There’s no denying the fact that Luis Suarez is an impressive footballer. However, going head to head with Liverpool’s great number 7s in the past will be a tough task for the Uruguay striker, especially in light of the accusations against him that have reared their ugly heads in the recent past.
There have always been muffled musings about footballers diving and employing underhanded moves, but this time the gentle whispers just got a whole lot louder. Luis Suarez has always felt the heat when it came to such allegations, but they were brushed off with boyish abandon. But now, the striker must feel a whole lot hotter, especially with Arsenal’s French defender Laurent Koscielny publicly calling him out for being a cheat. Koscielny went on to say that Suarez was annoying to play with, as he would grab players’ jerseys and love falling at the gentlest touch. He gave an example of the match between Arsenal and Liverpool on the second of September, when Suarez decided to take a tumble on non-existent contact.
It’s not only angry players and managers that Luis has left in his wake. Jim Boyce, the vice-president of FIFA, was enraged by his performance in Liverpool’s game against Stoke. Boyce said that Suarez’s moves were ‘nothing short of cheating’, and also suggested that simulations of injuries were cancerous to the integrity of international football. In fact, Suarez caused such a stir during the game that the Stoke City manager, Tony Pulis called him an embarrassment and demanded that a ban be imposed on him.
However, the Uruguayan hasn’t taken these allegations too well. Post the World Cup qualifier against Argentina, he lashed out, saying that the statements made by Boyce were untrue and baseless. He also added some insight into Boyce’s rationale behind making these statements, saying that the FIFA vice-president was a nobody and was just looking for his fifteen seconds of fame. He went on to say that he wasn’t fazed by these accusations, and would concentrate on playing quality football.
Despite having a reputation for kissing the ground at every chance he gets, the Uruguayan Football Association aggressively defended Suarez and condoned the accusations made by Boyce. They stated that people such as the vice-president of FIFA issuing statements against one player would lead to a hostility against that player, while also adding that it was against the code of ethics of FIFA. The Uruguayan FA went one step further and sent FIFA a list of six steps they must follow in order to exonerate Suarez and apologize to him.
Currently, Liverpool’s arsenal is short-staffed with Fabio Borini’s toe injury; it’s left to Suarez to shoulder the responsibility. For the sake of the Reds, an earnest hope remains – Suarez, don’t slip. This time it might be for real!