The British press that he has blamed for failing to respect him in the past was on Wednesday united in condemnation of Uruguay’s Luis Suarez after he appeared to bite an Italian opponent.
Suarez, who plays his club football in England for Premier League side Liverpool, was an “animal” said The Sun tabloid, while the Daily Mail called for FIFA to “Make Biter Suarez a Pariah”.
The Uruguayan faces expulsion from the World Cup in Brazil after appearing to sink his teeth into defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during the South Americans’ 1-0 victory that saw them progress to the knockout round and eliminate Italy.
FIFA has begun disciplinary proceedings into a player who has already served lengthy bans twice in his career for biting, and he could be banned for up to 24 international matches.
“Luis Suarez has twice been on the naughty step for biting but was plainly not deterred,” wrote Paul Hayward, the Daily Telegraph’s chief sports writer, calling for him to be banned for six months from all football.
FIFA “must know that keeping him in (the tournament) would do more damage than kicking him out, and not just of international football,” he wrote.
The Times’s award winning sports columnist Matthew Syed wrote that unless Suarez — who is rumoured to be eyeing a move to Real Madrid — was severely punished, football would the loser.
“There is a case for a lengthy worldwide ban that sends an unmistakeable signal that talent can never justify the kind of behaviour that, in other circumstances, might bring a man before a judge for common assault,” he wrote.
The Sun headlined its coverage “Chew Dirty Rat”, saying that Suarez seemed to have reverted to his bad old ways after showing his best side in England last season when he scored 31 goals as Liverpool came close to winning the Premier League.
But Suarez baited British journalists after he scored twice as Uruguay ended England’s World Cup hopes with a 2-1 victory, saying they had failed to show him “respect” and treated him badly last season.
“Excuse me, what ill-treatment?” asked The Sun, pointing out that football journalists in England had voted Suarez their player of the year last season.