It is a well-regarded fact that the actions of Luis Suarez against Branislav Ivanovic earlier this month were horrific and deserved some sort of ban.
For many, the news that the FA had slapped Suarez with a 10-match ban ws surprising and somewhat harsh.
However, what the length of the ban really shows is the complete lack of forethought and competency within the Football Association and football as a whole.
If you look at the incident, it is pretty evident that Suarez, completely unprovoked, tried to bite Ivanovic on the arm, whether he did actually make contact or not is irrelevant, the fact is that he tried to bite another professional.
In any other line of work, you would get fired for that. However, as football is both a contact sport and a sport where assets such as Suarez are rated far higher than anything else, it was never going to be the case that Suarez would be sacked.
However, when the announcement came on Suarez’s 10=match ban and the statement that followed claiming that the panel had not taken any previous convictions into account, the failings of the FA became abundantly clear.
In no other walk of life would disciplinary action be taken without looking at past behaviour, so for the FA to ignore Suarez’s history of head-butts, bites and racial abuse is just plain stupid.
The simple fact of the matter is that past behaviour matters in life. You should have to deal with the consequences of your actions regardless of how long ago they were.
Personally, the 10-match ban for Suarez is woefully insufficient. The ban should be far longer, and perhaps a ban of six months out from football would have been appropriate. For example, if we take the Celtic manager Neil Lennon’s conduct on the side-lines, and view his bans on the touchline, you can see that they get tougher and tougher and that the SFA take into account past behaviour.
My question is: why isn’t this the case for Suarez? He has head-butted a referee, racially abused a fellow professional and has now bit a fellow professional, not for the first time, but for a second time.
It is time the FA began judging players as they would anyone else; discipline does not work if past actions are forgotten about, and it is almost certainly the case that Suarez will do something as stupid again once he is back.
Six months would have been appropriate for Suarez’s disgusting act, but the incompetency of the FA has shined through once again, as it has with cases involving John Terry and others.
The only way for the FA to be taken seriously again is if it becomes harsher and fairer to all involved in football for their disgusting acts which tarnish the game's very reputation.
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