a Muzzle on It!
Four years ago, Luis Suarez was suspended for seven games following a biting incident against PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal in November 2010. Last season, Luis Suarez was hit with a 10-game ban in the UK for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanisevic in the arm. A little over 12 months later, and the Liverpool striker is once again handed a ban, a biting (no pun intended) four-month ban from all football activity by FIFA.
FIFA launched an investigation into Giorgio Chiellini’s claim that he was bitten by Suarez during Uruguay’s clash with Italy in their World Cup Group D decider. The incident went unseen by Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez, but not so by global audiences, which tuned into the high-profile game. Mere seconds after the incident occurred, the internet and twitter was rabid with video clips and pictures of Suarez feasting on Chiellini’s shoulder as if it were his last supper. Ironically, so it was, at the World Cup games that is.
Like all sporting organisations, FIFA wants its football superstars to participate at the global showpiece because it elevates the profile of the event and brings prestige to the nations participating. When news of Luis Suarez’s knee injury first made the rounds, his World Cup contribution was thrust into question. By and large, it was thought to be a real shame if he were to join the growing list of the walking wounded. However, he made an amazing recovery, joining Uruguay in their second match against England.
Any hope that the reigning Footballer of the Year would continue to play a part at this event, however, is now gone. FIFA, with no choice but to deal with the incident in the wake of evidence flooding in, handed Suarez a ban from all football activity for four months, beginning with Saturday’s clash with Colombia. The ban extends to his Premier League season with Liverpool, includes a stadium ban worldwide and 100,000 Swiss Francs fine. Suarez can appeal this ban, but FIFA has made it clear, in no uncertain terms, he wouldn’t be allowed to participate in Saturday’s clash pending the outcome of any appeal.
Uruguay’s World Cup Odds
Uruguay is the first victim of Luis Suarez’s shameful bite on Chiellini as their R16 odds have swelled up from +280 to +320. It remains to be seen whether their odds will grow further afield in the coming days, as the word of his ban spreads through World Cup betting circles. In outright betting markets, Uruguay remain at +3300 to win the title proper, but without Suarez’s participation those odds might not hold strong for long either. Arguably, the most telling market is that pertaining to predicting the stage of elimination, where Uruguay are listed at -200 to drop out of the finals in the R16.
Premier League Futures Move
The next victim is Liverpool, of course. The Reds entered the 2014-2015 Premier League futures betting markets as the third favourites (behind Man City and Chelsea) matched at 11/2 or +550. Since the news of Luis Suarez’s ban, Liverpool have drifted up to 7/1 or +700 in futures betting – the thinking behind it: without Suarez participating in the starting XI until October, Liverpool will be hard-pressed to put forward a strong bid for the title.