FIFA have done Liverpool a favour so they can sell

World Cup heaven and hell
World Cup heaven and hell
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Somewhere a cow must have had its bottom royally smacked by Frank Lampard after it turned out FIFA were capable of dealing with something quickly and properly after all, writes Derek Bish.

The teeth marks may be vanishing from Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder, but the fall-out keeps coming as Liverpool — particularly their fans — plead to be the victim.

It’s almost as if Suarez had never bit anyone before they signed him (for anyone who doesn’t know, he had).

If anything, FIFA have done Liverpool a favour by keeping his ban from all football down to just four months.

Anything up to a two-year ban was reportedly on the table and, had FIFA imposed that, Liverpool really would have been up the creek without a paddle and no hope of selling him to Barcelona.

Instead, they can expect their bank account to be 
swollen with upwards of £40million and their squad with one of the World Cup’s star performers in Alexis Sanchez.

Chile’s Sanchez may have been one of the stars, but he won’t be in the last eight after another thrilling game that almost ended the hosts.

Instead, we can look forward to the brilliance of Brazil’s Neymar, Colombia’s Rodriguez, France’s Pogba, Germany’s Muller, Argentina’s Messi, Belgium’s Origi (Hazard hasn’t done it yet), Holland’s Robben and — bizarrely, considering his Fulham failure — Costa Rica’s Bryan Ruiz.

I picked Argentina at the start to win the World Cup and I’m going to stick with that, but Colombia have been the most impressive team in the tournament — my new favourite side — and I could see them becoming the eighth country to become world champions.

And that’s all without star man Radamel Falcao.

Just when you thought it was safe to go on the pitch

In every World Cup there has to be a story that goes beyond the sports pages so even us non-sporting types notice it — this year it was The Bite, writes John Henderson.

Luis Suarez has now apologised for doing something a child behavioural expert told the Today programme you expect children to grow out of by the time they are two.

It spawned some very funny comment on social media, some of which suggests some people don’t have enough work to do.

The person who swapped Suarez for the shark in the Jaws ‘we need a bigger boat’ scene must have spent hours doing it.

On a similar theme, I liked Greenpeace using The Bite to promote sealife conservation by claiming you were more likely to get bitten by Suarez than a shark.

In truth, a shark might have more impact on your football career, but at least it wouldn’t take the ball.

But under all the humour was an unpleasant glimpse of the partisan side of football.

The Uruguayans reacted, not with shame, but with excuses — they even tried to blame his ban on the British press.

Who are they kidding? FIFA has taken scant notice of press campaigns about corruption or the suitability of Qatar as a venue, so why should they comply over this?

The sad fact is that there are too many football supporters who take the attitude that if someone plays well for their side, bad character on or off the pitch is irrelevant.

The views expressed are often along the lines of ‘true, he’s personally ethnically cleansed 10,000 children, but look at the three goals he scored on Saturday’.

If someone does wrong, they must be disciplined and their supporters must accept the disgrace and shut up.