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Prime Minister’s response to Suarez' bite is an insult to football

UK Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron has commented on Liverpool's Luis Suarez’ behavioural conduct – his biting of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

Whilst Cameron placed his full faith in the Football Association to responsibly handle the incident and it’s backlash, stating that his concern was wholeheartedly that of a father, rather than a statesman, his call for tougher penalties is a complete contradiction of his intended sentiment.

"I've got a seven-year-old son who just loves watching football and when players behave like this it just sets the most appalling example to young people in our country,” Cameron explained.

"I'm going to leave it entirely to the FA. But if you're asking me as a dad and as a human being, do I think we should have tough penalties when players behave like this, yes I think we should.”

Firstly, for him to comment on such a childish incident in the first place jeopardizes his authority on the matter considerably, in my humble opinion.

Hasn’t he got better things to do as the UK’s Prime Minister – even just an ‘ordinary father’ might want to focus on the great swathe of cuts being imposed on the nation and the subsequent effects on public services, not to mention the fact that the UK still has around 9,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan.

I, personally, would have thought David Cameron had enough to be getting on with but, alas, the ‘example’ set by Liverpool’s Luis Suarez is cause for concern for young people – heaven forbid we should see a rise in biting incidents across a football-crazed nation on top of all our other problems.

However, if Mr Cameron were really that emotionally invested as a father and as a fan of football, he would know that Suarez’ biting of Ivanovic is rendered fairly insignificant when compared to other incidents of violence, abuse, and behavioural issues that constantly plague the sport.

Perhaps Mr Cameron might want to comment on the recent crowd incidents at Wembley and St James’ Park, or the police’s apparent reluctance to co-operate with proceeding of next year’s inquests into the 96 deaths at Hillsborough 1989.

Perhaps he might like to comment on the FA’s failure to properly penalize those players and supporters who still habitually racially abuse black players, or perhaps even the ‘appalling example’ being set by those footballers who beat their wives and girlfriends and face the minimum of repercussions.

I don’t have children but if I were one day to become a mother I would surely be far more concerned about all of the above – I would, in all honesty, expect that my child would know that biting is unacceptable behaviour before they reach adulthood.

However, I would also hope that, by then, we would live in a country where there were fewer angry, marginalized and disenfranchised people acting violently at football matches.

I would hope by then there would be a greater accountability for police officers to uphold the law and protect the public adequately, and a greater urgency and willingness to properly penalize racists and eradicate their attitude from football along with rest of society along with a greater determination to protect women from domestic violence and those who commit assault.

Yes, Luis Suarez is a terrible example for young people in this country but, unfortunately, he is the least of our problems and David Cameron ought to get his priorities in order when it comes to his intervention in football.

image: © World Economic Forum

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