Illustration credits: Saumya Kumar

Would you have ever bet that a player in the Football World Cup will bite another player? Would you? If so, how much money would you bet? Would you bet 2000 Euros? A man in Sweden did just that. He predicted, based on past occurrences of course, that Luis Suarez will bite a player in Brazil.  So in the 80th minute of Uruguay’s match against Italy, when the said biting actually occurred, about 150 people from Norway made some money. Poor Georgio Chiellini. I am willing to bet that getting bitten was not on his agenda for Brazil! The Dailymail of the UK, on its website, says that about 3.6 million viewers switched from the England versus Costa Rica match to watch the replays of the “Suarez Biting Incident”. Mind you, we are taking about English in the UK while watching the England match! Wow!

Back in 2006, I remember sleepily watching the Final, when Zidane’s unexpected headbutt during extra time woke me up. It came as a shock to me that one of the most brilliant players this game has ever seen had to be sent off like that in his final Football World Cup match. The latest ‘biting incident’ however, had me in splits. What also made the rest of the world laugh was how the internet reacted to the incident. We saw everything from funny Facebook and Twitter updates, thousands of memes to finally, people making money. It was like a flashback to 2006 when the headbutt game popped up and went viral on the internet.

The bite however, has not come without consequence. This is the third time Luiz Suarez has bitten a player in his career. The first was when he played for Ajax in 2010 and the second was as a Liverpool player in 2013. The latest FIFA imposed nine match, four month ban coupled with a fine, is definitely not his first and will impact Liverpool severely, not to mention his Uruguayan side that was subsequently knocked out of the World Cup after falling tamely to Columbia 0-2.

Maybe this will teach the erstwhile ‘Cannibal of Ajax’ to, well, keep his teeth to himself. Maybe.

As ridiculous as it may seem, people have bet on the terms of punishment too. One very funny bet that caught my attention this time was the ‘Beachball’ bet. You can read more about it, here. Yes, people are actually betting if an innocent Beachball will disrupt play by landing on the field! Well, after witnessing Mr. Suarez’s penchant for biting opponent players, nothing really surprises me anymore. Not one darn thing!

Gopalakrishnan R
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