Uruguayan soccer star Luis Suarez made global headlines on Tuesday after biting — with his teeth — Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder, during their critical final match in the World Cup group stage. It’s a crime of cannibalism that he’d committed twice in the past, but despite his record of chowing down on opponents, match referee Marco Rodríguez didn’t flash a red card, or even a yellow card, toward the famed Liverpool striker.
And just when you thought this story couldn’t get any stranger, Suarez’s sports agent, Pere Guardiola, told Brazilian reporters on Wednesday that his star client wasn’t actually to blame for the zombie-like attack on Chiellini. That honor belongs to a hygiene product Suarez had used the evening before the big Italy/ Uruguay match… bath salts.
“I think we’re all getting sidetracked here by a very serious issue, one that has claimed lives in the past, at least in the United States,” Guardiola said. “This bath salts epidemic is a very serious problem, and none of the world’s governments are really doing anything to try and curb this threat. What is it going to take before we step up and do something? How many lives need to be ruined, or worse, before someone acts? If anything, [Suarez] is the victim here. And I will not rest until these things are off store shelves.”
A reporter quickly asked Guardiola if he meant Suarez had actually smoked bath salts prior to the match. “No, no, of course not. But he did bathe with them the night before, in his hotel suite. Just think about that. All he did was take a bath, using this product as it is intended, and look at the result. Look what happens the very next day. I would hate to know what might happen if he took a longer bath, or if he did indeed try smoking them like those Americans did. This story could’ve ended even worse, for Chiellini and Luis both.”
Guardiola also claims FIFA played a “key role” in the incident. “All of the players in the World Cup are given these oversized gift baskets before each match. They have all sorts of stuff in them. Fruit, concert tickets, cell phones, you name it. These bath salts were included in one of these baskets, from Uruguay’s earlier match against England. And you have to wonder, how many other players have used these baskets? How might this affect other games going forward? What might happen if these are used by a player with less self-control than Luis Suarez? I’m afraid to ask, but we need to know.”