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With Luis Suarez having been fined and banned for four months from any football related activity by FIFA after his unbelievable third biting offence.

Should Liverpool cut their losses and get rid of their star player as soon as possible, or weather the storm of this latest indiscretion?

The Luis Suarez saga: What should Liverpool do now?Pre-season hasn’t even started yet, but Liverpool find themselves without their star player, Luis Suarez, for their first twelve competitive games of what is a hugely important season in terms of the growth and development of this squad.

The reason? Not injury, as one might have expected, but a moment of such unsportsmanlike conduct that even the 2014 FIFA World Cup had taken a back seat over the past couple of days. The Uruguayan striker inexplicably bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, after he had simply done his job by blocking off the run of Suarez. Another rush of blood to the head, and Suarez justifiably finds himself being public enemy number one.

The most concerning fact about all of this is that it is the third time. Not the third time that Suarez has been disciplined by the footballing authorities, but the third time he has bit a player on the playing field. Without even taking the accusations of racism leveled at him in account, his disciplinary record is shocking. But where does this leave Liverpool as a football club now? After his first high-profile biting incident against Chelsea, when right-back Branislav Ivanovic was the victim of this mindless behavior, Liverpool stood by him, defended him as much as they could, and tried to help him in any way possible. They certainly damaged their reputation among some football fans due to this, and their staunch defence of him during the investigation into claims of racism had already put Liverpool in a bad light. Despite this, prominent figures such as Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers were staunch in their defence of Suarez, and he seemed to have paid their faith back this past season.

The 2013/2014 season was one of massive highs for Liverpool, and at the forefront of this success was Luis Suarez. After returning from his ten-match ban for the aforementioned biting infraction, he took the Premier League by storm, equaling the record of goals scored in a single season. More importantly, he kept himself out of trouble, which seemed to justify all the faith shown in him. The 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil was surely a further opportunity for the brilliant striker to make his name for the right reasons, and he certainly lived up to the hype. After his participation was put into doubt due to a knee injury, his hard work and dedication enabled him to come back and put in a man-of-the-match performance against England, single-handedly knocking out the country of his employ in a do-or-die match. Next came Italy, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Liverpool have a right to feel hard done by. When he was punished on prior occasions while playing club football, Uruguay were not included in any bans. However, with this latest incident while on international duty, FIFA brought down the cosh on Suarez, and thus hurt the Reds and their future aspirations. Justified or not, FIFA tried to make an example of Suarez to restore some of their own credibility, and ended up punishing Liverpool just as badly as the Uruguayan national team. Fans are enraged, because they feel that Suarez has taken their trust, loyalty and support, and threw it all away. FIFA have confirmed that the ban does not extend to transfer activity, and the majority of Liverpool fans have made it abundantly clear that he should be sold for damaging the name of their beloved club.

The problem now becomes whether there would be a willing buyer. Barcelona and Real Madrid are reported to still be interested in Suarez, despite his ban, but they obviously would not offer the same kind of fee that the Uruguayan striker would have demanded before the biting scandal. Liverpool are sitting with a player on their books earning huge wages while not being able to even step foot in a football stadium, which makes it more and more likely that the club will cut their losses and cut ties with their controversial star. A swap deal perhaps with Barcelona for Alexis Sanchez or Pedro? The same type of agreement with Real Madrid for someone like Angel di Maria? Liverpool have to take what they can get, before running the risk of alienating their support base.

But what if the club once again decides to stand by Luis Suarez? What if Brendan Rodgers and company feel that the striker is of such importance to the future success of the club that they cannot sell him unless a world record transfer offer comes in? This would be like letting Suarez off with simply a rap on his knuckles. After all his mistakes, it is time for Liverpool to make a moral statement by letting Suarez go even if he still has a lot to offer on the pitch in order to keep their dignity intact. Otherwise the men at Anfield run the risk of drawing the ire of the entire footballing world, as the Uruguayan national team have been doing, by blindly denying any wrongdoing by the player despite it being clear as day.

Sometimes tough decisions need to be made, and it is time for Liverpool Football Club to step up to the plate and discard a flawed genius who has taken things too far once again.

Originally published at thesportsbreakfast.co.uk

Post written by Marco Conradie
Blog: thesportsbreakfast.co.uk, Twitter: @MarcoConradie10

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