In one of the most bizarre rulings in the history of sports, FIFA handed down an ultimatum today to Uruguay star striker Luis Suarez, who recently bit an Italian defender on the shoulder during a vital group stage match. Either he takes a two-year ban from soccer/ football at both the club level and the international level… or he wears a muzzle for four years.
FIFA’s ruling, which was leaked early Thursday by anonymous senior-level officials, states that Luis Suarez would need to choose his fate by July 1st. Suarez will be banned for the duration of the 2014 World Cup regardless, after which he would need to contact FIFA by noon on July 1st, otherwise a 4-year ban goes into effect.
The ban would see Suarez booted from the Uruguay team for two years. But perhaps more importantly, it would also mean he couldn’t play for Liverpool in the English Premier League in those two years, either. Liverpool, who finished in second place behind Manchester City in the 2013/2014 season, relied heavily on Suarez’s goal-scoring abilities to come within 2 points of Manchester City. Suarez was the top goal-scorer in the EPL last season, with 31 goals, and led the pack by 10.
If Suarez chooses to wear the muzzle, however, he would be allowed to play in every game, excluding the rest of this World Cup, so long as he didn’t remove the strange accessory during any game. He would need to wear it in every club and international match for four years. This period would end one day after the final match of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, tentatively on July 9th of that year.
The muzzle will be manufactured by the American corporation Bangerz, who famously make nose guards, and will be made out of translucent white plastic with mesh grills for breathing and talking, which would prohibit Suarez from chomping down on other players without restricting his air intake or obstructing verbal communications with his teammates. Suarez would be the first player ever to be forced to wear such a device.
Speculation abounds regarding whether Suarez will take the deal or not, and which option he would choose if he does. Rumors indicate that his agents are in closed-door meetings with FIFA officials on Thursday, as of this article being written, to try and negotiate less-humiliating terms for the player.