Snarling pundits left to chew over unsavoury tournament antics
Eamo puts the boot in on his British peers while Gordon on ITV depresses all with his game devoid of morals
Uruguayan Luis Suarez leaves the team training centre in Natal after being given a four-month ban from football as well as a nine-match international ban by Fifa. Photograph: Ney Douglas / EPA
Uruguay’s Luis Suarez is seen embracing a member of the coaching staff on a balcony at the team’s hotel in Natal, after being given a four-month ban from football as well as a nine-match international ban by Fifa. Photograph: Leo Carioca / Reuters
Day 15 and the verdict was in. Harsh? Lenient? Just about right? Divided opinion, of course, and some confusion too – as more than a few asked yesterday, does a ban on any ‘football related activity’ preclude you from, say, collecting Panini stickers?
All to be clarified, although we were finally told that the ban doesn’t rule out a club switch, so the removal vans might be called to Merseyside yet. But, said Didi Hamman on RTÉ, the whole business has taken “a large chunk off his transfer value”, his non-smile suggesting he wasn’t being puntastic.
It was a decidedly swift decision by Fifa, and those of us who assumed the ban wouldn’t extend to club football were left hugging the Liverpool fans in our lives, in a ‘there, there’ kind of way
Thoughts go out to Newcastle, the opponents for the Return of Luis, should he remain in England, a game for which the fella will be well hungry. “Feeling a twinge in me hamstring, gaffer,” Alan Pardew’s entire rearguard will inform him.
The gist on the verdict was that it was ‘severe-ishly fair’, although Gordan Strachan and his Copacabana shorts told us to cop ourselves on if we thought Luis would now be a pariah, reminding us that “we don’t have any morals in football”, that you can do all sorts and still will be welcomed back with a hug and a kiss.
“We’ve had wife batterers, drunken drivers, we’ve had infidelity, and the clubs stand by the players and they’re cheered on to the pitch on their return, that’s the way it is,” he said.
Bad ladThat left Adrian Chiles decidedly depressed (mind you, he’s a West Brom fan, so he’s used to the footballing condition), but Gordon’s shorts shrugged, such was life.
And, the point was made more than once, that the leaders in Luis’s life aren’t doing a whole lot to persuade him he’s been a bad lad. Eg - Uruguay’s president Jose Mujica: “We didn’t choose him to be a philosopher, or a mechanic, or to have good manners. I didn’t see him bite anyone. But they sure can bash each other with kicks and chops.”
See now, that’d be like Mary McAleese saying ‘go on ya good thing’ to Roy Keane, and accusing the Norwegian media of a conspiracy, after his brush with Alf Inge Haaland’s leg back in the day.
Over on RTÉ, and Eamon the Dunphy was letting rip at the BBC and ITV pundits for their hypocrisy on the matter, fellas, he intimated, who weren’t slow to chuck an elbow or head-butt in their time, or dish out the odd career-threatening tackle.