With Luis Suarez scheduled to appeal his four-month ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday, many wonder when it will be the final straw for the Uruguayan striker. The four-month ban was handed to Suarez by FIFA after an incident in the World Cup against Italy in which Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder.
Controversy is nothing new to Suarez, as he has had two previous biting incidents with two of his former clubs, Ajax and Liverpool. Many analysts and aficionados, not to mention countless number of fans, thought that a lifetime ban was an appropriate punishment after his third biting incident, but FIFA decided that a four-month ban from any football-related activity was a better fit. Regardless of how the appeal process turns out, FIFA needs to make it clear to Suarez that any other incident like this will result in a lifetime ban from football.
What Suarez has failed to realize is that he is supposed to be an ambassador for the game and that millions of people around the world look at him as the face of the sport. He has been regarded by many as one of the best in the world, up there with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The thing drawing him away from that conversation, however, are the many incidents he has been responsible for on the pitch. Aside from the three biting incidents, he has also been cited for using a racial slur towards former Manchester United and now Juventus defender Patrice Evra. The Evra incident saw Suarez serve an eight-game suspension. With all these incidents piling up, it’s becoming almost impossible for fans to discuss the quality and skill that Suarez possesses without mentioning one of his unfortunate downfalls.
All in all, the majority of the footballing world is hoping that Suarez learns his lesson and that he can showcase what Barcelona paid 75 million Euros for. His ability to single-handedly win games is remarkable and impressive. Unfortunately, should another incident arise involving Suarez, FIFA must have the courage to do the difficult but right thing and administer a lifelong ban.
Asheer Mahbob is a soccer writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @el_especial24.