Understanding Luis Suarez: The Racism Row in Retrospect

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David Wild seeks to understand Luis Suarez…

“The case with (Patrice) Evra was all false. I was accused without proof. But that’s in the past. I was sad at that moment, but I’m happy today… All the other things were like a movie that people in England believed in.”Luis Suarez, February 13th 2014.

It’s difficult to escape one’s past. When you consider the shining media spotlight that is focussed on contemporary world football’s glittering stage it can seem completely impossible.

Since the events between Suarez and Evra on October 15th 2011 that saw allegations and admission on Suarez’ part of racial abuse the striker has been tarred with one of society’s most unacceptable monikers. That of the unapologetic racist. Continue reading

Luis Suarez bit Branislav Ivanovic, and what?

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Greg Johnson looks at why the furore surrounding Suarez’s latest chomp shows football’s opinionators up to be chumps…

The outrage over Luis Suarez’s latest act of infamy is utterly bemusing. Judging by the reactions of the masses, the act of biting a fellow human adult is a crime of such moral revulsion that it can threaten the very future of football lest its perpetrator is forcibly deported and exiled from these purist shores.

Overnight the facade that once sheltered through past controversies suddenly shattered under the weight of scrutiny from the press and public. No longer a “personality” or pantomime villain, it was as if his true nature had finally been revealed to the world for belated moral evisceration.

While undoubtedly bizarre, such a response seems wholly disproportionate for a bite considering the sort of behavior from Suarez that has previously been accommodated. As yet more top ten lists and features detailing his depravity flood the social media channels, it’s worth questioning where this level of analysis with mitigating apology was following his indictment for racially abusing Patrice Evra? Continue reading

Stakes High for Russia in Europa League

Andy Shenk looks at the three Russian clubs remaining in European competition…

Three Russian clubs remain from the six that entered European competition this season. Moscow clubs Dynamo, CSKA and Spartak are out, while Zenit, Rubin and Anzhi advance to the Europa League round of 32, which kicks off today across Europe.

In a nation eager to regain a top-six UEFA ranking, and the extra Champions League place that comes with it, the autumn European campaign was almost a complete disaster. Champions League failure and disappointing exits from CSKA and Dynamo in August left Anzhi and Rubin the only bright spots.  Continue reading