matter-what defense for their national hero? Is the value of nationality, the importance of the World Cup, and the hunger for results keeping them from seeing the big picture?

Because you could count with your fingers the number of people who asked themselves, "Why Luis? Why again? Why at the World Cup? Why right before the playoffs?"

The only thing that matters is to clean the forward's good name and get FIFA to back down from a possible ban.

If you allow me, I'll give you a general understanding of what's behind Suarezgate, according to the majority of Uruguayan fans: Brazil are scared because of the possibility of a Maracanazo re-enactment and fear a potential match vs. Uruguay in the quarterfinal round; Colombians don't want Suarez to play against them for the obvious skill-related reasons; FIFA are backing up Brazil because everything is arranged for them to take the trophy; and the English are looking for something to draw attention away from the fact that they were terrible in the group stage and hate Suarez because he outplayed everyone in their country.

Simple, huh? Well, it doesn't end there.

Whoever takes the dangerous step and claims that he thinks Suarez should be banned is bombed with all sorts of questions, "photo evidence" and accusations of being a traitor. Hell, it even happened to Alcides Ghiggia, the man who scored the second goal against Brazil in the 1950 final game, the always-remembered Maracanazo.

The only thing that I can reason from all of this is that no one is right. Neither the fanatics who would stand behind Suarez no matter what, nor the English press-like journalism that would write anything in order to put Suarez away in a hurry.

Everyone has an opinion on Suarezgate.

Like The Guardian, for instance, which posted an article with the following headline: "Would Luis Suárez go to prison if he bit someone in the street?" If that question had any validation as a true argument for Suarez being banned, it would shiver anyone.

A post in the comment section asking -- ironically -- what the law should do about players doing sliding tackles in the street really completes the panorama.

Of course, all of Uruguay wants Suarez to play against Colombia. After all, he's the national star right now. And of course the English media were going to feast themselves with the fact that Suarez "apparently" bit another rival. The guy just can't stop biting rivals! Both parties have their part of truth, but it's shocking to see what the depths of analysis are.

When the final decision on a ban arrives, the football world will be watching. If Suarez gets away with nothing but an economic penalty, Uruguay will celebrate harder than Diego Godin's goal against Italy. If he is eventually banned, the controversy won't stop in Montevideo and the rest of the country, as every single act of aggression will be pointed out to remember what Suarez is going through.

At the end of the day, we can state only that the one responsible for all of this is Luis Suarez, and mystery surrounds the reasons behind his characteristic act of biting rivals.