I’ll start off by saying that I’m not a football fan. The World Cup is less about football and more about disrupting my TV viewing every night of the week. Quite honestly I have no idea what day it is because Eastenders and Corrie haven’t been on in their usual slots to point me in the right direction.
But unless you live under a rock you’ll know that one of the main World Cup headlines, up there with how pants England have been, has been Louis Suarez’s interesting take on the rules by biting Giorgio Chiellini. Yep, biting. A grown man paid more in a week that some earn in a lifetime, saw fit to bite another player.
Again. On camera.
What a plank.
I’m sure I speak for most, if not all, mums when I say that I don’t want my child biting another. It’s not an abnormal lesson to want to instil: food is for biting, teethers are for biting, shoulders are not. So here we have a sportsman, admired and looked up to by children all over the world, using the world stage to set such a terrible example of sportsmanship and basic human behaviour.
And his defence? According to Sky News, it wasn’t deliberate: “After the impact … I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player, leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.”
Oh, that’s ok then. I suppose there was this one time when I went into the kitchen, accidentally tripped near the biscuit tin and before I knew it 10 Bourbons and a couple of Jammy Dodgers just fell into my mouth.
No-one believes that either, do they? (Although I didn’t intend to eat quite so many – I just got carried away. Anyway, I digress…)
I don’t know what I’d do if Bear bit another child. I would give it a lot of thought and, whatever the punishment, it would have to fit the crime and teach an important lesson. Suarez has been banned for 9 international matches and from all football for 4 months. Is this really going to hit him where it hurts or is it a bit like a 10 minute stint on the naughty step – quickly forgotten?
High-profile sporting events always set-out to inspire children to compete and achieve. The 2012 Olympics raised the bar for anything that followed, and what better opportunity to build on this than the World Cup? But if this is the lasting impression that it’s going to leave on our children then I think I’ll go back to Eastenders and Corrie. Their morals might not be much better sometimes, but at least they’re fiction.