Suarez is a filthy cheat but Bale should be protected?

The moment the supremely accomplished British footballer Gareth Bale falls over an imaginary leg during a match, it sparks outbreaks of copycat behaviour right across the land.



Not on our football pitches, but in the nation’s television studios and press boxes as pundits trip over themselves, too, in a desperate hunt to find excuses for the player’s behaviour.

Rather than condemn Bale as  a cheat and a diver, every euphemism in the lexicon of Footballspeak is dutifully offered up in an attempt to excuse his deeds.

Accordingly, we are informed that the Spurs player:
a) Goes down easily.
b) Travels at such speed the slightest contact can affect him.
c) Is often merely trying to avoid injury.
d) Has an inner ear infection that causes him to lose his balance.
e) Was momentarily caught out by the rotation of the Earth.

The ITV pundits examining Tottenham Hotspur’s victory over Inter Milan called on a selection of these alibis, but the remarks essentially amounted to little more than an admission that while Bale might be a diver, nobody wanted to call him a cheat out loud because he’s a pleasant lad and he scores marvellous goals.

But no such courtesies are accorded to Uruguayan Luis Suarez. When he tumbles over nothing and waves his arms about appealing for a foul, he’s slated as a cheat. Not with any subtlety, either, but in great big headlines usually proceeded by the word ‘filthy’ and followed by an exclamation mark.



It is a lousy argument. Suarez isn’t doing anything different to Bale. There is no ‘cultural divide’ on diving. Even if Bale dispatches himself over an invisible boot and forms a very British queue of one in front of the official to politely insist a molecule of air brushed his ankle and caused his personage to topple over, it is still cheating.

Bale, however, continues to try his luck and the patience of officials.

His yellow card in the Europa League tie against Inter was the sixth he has collected for diving in the past 15 months and the fourth this season.

I doubt there has been a player in the game that has had half a dozen cautions for ‘simulation’ in that space of time, not even Cristiano Ronaldo during his formative ‘showpony’ years.

But Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas admitted he was pleased Bale was booked. This meant he was clear of cautions for the competition’s latter stages, and he added: ‘With this result we would have asked him to get the yellow card to be clean and ready for the last eight.’

Yes, the manager was glad his player cheated.

Read the entire article Why is Suarez the ‘filthy’ arch-villain yet Bale is protected? We choose to vilify the foreigner, but a cheat is a cheat…

Luis Suárez treated more harshly than Gareth Bale – Brendan Rodgers



Brendan Rodgers believes Luis Suárez has made a conscious decision to improve his image but continues to receive disproportionate criticism compared with British players, including Gareth Bale.

Bale, who faces Liverpool with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, was booked for simulation for the fourth time this season on Thursday when hooking his leg around Walter Gargano during the 3-0 Europa League win over Internazionale. Suárez has also been booked for diving this season, at Sunderland, and admitted to trying to win a penalty against Stoke City in October, earning a rebuke from Rodgers, who had previously defended him.

The Liverpool manager, however, believes the reaction to Bale’s latest indiscretion demonstrates the contrast with Suárez as the two player of the year contenders prepare to meet at Anfield. Rodgers said: “It [Bale’s booking] wasn’t even mentioned today. I know if that had been Luis I would have been sat there answering questions on it for about half an hour. That’s why I defend Luis.

“Luis has tried to change but because he is a foreign player he gets labelled more. If a British player does it, we would maybe laugh about it. He is trying to turn around his life and adapt to the culture.


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