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Apology of Suarez

The defense of a footballer

Clive Mason

Accused of corrupting England's youth with his acts of wanton violence and apparent racism, Luis Suarez has sprung to his own defence with a length speech in Parliament. Here's what the Liverpool forward had to say on Luis Suarez's behalf:

How you, the fans, have been affected by my accusers, I have no idea; they spoke so persuasively that even I almost forgot who I was. And yet, none of their accusations have been true. Of their many lies, there was one in particular which amazed me, that the fans should be on their guard and regard me as a cheat. To say this, when I have proved to be nothing more than a great striker with a slight falling problem, was most shameless, unless by cheat they meant one who is willing to do anything to win and if this is their meaning, then yes, I am a cheat but in such a different way from their definition.

They have rarely spoken the truth but from me, you will hear the whole truth. Not in their manner of newspaper headlines and Twitter retweets; no, I shall use arguments and words, native to my home country which might sound racist to some, I would ask you not to be surprised and not interrupt or accuse me of racism on this account.

Well then, I shall make my defense, and try to address, in a small blog post, the myriad calumnies that have lingered far too long. Well, what do the media say? That Luis Suarez is a cheat, a diver, who flops at the slightest of contacts, handballs in goals without a second thought and bites the innocent. But many of teammates know the truth of this, you can ask each one and from them you will hear the truth and judge for yourself.

There then is the accusation that I am diver, which has as much truth in it as the other slanders. If a player is to go down via contact while that player moving at incredible speeds, in my opinion, there should be sympathy for him, not condemnation based on vague guesses as to his motives. I am not the only one who suffers from the attentions of leaden-footed defenders. Consider the Welsh Wizard, Gareth Bale, Jermaine Defoe of White Hart Lane or even Captain Fantastic, Steven Gerrard. These men find themselves crumbling to the ground when confronted with the slightest hint of a touch, some in an attempt to thwart the injury gods, others because the Anfield wind blows particularly heavily in winter, but for those players, you accept their explanations and anoint with praise. Me, you slander as a diver.

Of course, some of you will say to me, "Luis, where there is smoke, there must be fire. Surely you are conducting yourself in peculiar fashion to have such accusations brought up against you. If you were like these other men you've mentioned, these accusations would have never surfaced; tell us what you have done as we do not want to judge so hastily!" This is a fair point of debate and I will explain to you why it is that I am called a cheat and demonised. Some of you may take this as a joke but please do not interrupt me, even if I should sound arrogant in my explanation.

Fans of football, my reputation as a cheat has come from a certain skill that I possess. You ask which skill, to which I shall say that it is the skill of great footballers, one that cannot be attained by mortal men. And so, I am inclined to believe, the viewers, disbelieving that this skill of mine is permitted to possess, label me a cheat. I shall refer you to the most creditable man in football, Brendan Rodgers, the god of pass and move football, and he will tell you of my skill as a footballer that allow me to achieve the seemingly impossible.

You may talk about my handball against Ghana in the World Cup, but ask yourself, friends, would you not have done the same thing? Consider how great a footballer I must be to execute such a cunning move in the blink of an eye, all for the sake of the team? If that is not evidence of quick thinking and self-sacrifice for a greater cause then yes, I am a cheat. A cheat like Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Paul Scholes and Saints Henry and Raul.

And then you may be inclined to question the validity of the "biting" accusations against me, accusations of cannibalism and ungentlemanly conduct against a certain Serbian. The prosecutors shall bellow that it was not my first offense, that I am a disgrace to to the game. Well then, for them I shall say, that I, Luis Suarez am also human. If they were not so blinded with their desires and passions for a witch-hunt, they would see that Mr. Ivanovic had provoked me first. For my means of reaction to provocation, I may as well apologize, but for being human, I can not.

Do you truly imagine I could have survived all of these years and managed to play for the biggest club in England and the world if I were nothing more than a biting cheat, dear reader? I have always been the same in the football field as I am in my private life, clutching my ankle as the slightest brush of contact from my dog, wearing a shirt of support for myself after a disagreement with my wife. Those who accuse me otherwise speak falsehoods, and I never hesitate to confront their slander.

But I shall ask you dear fans, why do you think the media continually takes delight in printing false things about me and toying with your perception? I have already told you the truth of the matter, yet they print falsehoods to amuse themselves and express their xenophobia in disguised ways. If I am indeed a cheat, then those player whom I have previously listed must be as well, and fans should pour their scorn upon them also.

However, they are not cheats, and I am not a cheat. I see many fans who support me, those fans who believe in winning by any means necessary, supporters of the Italians teams who employed the dark arts, and why should they support me? Why indeed, except for the sake of truth and football, and because they know I am speaking the truth and that the media has been full of nothing but liars!