Alec Swann - Suarez deserves a harsher punishment

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

Every now and then, if my daughter gets her own way in the car, we listen to a CD of songs from musicals.

I’m not a great fan of the genre, but the odd song reminds me of my own childhood so I don’t mind listening.

While the film never really appealed to me, Dick Van Dyke’s dreadful cockney accent saw to that, the main song in Mary Poppins was always a favourite.

And although I’m not going to be able to explain the random train of thought that brought me to this point, the events of last Sunday afternoon, and the fallout, tempted me to pen some alternative lyrics.


Suarez is a great player but really quite obnoxious

Unless you’re a Liverpool fan you’ll probably have noticed

A 10-game ban for biting is really quite atrocious.

Fairly self-explanatory really and a view shared by many who follow our national game.

But don’t think that this column is intending to slag off the Football Association for the length of ban they dished out to Luis Suarez for biting Branislav Ivanavic.

Too often they can’t win with their judgements, either they are too lenient for the indiscretion or overly severe and there is never a shortage of people to let you what they think.

And the incident at Anfield, when in case you missed it, Suarez, for no apparant reason, sunk his teeth into Ivanavic’s arm, has again highlighted the FA’s disciplinary procedures.

Without a defined black or white system in place, each exceptional occurence has to be judged on its individual merits so the whole concept of consistency, the factor everyone believes is rarely applied, is a difficult one to administer.

And there can be little argument that Suarez’s act of cannibalism was a unique happening.

It added another black mark to the charge sheet of a player who seemingly has few redeeming features and once more put his employers in an awkward situation.

That they believe the sentence is too draconian is hardly a surprise, Suarez is their biggest asset after all, but their approach does them no favours whatsoever.

Openly condemning such behaviour would have more impact than mock outrage and there has to come a point where a line is drawn.

If it means then the Uruguayan seeks pastures new, believing himself to be the victim of a witchhunt, then so what.

Guilty of racist language, a serial diver, a purveyor of an underhand approach to his profession on many an occasion and now with the mentality of a wild animal.

The sport in this country should demand better and if Suarez leaves Anfield then, after the short-term anger of the club’s faithful subsides, he won’t be missed as there is always someone else.

Ten games may seem a heavy-handed punishment but if you look at the action for what it was, it’s nowhere near harsh enough.