‘The law is an ass’ – a phrase made popular by a character in a Charles Dickens novel.
These words came to me on Sunday night on hearing of the disgraceful antics of Liverpool and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez.
He’s facing the wrath of the English FA after TV cameras appeared to show him biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
And he seemingly has a taste for this kind of thing, having been banned for seven games following a similar offence whilst with Dutch club Ajax in 2010.
But what about the law of the land? The soccer field is a place of work. Players and officials have stressed this to me in the past when fans hurl abuse: “The field is our office and there needs to be a level of respect. You wouldn’t accept it in your office. Fans often over-step the mark.”
By the same token, if I bit someone in my ‘place of work’, punched them or butted them, then I imagine my future employment would be under threat and the police would be involved.
Rarely does this happen in sport. Somehow sport seeks to separate itself from everyday life, when it suits. Apparently, Ivanovic did not want to press charges – once bitten, twice shy.
Liverpool need to check the small print on Suarez’s contract, or at least allow him a bigger pre-match meal.