Biting Back

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With England out of the world cup the tabloids have been scrabbling around to find stuff to fill the back pages. Inevitably there are the recriminations and a performance audit for the England camp and Roy and the boys will be secretly pleased that Luis Suarez is doing his best to keep them out of the spotlight.

I talked yesterday (okay, scribbled here if you want to be pedantic) about rugby’s not so dark arts and mentioned that biting wasn’t a drama in my day as most  forwards didn’t have any teeth left with which to chomp. This would have given them a first class alibi, although I forgot to mention that more than a few Askeans would leave their choppers in the changing room – mostly by choice.

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I can tell you that, after a game,  it can be quite disconcerting to shove your hand in the valuables bag (definitely not a euphemism) in order to locate your drinking vouchers – and to mistakenly think that something resembling a bear trap has been left there!

Let’s be honest we’ve had enough of this Suarez nonsense – if a little nibble is considered to be serious offence then football is about as violent as table tennis or carrying some heavy shopping. FIFA also consider spitting to be a major problem – it’s a bit of phlegm for fuck’s sake – not especially pleasant I grant you – but we’re not talking king cobra venom here guys.

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Another thing football authorities don’t like is ‘brawling’ – which makes it sound like a playground scuffle – they can’t even bring themselves to call it fighting. In rugby it’s called ‘handbags’ which is largely ironic if you look at some of the slaps that land – think Federico Mendez and Paul Ackford  –

and the contretemps between Manu and Chris Ashton. –

FIFA should focus on blokes rolling around like nancies when someone brushes past them – that and working out how to convince us all that Qatar was selected because, at 125 degrees, it’s such a perfect venue for kicking a ball about. For one final thought on gnashers I would like to quote the Springbok Johan Le Roux who after biting Sean Fitzpatrick’s ear said: “For an 18-month suspension, I feel I probably should have torn it off. Then at least I could say, ‘Look, I’ve returned to South Africa with the guy’s ear.'” I often wondered if Sean asked him out for a bite when the All Blacks were next in Port Elizabeth.

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