Friday Kickoff: Chiellini calls Suarez ban too harsh; Aguero ruled out; and more

Giorgio Chiellini of Italy

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

There have been many reactions to the heavy ban FIFA gave to Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, but few have been as surprising as the reaction from Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Suarez bit Chiellini in the second half of Uruguay’s 1-0 victory over Italy last Tuesday, and at the time Chiellini vehemently gestured to Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez to show him the bite marks on his shoulder. However, now after the nine-match, four month suspension and fine has been handed down, Chiellini claimed that the punishment to Suarez is too harsh.

“Now inside me there are no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez for an incident, which happened on the pitch and is done,” Chillieni wrote in his blog for Sportlobster. “There only remains the anger and the disappointment about the match. At the moment, my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult period.

“I have always unequivocally considered the disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies, but at the same time I believe the proposed formula is excessive. I sincerely hope he will be allowed to stay close to his teammates during the games, because such a ban is really alienating for a player.”

While Chiellini and Italy were knocked out of the World Cup, Suarez has reportedly already flown back home to Uruguay, as he’s not allowed to be with the Uruguayan squad any more. The Uruguayan FA have claimed that they will appeal the decision but it’s unclear whether Suarez would be available to face Colombia on Saturday in the World Cup Round of 16.

Here are some more stories to start off your Friday:

AGUERO RULED OUT FOR SWITZERLAND GAME

Argentina will be missing one of their star forwards for their Round of 16 match against Switzerland on Saturday, but the diagnosis could be better than initially feared.

Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero has been sidelined by the latest thigh injury, suffered during Argentina’s 3-2 victory against Nigeria last Wednesday, and will miss at least the Switzerland match. However, after numerous reports that Aguero could be out for the rest of the World Cup, the team doctors said that they will be taking his recovery day-by-day.

“We have available all the resources to progress as quickly as possible,” team doctor Daniel Martinez told reporters in Belo Horizonte. “He won’t be ready for the Switzerland game, and from there we’ll check his evolution day-by-day.”

The injury might not be the worst thing for Argentina right now, as Aguero has failed to play on the left wing in a front trio with Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain. Ezequiel Lavezzi is the most likely player to take Aguero’s place in the starting XI.

BARCELONA REMAIN INTERESTED IN SUAREZ

Luis Suarez’s latest ban for biting has put his club Liverpool under the spotlight again, and Barcelona could look to take advantage of that this time around.

Despite the bad press surrounding Suarez and Barcelona’s usually spotless image in terms of their player’s conduct on the field, the Catalan club are still looking into negotiating for the Uruguayan forward’s signing, according to numerous reports in Spain.

One report in Sport, a Barcelona-based newspaper, states that Barcelona are happy to sign Suarez as long as he makes a public apology for his bite. It’s expected that Suarez could cost upwards of €60 million, but Barcelona are trying to take the price tag down to €50 million.

If Suarez did sign for Barcelona, he wouldn’t even be eligible to train until the end of October, meaning he likely wouldn’t make his debut until mid-November. FIFA confirmed that Suarez could be transferred during his suspension.

QUICK KICKS

FIFA have reportedly lifted their 90-day ban on German soccer legend and current executive Franz Beckenbauer. (REPORT)

Manchester United have completed the reported £29 million ($49.4 million) signing of Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera. (REPORT)

Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev says that a fan pointing a laser blinded him just as Islam Slimani scored his equalizing goal. (REPORT)

Borussia Dortmund have extended their sponsorship contract with Evonik through 2026, and Evonik has acquired a 9.06% stake in the club for €26.7 million. (REPORT)

Manchester City have signed FC Porto’s Brazilian midfielder Fernando for a reported fee of £12 million. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with Chiellini’s assessment? Shocked that he would defend Suarez? Think Argentina are better off without Aguero? Do you see Liverpool selling Suarez?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA World Cup, International Soccer, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Chiellini calls Suarez ban too harsh; Aguero ruled out; and more

  1. Les Legroom says:

    Ban is not excessive and suitable for his repeatable offense. Isn’t committing the same infraction for the 3rd time, excessive? Would he even get away with this in the real world? He would have been fired from his job and serve jail time in the real world.

    • DanO says:

      Ban is spot on appropriate. Chiellini seems to have a weird guilty conscience on this one. He is one of the worst offenders of the dark arts, constantly whining, using quasi dirty tactics, and trying to get people wired up. No one deserves to be bitten, but to some extent you reap what you sow.

