PFA boss fears for Suarez

  • Last Updated: June 25 2014, 15:18 BST

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor fears Luis Suarez's career could be brought to a premature end if the Liverpool striker cannot control his on-field behaviour.

Suarez (l) clashed with Chiellini on Tuesday at the World Cup
Suarez (l) clashed with Chiellini on Tuesday at the World Cup

Suarez, twice convicted of biting earlier in his career, on Tuesday night appeared to bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's defeat of Italy and faces a lengthy ban.

PFA boss Taylor has worked with Suarez over the allegations of racist remarks to Patrice Evra, his bite on Branislav Ivanovic which resulted in a 10-match ban and last summer when the Uruguayan declared his wish to leave Liverpool.

"It was just so disappointing, really," Taylor told BBC Radio 5live.

"I've been disappointed about England, but doubly disappointing when our player of the year, the Footballer Writers' player of the year and last season I thought he'd got himself back on track.

"We felt these were issues he had and offered counselling with regard to anger management.

"We've seen the best of him and that other side in just two games over in Brazil.

"Issues with regard to biting is something not normally associated with senior players in the game.

"It can't be acceptable and from that point of view there are serious issues to be dealt with and they're health issues, counselling issues, mental health issues.

"It certainly needs that to try to eradicate this from his make-up, otherwise I fear for his career."

Suarez had been linked with a summer move to Barcelona and Real Madrid, but irrespective of where he is playing his football next season Taylor believes his behaviour must be resolved.

Taylor again hopes Liverpool will rally around Suarez and work with the striker, who concluded his ban for biting Ivanovic at the start of last season, a campaign he finished clutching individual awards.

"I would hope as his employers Liverpool would be the first to try to get him back on track again," Taylor added.

"You've got to deal with your issues in your own backyard.

"If we can get him back on track, he's a top-class player, he brings a lot to the game here.

"If Liverpool could make sure that that side of his game was eradicated that would be good for him, good for Liverpool and the game here."

Paul Scholes believes a 10-match ban or a suspension for the remainder for the World Cup tournament would not be sufficient punishment for Suarez.

Former England and Manchester United midfielder Scholes told paddypower.com: "Luis Suarez was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in April 2013. That obviously wasn't enough.

"On Tuesday night, with the biting incident on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's Group D clash, Suarez embarrassed his club, country and family.

"Banning him for the rest of the World Cup is not enough, because Colombia will beat Uruguay in their next game anyway."

Scholes thinks Suarez's behaviour will overshadow his ability as a footballer in the minds of the viewing public.

"He will feel terrible, and the entire incident is such a shame because he's a tremendous player," Scholes added.

"But people will remember Suarez now for his biting antics at this World Cup rather than his supreme footballing ability."

Another former England international, Terry Butcher, feels any ban should relate to international matches only and not curtail Suarez from playing in the Premier League.

He told Sky Sports News: "I think it should just be an international ban. It was on the international scene, he was playing for his country, it's nothing to do with Liverpool, or whatever club he does go to if that is the case. But I think it should be an international ban

"They could punish him for 24 games, I think that's the maximum they could issue that ban, so it'll be very interesting (to see) what they do.

"Domestically, he had the ban before with Liverpool (for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic) but he could still play internationally as well so I think if it's in that arena it should stay in that arena."

Asked whether Liverpool should act, perhaps with a suspension of their own, the Englishman added: "They would leave it for now, I know I would. I would say 'It's happened with Uruguay, it's happened at a World Cup, we'll see what develops in terms of a ban, an international ban.

"Get the player back to Liverpool, back to the UK and speak to him and assess him what he's like mentally, what he's like dentally and what he's like in terms of playing for Liverpool next (season). He's a massive asset for Liverpool and a lot of what they achieved this year is down to him."

Joey Barton has suggested Suarez's apparent bite is something which "comes with the territory" of being a winner.

Barton, no stranger to controversy himself, wrote on Twitter: "I love Suarez. I love his passion for the game. I would have him on my team everyday of the week. I am also aware you can't defend him here.

"All things considered I'd rather receive a bite than a leg breaking challenge. Whilst he should be punished, it is not the end of the world.

"He's a winner. If that means he occasionally steps over the line between right and wrong, than thats what comes with the territory.

"Nobody's perfect."

Former Liverpool and England striker Robbie Fowler thinks the Reds may sell Suarez after his latest apparent indiscretion.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have been linked with making big-money bids for the Uruguayan this summer.

"You can't defend him," Fowler told talkSPORT.

"Off the pitch he's an absolutely lovely fella. He does so much work for charity, does so much work in the community in Liverpool

"And I love him as a player, but you cannot condone what he has done.

"When he gets on the pitch he just becomes a different person. I'm flummoxed for words.

"It's a real, real tough predicament most Liverpool fans are in. They love him as a player, but he's continually dragging the club's name through the mud again.

"It's not right, especially after how they helped him last time. They tried to rehabilitate him.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he went now."

Former Liverpool captain and assistant manager Phil Thompson said Suarez had "brought embarrassment and shame" on the Anfield club.

"You think of the support the guy has had from Brendan Rodgers, (owner) John Henry and majority of the fans at Liverpool," Thompson told Sky Sports News.

"He's had massive support. It was like a kick in the face."

Thompson believes the alleged bite at a World Cup means there will be even more scrutiny than Suarez's other transgressions.

"It's happened on the international stage," he said.

"This is worse. This is the world's media. Everyone is looking at this and wanting to see what happens. At the end of the day he is a Liverpool player. He plays for my football club. He's brought embarrassment and shame on our football club.

"For him to do this is a massive shock. It's been disgraceful to be honest."