From Chile to China, soccer fans like to think their teams reflect their national characters.
That’s a delusion, of course. These are jocks, not exchange students. But if international fútbol really is the continuation of war by other means, you at least want to believe your soccer soldiers share your values.
Which is why Uruguay — a nation whose progressive values are so often applauded these days — should follow this advice: Lose Luis.
Start petition drives, call your congressmen, boycott Tannat wine, get your soccer officials high on all that weed your country just legalized, whatever it takes. But dump Luis Suárez. We don’t care if el pistolero (the gunslinger) is a brilliant striker. To the rest of us he’s a loathsome Bat Boy.
Boot him from your team and deport him to Transylvania. Because he’s making a mockery of everything you say you stand for. Suárez intentionally bit an Italian defender during a World Cup game this week. It was the third time he’s munched on a rival in a match. The guy shouldn’t be on a soccer pitch; he belongs in a Twilight movie.
FIFA, international soccer’s governing body, did the right thing on Thursday by suspending Suárez for nine matches and fining him $112,000. FIFA rarely does the right thing, so you know Suárez’s chomp was egregious.
These aren’t your famous medialunas calentitas pastries he’s chewing on, my dear Uruguayans. It’s human flesh.
But cannibalism is the least of the shame Suárez brings on Uruguay.