Gonzalo Jara's groping ban is too short

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By letting Gonzalo Jara get off with a three-match ban and $7500 fine for sticking his finger in Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani's anus during Chile's 1-0 Copa América quarter-final victory over Uruguay, South America's football confederation (CONMEBOL) has sent out a clear message: it's okay to cheat as long as you aren't a superstar.

If Luis Suàrez had done what Jara did, he would probably have received a ban at least twice as lengthy as the Chilean's.

Some might argue that Suàrez deserved his biting bans - the latest of which saw him barred from all forms of football for four months and Uruguay matches for nine - because he continued to make the same mistake regardless of the punishments issued to him.

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It is precisely because this claim is so true that Jara's ban is disgraceful.

This is, in fact, the third time that the versatile defender has appeared to grope a fellow footballer, having seemingly previously prodded Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain's anus and grabbed Suàrez's balls.

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How can Jara be expected to learn from his mistakes if they go largely unpunished?

Laying down the law

Jara's mindset to football was probably summed up by the conversation he allegedly had with Tim Cahill during Chile's 3-1 win over Australia at last year's World Cup.

Cahill alleged that Jara kicked him and that when he responded with a push, the former Everton forward was yellow carded. 

According to Cahill, he confronted Jara about the incident, calling the Left-Back a "cheat". He said that Jara did not deny this accusation, simply countering "Yes, I'm a cheat. So what?"

Jara may finally re-think his approach to the game after Mainz Sporting Director Christian Heidel condemned his prod and the subsequent theatrics that got Cavani sent off for flicking him; threatening to sell the Chilean should the club receive an offer for him.

All that is certain is that if Jara does learn his lesson, it won't be because of CONMEBOL's slap on the wrist.

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Gonzalo Jara
Edinson Cavani

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