El World Cup Diario, Day 14: No story to see here, move along

Nick Harper discusses the fallout from the big story about you-know-who and you-know-what that definitely, absolutely, categorically is not a story...

To paraphrase the hilarious old saying about insanity in the workplace, it seems you don't have to be deluded, myopic and borderline psychotic to be a Uruguayan, but it helps.

We refer, of course, to the ongoing adventures of loveable Luis Suarez, the game's biggest, most belligerent b*****d.

Now it's important to say straight off that El Diario isn't against fisticuffs in football. To be frank, that's been the only thing missing from these finals – an outbreak of nonsense to lower the tone a little. Life is light and shade, after all, and often it's the Dark Arts we admire the most; The Battle of Santiago, Claudio Gentile's entire career, and even the comic capers of that Croatia-Australia game in 2006.

But you have to draw the line somewhere. And to all right-minded people, biting the flesh of another human being sits on the wrong side of somewhere.

It's probably legally important at this stage to say that Luis Suarez may not have actually bitten Giorgio Chiellini the other night, but we've all seen the footage and we know what we saw. Only, based on all the noises being made yesterday by almost everyone from Uruguay, it seems we are wrong. There is no story. Repeat: No Story. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Suarez himself had already said as much. "These things happen on the pitch and there's no reason to make a story out of it," he mumbled straight after Tuesday's game.

Today, his team-mates, colleagues and cohorts rallied round him and attempted to bury the story. "Did you see it today or did you see what happened in other years?" asked his captain, Diego Lugano. "You couldn't have seen it today because nothing happened."

The Uruguayan FA weighed in, suggesting the bite marks on Chiellini's shoulder had been Photoshopped to make them appear more savage than they were. And the collective Uruguayan media claimed the story is just a giant English conspiracy, blown up to conceal the fact that we aren't very good at football.

They have a pretty water-tight argument there, but they ruined it by then suggesting that we only won the World Cup in 1966 because of that goal that didn't cross the line. Actually, they have a point with that as well, but what it's got to do with this story is anyone's guess.

Luckily, the rest of the world's media saw things very differently and are as outraged as the English. Germany's Bild described it as a "crazy biting attack" from "football's vampire", which is apt given the man who didn't send Suarez off goes by the nickname 'Dracula'. Switzerland's Blick screamed: "Incredible: Cannibal Suarez strikes again", while Belgium's Het Laaste Nieuws described it as "the tooth of God".

FIFA's disciplinary division opened an enquiry and vowed to act fast. They even wheeled out the marvellously named Martin Hong of the Hong Kong FA to explain that no stone would be left unturned. But they too were wasting their time, because there really is no story here.

"We don't have any doubts that this has happened because it's Suarez," said Alejandro Balbi, Uruguay's slick lawyer, and neither do we, but not in the way he means. "There is a possibility that they ban him, because there are precedents," he added, amid talk of it being a ban of anything up to two years. "But we're convinced that it was an absolutely casual play. We’re going to use all the arguments possible so that Luis gets out in the best possible way."

With that, he went off to deliver The Defence Dossier to Mr Hong of Hong Kong, who was probably up half the night and may well have announced his ruling by the time you read this.

In some ways it's a pity the final decision wasn't being made by former defender Danny Mills, for he offered some very strident views. "I'm sorry but they have got to throw him up in jail and lock him up forever," screamed the voice of reason. Forever, if not even longer, although the whispers suggest it'll be six games.

More news! (may contain traces of Suarez)

Now you'd be forgiven for thinking that Day 14 of The World Cup had been cancelled yesterday, given the attention Suarez-gate received, but it wasn't. Some other stuff did happen.

A Norwegian man apparently won £500 from a £3 wager he'd had on Suarez biting someone at some point during this World Cup, which should probably have gone in the first section rather than this, but never mind.

The Italian inquest into the Azzurri's exit saw the finger of blame point not at Luis Suarez but at the rubber-lipped Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. We learned that Jagger had told 70,000 fans at a concert in Rome very recently that Italy would beat Uruguay, only to be proven wrong. He previously told a large number of Portuguese fans that Portugal would win the World Cup, which won't happen, and ahead of the Uruguay defeat he tweeted, "Let's go England! This is the one to win!"

It turns out the Brazilians have been observing Jagger for some time and now refer to his penchant for backing the wrong team as "pe frio", meaning bad luck.

Elsewhere, England's heroes apparently arrived back at some airport or other today, bringing an end to their terrific World Cup Adventure. But hey, if a plane lands at an empty airport and there's no one there to see it, does the plane really land?

Anyway, finally, amid all the accusations and investigations, some football apparently took place. And like so much of it, it was pretty good. Argentina won, France didn't but still did, Switzerland did as well, and even Bosnia did. Sadly though, the football really wasn't the news. Not today and probably not tomorrow either.


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