      • g-dub says:

        It reminds me of Zidane losing his mind at that other Italian. The art of trash talk.

        Impressively thoughtful and empathetic blog comments by Chiellini though.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I agree, I think it was a reasonable ban. I’m sure Liverpool is not too pleased. This is the second straight year he’ll miss significant time because of this nonsense.

    • Rob says:

      I completely agree. After the third time, one has no room to cry foul. However, it would have behooved Suarez, if he wanted Italian, to have his fowl at the Olive Garden restaurant.

  2. Brett says:

    I loved how the Uruguay player was trying to get Chiellini to cover up the bite mark. You could tell he knew exactly what Suarez had done.

    I think he had to be banned and it should have been for longer, as in two matches minimum from the NEXT World Cup, should Uruguay qualify without him. That with the very clear proviso that the next infraction results in a lifetime ban from international play.

    It’s not a matter of being punitive. Suarez NEEDS help and he simply cannot be an ambassador for the sport if he is mentally unwell.

    • Jena W says:

      I have no pity for Liverpool or the next club that buys him after he’s done this again. Liverpool knew exactly what it was getting with Suarez as does his country and any club that picks him up. Liverpool shelled out all that money on the risk that Suarez had learned to keep his mouth shut – literally. He didn’t and they suspended and fined him and ran with the risk again. Once again it’s coming back to ‘bit’ them.

      They purposefully brought in and kept a player with a bad history who has continued with the same behavior they knew about in advance. It’s really no different that bringing in a player with a history of injuries who again goes down with the same injury. That was their calculated risk.

      I think he should have been banned permanently. This is a man who shows no remorse for is actions and has shown that his behavior is not under his control. Human bites can be very dangerous if they break the skin and are not treated immediately. I think FIFA didn’t go far enough. Of course, FIFA wouldn’t, because it would effect their bottom line. Still, on top of the suspension, banned from stadiums and the fine (which was a joke considering what he makes), there should have been three other stipulations.

      1) he is required to wear a mouth guard EVERY match for the rest of his career for the protection of other players on the pitch.

      2) he receive mandatory psychological help/therapy to deal with whatever his issues are.

      3) a final warning that if he ever bites again he would never play competitive futbol again. That way there would he would know in advance that he was ending his career should he pull that stunt again.

      Those extra conditions would truly give ‘teeth’ to FIFA’s actions.

  3. Raymon says:

    Feel badly for Aguero, but considering that if we get past Belgium, Argentina may be our next opponent, then I hope he recovers in about 3-4 weeks.

  4. HEB says:

    Class act by Chiellini.
    The ban will be reduced by half after the world cup is over and nobody is paying attention anymore… As it should be.

  5. jsf says:

    I don’t think that the Suarez punishment is excessive. However, I am curious why FIFA can extend a ban to playing for his club. What kind of organizational jurisdiction does FIFA have in the various leagues that enable them to ban a player not just from international play, but also from appearing for their club teams?

    • Eurosnob says:

      This part does not make sense to me. Why should Liverpool be punished for an infraction that occurred while Suarez was on an international duty? The clubs already risk having their players injured while playing for their national teams, so why add more risk through potential suspension. Suspend him for whatever number of games/length of time from FIFA competitions, where the infraction occurred, but leave the club season alone.

      • Jo says:

        The FA falls under the umbrella of UEFA. UEFA falls under the umbrella of FIFA. FIFA is the world governing body. They have jurisdiction over all affiliated leagues.

        • Eurosnob says:

          The issue is not whether FIFA has authority or jurisdiction to suspend him from club/league play, but whether it is wise to do it. Suarez is likely to miss more games for Liverpool (which had nothing to do with the incident) than for Uruguay’s national team, where the infraction occurred. It does not make sense.

          • Autolycus says:

            I don’t feel badly or sympathize with liverpool’s situation at all. They signed a long-term contract with a player who has a history of biting and otherwise misbehaving on the field. It’s a risk they take signing him that he will misbehave again and be punished for it.

            The contract should include ethics/behavior outs and liquidated damages. If it does, they can get out without much harm and move on with another player. If it doesn’t, they’re idiots.

        • jsf says:

          Thank you for the clarification. Before this ruling, I was unaware that leagues were affiliated with UEFA, CONCACAF, etc, and FIFA in this way.

