Luis Suarez Bite Controversy: View From the Papers

Luis Suarez has once again produced a moment of huge controversy, after repeating his past biting antics with an apparent attack on Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay’s win over Italy at the World Cup. We round up some of the reaction from the stunned British media.


Paolo Bandini writes in The Guardian:

“Another World Cup and another controversy with the Uruguay striker at its heart. His goalline handball against Ghana in South Africa four years ago divided opinion… But there is no such obvious defence for chomping down on an opponent’s shoulder.

“This was supposed to be the tournament where he wrote a new and glorious chapter for Uruguayan football. Instead he has given us the same old disappointing story.”

Jim White of the Daily Telegraph condemned Suarez’s behaviour, and also rued the fact that the 27-year-old had probably appeared at this summer’s World Cup for the last time:

“Sadly for all us who have enjoyed his goals – as Uruguay progress towards the last 16, Suarez is unlikely to be involved any further in this competition.”

Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail spoke of how, despite Suarez’s improved behaviour over the last 12 months, a return to the Premier League is hard to see:

“He may well claim that his gesture was with his forehead rather than his teeth. Chiellini seemed in no doubt, however, as he appeared to show the Mexican referee marks on his shoulder.

“Suarez, of course, spent ten games on the side lines in England 14 months after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic at Anfield.

“Since then both Suarez and his club manager Brendan Rodgers have claimed that the Uruguayan has changed his ways and this week the South American even claimed the British media were persecuting him. The events present all that as nonsense, however, and Suarez’s future back in England must now be in serious doubt once again.”

The Independent‘s Tim Rich echoed that sentiment, feeling it’s impossible for anyone to defend his actions:

“Having left the last World Cup amid controversy, handling on the line to deny Ghana a place in the semi-finals, Suarez now faces being ejected from this tournament. The first incident, in Johannesburg, turned him into a hero at home. This will be much harder to defend and Suarez has twice before been found guilty of biting opponents.”

David Hytner of the Guardian outlined the punishment the Liverpool star could see come his way should he be found guilty by FIFA:

“Fifa’s disciplinary code has the scope to ban a player for a maximum of 24 matches, although the longest ban in World Cup history was eight games for Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for breaking Spain’s Luís Enrique’s nose in 1994 with an elbow.”

Everton manager Roberto Martinez gave his thoughts to ESPN, believing Suarez needs help if he is to eradicate his behavioural problems:

“There is no doubt that the quality of the talent that he has. He can win games single-handed and he’s got that focus, that mentality that he can get back from a situation he shouldn’t have derived.

“But the behaviour, I just seriously think that he needs help. If you cannot control yourself in those moments, you need some sort of help because that’s just unacceptable on a football pitch.

“This is a behaviour that has happened already two times and Luis Suarez, as a wonderful footballer that he is, has been banned twice. It has been such a controversial way of acting on a football pitch that you see it again and everyone feels upset.

“It’s about how Luis Suarez is allowed to play the game without carrying that responsibility that you have as a player, being a role model to the younger generation. You cannot justify it.”


  • The BBC Evening News ran with the Luis Suarez story ahead of England’s 0-0 draw with Costa Rica, which saw them finish their World Cup campaign with one solitary point and two goals.
  • The Mirror claimed that Suarez could face a two-year ban.
  • Spanish newspaper Marca ask: “Has Suárez finally bitten off more than he can chew?”

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