Video Technology has a long way to go if it’s going to clean up football…
Let’s face it, the beautiful game is broken beyond repair. For a kick-off, obscene player greed and agent power mean that it’s now even possible for a famous old club like Glasgow Rangers to go bust.
Meanwhile, players routinely flout the rules and blatantly cheat, despite knowing that their every move is being scrutinised, in ultra slow motion, by about fifty cameras.
This month the famously stubborn FA finally announced the launch of video technology. In fact, they seemed quite proud of themselves. Why? This bunch of football dinosaurs should be thoroughly ashamed that it’s taken so long. The technology’s been available to them for years, and during that time its absence has cost teams trophies, league titles, Champions League places, and maybe even the occasional World Cup.
And as if football isn’t broken enough, now there is Luis Suarez – the Liverpool striker who seems to be dedicating his entire career to bringing the game into disrepute. Let’s be clear on this: When Suarez sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic’s arm, he should, at that moment, have relinquished any right to ever play football again, at any level, anywhere in the world. Instead, the idiots at the FA have banned him for a mere 10 games.
If Suarez had committed a similar offence in the street, or in a pub, he would have immediately been arrested and charged with grievous bodily harm. So why was he not nicked as soon as he left the pitch?
If officers had spotted a Liverpool supporter on security cameras doing exactly the same thing, they would have yanked him out of the crowd and thrown him into the back of a van. Suarez’s attack was played back multiple times, from at least 6 angles, in front of a huge TV audience, which presumably included police officers. Legally, are television cameras not security cameras too?
Most puzzling of all, is why it has been left to the FA to decide the fate of this Neanderthal. Under UK law, surely Suarez has committed a criminal offence, for which there is extensive video evidence, and millions of willing witnesses. There’s very little defence for the assault (apart from maybe ordering a medical report on the state of the attacker’s mental health), so a prosecution would more than likely result in a conviction. Three months in jail sounds about right to me. If he was a dog he’d be humanely put to sleep.
During the days following this assault, schools all over the country must have witnessed an epidemic of copycat assaults by their young students. Children copy this kind of behavior – even more so if it is carried out on television by someone who they look up to.
Suarez is paid over £100,000 a week, and with this kind of high profile role comes great responsibility. But Suarez, like so many other foul-mouthed savages playing in the Premiership, does not believe that the rules apply to him.
By not sacking Luis Suarez on the spot, and cancelling his contract for breaching their rules of acceptable behavior, Liverpool have lost all credibility as a football club, as a business, and as an international brand. The likes of Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley must be turning in their graves.
Bobby Charlton once dubbed association football “God’s game.” I’m sure that Charlton, like me, is sick to his stomach at the way spoilt, aggressive, morally bankrupt young thugs like Suarez are destroying it, while the FA and clubs like Liverpool stand by passively and watch – too weak and frightened by player power to take the kind of strong, decisive action that disgusting incidents like this deserve.