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Nigel Owens Has Some Very Strong Words For Luis Suarez

Nigel Owens Has Some Very Strong Words For Luis Suarez
By Ben Kiely
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International rugby icon Nigel Owens' World Cup column is back! This time the Welshman had some pretty strong views on the alleged Luis Suarez biting incident.

The way Suarez allegedly bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini looked a little like the way a dog would go after a bone. And if my dog had done that he would be put down.

Good grief! Owens did go on to explain that he wouldn’t be actively seeking the death penalty for the Uruguayan. The Welsh referee maintained that the incident would have been handled a lot better if it happened in a rugby match.

If the Suarez incident had happened on the rugby pitch, the Italian captain could have asked the referee to study the footage and the Uruguayan could have been sent off, immediately placing his team at a disadvantage and preventing him from affecting the game further.


However, Owens proclaimed that this system of reviewing possible offences may not be the best option for football or even rugby, where it is already being implemented. He cited how going to the TMO for every little complaint by a player would slow down the pace of the game.

He added that allowing players to ask the referee an unlimited number of times to consult the TMO would aslo pressurise referees into checking minor incidents to avoid potentially being castigated by the media. He suggested a very progressive alternative, which is similar to the challenge rule in professional tennis.


My solution in both rugby and football would be to allow players to ask officials to study footage once during a game. If the grievance is proved to be genuine then they can ask again, if not, then the avenue is closed to them for the rest of the match. That would prevent players persistently trying it on which would inevitably lead to too much disruption.

The Welshman also had some wacky ideas on how rule changes could allow referees in football to command more respect from players.

Firstly, the referees should wear microphones so we can all hear exactly what is being said.

Secondly, moving a free-kick forward 10 metres for dissent would also work well. If that means a move into the penalty box then a free-kick should become a penalty. Radical? Sure. But watch players pipe down at that prospect.

Radical suggestions indeed, but perhaps he’s on to something.

Hat tip: Wales Online

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