New Delhi :It was just sheer coincidence that the infamous World Cup Group D clash between Italy and Uruguay in the Brazilian city of Natal became a FIFA case study for referees' instructors.
The match, that finally resulted in a four-month ban and nine-game suspension for star Uruguay striker Luis Suarez for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, was given as a case study to the 33 participants in the FIFA assessors and referees instructor course here.
While FIFA took nearly 40 hours to pronounce that Suarez was guilty, all the 33 participants took just 90 minutes to find that Suarez's should have been immediately given a red card and Chiellini deserved a yellow card for retaliation.
All India Football Federation's (AIFF) head of referees department Goutam Kar, who was one among the 33 participants, told IANS that the course programme was prepared well in advance and that it was sheer co-incidence that the match was a case study. The course was overseen by FIFA instructor Ali Al Traifi of Saudi Arabia.
"All the participants were informed well in advance, two weeks, that the match would be a case study in the course. We had just 90 minutes after the end of the match to submit our report. And next day we were informed that all the 33 members in their report said that Suarez should be been red carded immediately and yellow for Chiellini. It was sheer co-incidence," said Kar, who is also an elite Asian Football Confederation (AFC) match commissioner.
The participants also found that there was lack of communication between the referees and that the assistant referee should have brought in the incident to the notice of the referee.
FIFA announced the ruling against the Liverpool Suarez Thursday following an investigation into the incident during Uruguay's 1-0 victory over Italy.
In addition, the 27-year-old was fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($112,000) and is prohibited from "entering the confines of any stadium" during the ban.
This is not the first time Suarez finds himself banned for biting. The first incident took place in 2010 when he was playing for Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam. He was suspended for seven matches for biting an opponent, and later was sold to English club Liverpool.
Before leaving for Liverpool, Suarez had apologised for the incident and vowed to display better behaviour. But his words meant little as in 2013 Suárez was caught on video, missed again by the referee, biting Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea.
The shameful incident earned him a 10-game ban and the three-member disciplinary panel made a point to criticize Suarez for not appreciating the "seriousness" of his actions.
Suarez also racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra during a Premier League match and was banned for eight matches and fined 40,000 pounds.
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