Monday 20 October 2014

Taylor sees Suarez step backwards

Published 26/06/2014 | 18:02

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, pictured, believes Luis Suarez has taken a "massive backward step"

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor believes Luis Suarez has taken a "massive backward step" after the Uruguay striker was handed another long ban for biting an opponent.

Taylor also feels the sanction handed down by FIFA on Thursday should have included a counselling and treatment course for the Liverpool striker to help him with "a trait he has to get rid of".

FIFA punished Suarez with a nine-match suspension and a ban from playing for any team for four months after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during Tuesday's World Cup match.

It is the third time Suarez has been punished for biting opponents, having been banned for seven matches while playing for Ajax in 2010 and 10 matches when at Liverpool last year.

Taylor told Sky Sports News: "We felt things had got back on track (following his ban with Liverpool), it was up there for everybody to see, but of course this is a massive backward step on the world stage.

"I feel FIFA should have led the way with regard to trying to make sure that this behaviour is just eradicated and insist on there being some serious counselling and treatment for Luis Suarez because there's no doubt he's one of the finest players in the world - but this is a trait he has to get rid of.

"It's just not good for him, for any of his club, his country or the game in general and I've not seen that issue addressed either.

"Of course it's not good when you've got somebody of such talent who spoils that talent by such behaviour and that's why I believe it needs looking at in a serious way and that treatment course needs to be part of any sanction I would suggest."

On whether he thinks Liverpool will stick by Suarez amid reports of interest from Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid this summer, Taylor added: "They will have to make a decision.

"The size of the (reported) fee (from Barca and Madrid) is now a clear establishment for both the club and Luis Suarez, but no club wants to lose its very best players, particularly when they are one of the best in the world. But on the other hand neither do you want a player who is going to be suspended if he's got a trait in his character that can't be controlled."

Taylor, though, pointed out that the PFA has been successful in helping players deal with problems regarding mental health, frustration and anger in the past.

He added: "I would suggest we've been successful in about two out of three cases. So the odds would be in favour if that was addressed seriously, but of course Luis needs to accept that and be prepared to undertake that."

Suarez's Uruguay team-mate Jose Maria Gimenez took to Twitter to say "more united than ever" after the ban was announced.

The country's sports minister, Liliam Kechichian, tweeted: "We are hurt by this excessive sanction, now let's see how we can help this human being and whether, as a result of this, the group can show its class and its love for the Celeste."

Press Association

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