          Could be a huge blow to a team like Liverpool, having to pay the salary to a guy who can only play FIFA 14. (I wonder if there is a special bite move for Suarez in FIFA 14. There should be.)

        • Sven Bender's night on the town says:

          So why doesn’t it work the opposite way? If a player is suspended in the league, they can participate in int’l duty.

          • Mason says:

            Theoretically, it could work the other way. A player caught doping in a domestic league could very easily find himself placed on a worldwide ban list.

  6. Norn Iron says:

    Another point that has not been made in the media surrounding all of this is the danger to the opposing player’s health that being bitten poses. The mouth harbors a lot of bacteria, and human bites are very dirty, and are very prone to bacterial infection. As well, there is potential for transmission of infectious diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, as well as HIV. This is no laughing matter, and I agree with FIFA’s decision to deal with it harshly.

  7. Cal says:

    Chiellini’s one of the dirtiest players out there and gets away with putting other players at risk every game he plays. He has no business talkng about what constitutes proper pinishment.

  8. Yanks are Coming! says:

    Hold on for a second. Reading between the lines Chellini never indicates he doesn’t agree with the number of games Suarez will miss he loosely indicates Suarez should be allowed to be his team and his teammates during the ban. To me that means he is advocating against the “football stadium” part of the ban. That’s how I read it. Although, others may not see if that way.

  9. Dman says:

    The Author says “but it’s unclear whether Suarez would be available to face Colombia on Saturday in the World Cup Round of 16.”

    I think its pretty clear that he wont be allowed to play that game or even in the world cup at all.

    The Uruguayan FA may succeed in getting the ban reduced but FIFA is not letting him back on the field this World Cup…that is pretty clear.

  10. espada says:

    You know, I’m not sure if this ban was effective. Yes, Suarez should be punished, but he’s just banned from playing games and fined an amount that’s chiclets compared to what he makes. There’s no stipulation like he should receive any help or he’s banned for life if he bites another player again. At least Suarez would try to stop. I bet Chiellini took the bite as, “Ok, he bit me, but he didn’t break my leg or infect me to where I can’t play. Suarez should’ve got sent off though. He can still be a quality player if he stops biting.” Bet some people in Ghana are smiling right now when they heard of this.

    • John says:

      Infect with what? World War Z.

    • Mr_A says:

      Yeah, I don’t think it makes any difference to Suarez. Basically, he wanted a transfer away from Liverpool, and this helps to push that along. Liverpool didn’t want to terminate his contract (because then he’d be a free agent, and Liverpool wouldn’t make any money by selling him), and was holding out for more money, delaying Suarez’s desire for a transfer. He didn’t want to play against Costa Rica, he wanted to play against England and beat them, and he wanted to force Liverpool to transfer him. He probably also wanted to rest his knee. Instead of being an impulsive and uncontrollable act, I think he went into the game thinking that he had enough room to get away with it and force Liverpool’s hand. In the meantime, he spins it off as an English and Italian media conspiracy, which is logical only in his own head. No remorse. It really should have been longer.

      He won’t bite again until he wants another transfer.

  11. Robert says:

    FIFA should impose the “North Korea Solution” and have all his teeth pulled. No teeth, no bite danger.

  12. Dan says:

    that punishment is too harsh. I played at the highest level and while what he did is pretty bad, i’d much rather get bit than have someone tackle me so bad I break or sprain something. which happens more often that biting, yet it never gets punished nearly as harsh as this.

  13. sethiepoo says:

    Justice was served. I have a permanent scar on my right hand from where I got bitten, and the perpetrator got off scot free! Albeit, the perpetrator was a wild iguana.

  14. Cahill says:

    Just pull his teeth already. Problem solved (in addition to a very bad overbite.)

  15. chuck says:

    See? Even that guy who was bitten has some common sense, unlike the witch-burning sheeple hordes who get outraged by the incident.

    Juninho Pernambucano has a good point on the matter: elbowing is much worse and it doesn’t spark such shock.

    Effing prudes

    • John L says:

      A bite is much worse than elbowing, tackling with studs up etc. You cannot get AIDS, Hepatitis, or other blood borne pathogens from them, you can from a bite. God only knows where Suarez’s junk has been.

  16. Brian says:

    In reading the Chielline comments is it that game ban that he is commenting about or the requirement that Suarez stay away from soccer? It seems he is saying Suarez should be able to stay near his teammates — i.e. he will be going through a difficult time and needs some support from teammates. Did I miss a larger quote somewhere?