Rumors have been swirling for a year that Luis Suarez wanted to leave Liverpool. He has now completed a $128 million transfer to Barcelona, the biggest transfer ever for a South American player. This large transaction is between a team that had a transfer ban lifted because of an appeal and a player who is banned from soccer activities because of his third biting incident. It is just another case of FIFA showing their lack of discipline and governance.
Barcelona had their transfer ban lifted at the end of April. They were supposed to serve a ban for the summer and January windows because of violations to transfer rules and the handling of young international players. It was lifted simply because they filed an appeal despite repeated offenses of regulations through their La Masia youth facilities. Part of the reasoning for giving Barcelona an option to buy was that the FIFA appeals board “does not seem in a position to take a decision on the main issue early enough.” This can be easily translated into saying that FIFA did not want to be diligent and they wanted one of the bigger clubs in Europe to spend their money.
Suarez has become the villain for multiple reasons following his third biting incident in the World Cup. Suarez was given a four-month ban that will keep him out of all football activities along with a fine. That fine was a joke on his old salary, so now it is even more minuscule. This time the appeal was denied by FIFA, but there is one more step he can take by going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). FIFA head of media Delia Fischer confirmed CAS could order the ban to be suspended while it deals with the case.
The signing of such an unpredictable player for such an astronomical transfer fee already looks bad regardless of production. It is a gamble. The fact that the club doing it has evidence against them in inappropriate transfer procedures is even worse. Add to this that there are a lot of parents out there who have to try to explain how a man who bites others and stated racist words can be worth this much.
FIFA is not known for being an organization of hard-line disciplinarians, and this transfer just follows suit. It is another black eye for the governing body. That is if any of the previous blows have actually healed.