Portrait of a flawed genius. Court case: FIFA vs Saurez.

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This is the sentencing report I would have presented to FIFA.

Pre-sentence report

Defendant: Luis Alberto Diaz Suarez -D.O.B. 24/01/1987.  

This report has been prepared following one interview with the defendant. I’ve had access to antecedents and previous convictions, plus video and photographic evidence.

The Offence:

1. Mr Saurez explained at interview that the situation had been extremely tense and stressful. He told me that he had suffered quite a lot of physical contact during the game and was severely ‘wound up’. He remembers moving towards the victim with the intention of scoring a goal and was adament that he had no intention of causing injury or harm. However, the defendant then had problems explaining what occurred next. He became very confused and agitated when I asked him to explain further and he just kept repeating that the victims shoulder moved towards his mouth and hurt his teeth.

2. When shown photographs of the injury caused to the victim the defendant denied any intent to cause damage. He explained that his teeth are rather large and if a shoulder comes into contact with them then some damage is inevitable, he continued to say that it wasn’t his fault and denied all culpability.

Social and family Background:

3. The defendant was born in Salto, Uruguay being the fourth son in a family of seven boys. At the age of seven his family moved to Montevideo. He described a difficult upbringing, explaining that his parents seperated when he was aged nine years. The defendant describes himself as being of ‘mixed race’ and told me that his grandfather was black. He developed his footballing skills in the back streets of Montevideo from an early age. At interview the defendant was guarded about his upbringing, and apart from explaining that it had been a difficult period, he appeared to resist giving further information that could be of value to the court. From my observations it would appear that perhaps difficulties experienced during his early development are deeper than he admits and could possibly be the foundation of his aggressive behaviour.

Present Circumstances:

4. Mr Suarez is a married man with two children. He currently lives in the Merseyside area of England and has been employed full-time by Liverpool Football Club as a Striker since 2011. His salary is in the region of £800,000 per month. He describes a happy marriage and told me he adores his children. He also plays international football for his country, Uruguay.

5. The defendant is clearly a very talented footballer. He brings joy to millions of people with his skills and goal scoring. He is worshipped by football fans worldwide. In some quarters he is classed as a footballing genius and still has much to offer the footballing world, he is clearly an outstanding talent but with serious shortcomings and his fame as a footballer is already being tarnished by his unnacceptable behaviour on the pitch. Therefore, to allow him to truly reach the exalted heights of fame which his footballing talents deserve, intervention to stop the defendants violent behaviour is neccessary.

6. I’m led to believe that Mr Saurez also contributes regularly towards charitable causes and generally, in his social life, is an amiable person. However, as a professional footballer, on the world stage, he has to recognise he has a responsibilty. Children the world over watch him play football, admire him and want to replicate his achievements. If his image however, is one of violently biting opponents it is not a good  example for children to see him going unpunished and he needs to reflect upon his position as a public figure who is continually in the spotlight.

Previous Convictions:

7. The defendant has two previous convictions for similar offences. In 2010 in Holland, he was convicted of attacking an opponent with his teeth and received a 7 match ban. In 2013, in the Premier League, he was convicted of the same offence and sentenced to a 10 match suspension. Furthermore, in 2011 he was convicted of racially abusing an opponent and recieved an 8 match ban and a £40,000 fine. An offence which he continues to deny.

8. It is clear therefore that Mr Suarez is a recidevist, previous sentences have not curtailed his behaviour, especially the violence of biting an opponent. It will be of concern to the Court that he continues to deny responsibility for his actions, often saying it is, “just how things happen in football”.

Conclusion:

9. With Mr Suarez continueing to deny any malice or pre-meditation in this offence, the matter of sentencing is hindered. Furthermore, with his list of previous convictions for the same offence, the probability of further offending is extremely high and a startegy needs to be put into place to prevent further offences. Therefore, I would suggest a four part sentencing strategy that would not only punish the defendant for the current offence, but would also offer a clear deterent from further unacceptable behaviour. If the Court is willing to accept my recommendation then my proposal for sentencing would be:

  •  An immediate ban from international and domestic matches for 3 months.
  •  A fine equivelant to 2 months salary. (To be used for a Community Project)
  •  A psychological assessment and further psychiatric intervention if deemed neccessary.
  •  A suspended sentence of a life ban from football if the defendant repeats a similar offence (biting) within the period of his remaining footballing career.

10. These sentencing measures would send a clear message to the defendant that his behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the future. It would offer psychological intervention to prevent further violence and to deal with any underlying issues. Furthermore, Mr Saurez will have a clear understanding that if he were to bite another player violently in the future his footballing career would be over. Such a sentencing plan would , I believe, make the defendant seriously think twice before acting so irrationally again in the future.

Right yer ‘onour, time for a glass of wine and some spicy chorizo……. Hope you enjoyed your visit. Until the next time.

à bientôt

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