Unless you’ve been hiding under a Brazil-sized rock, you’ll have noticed that there’s a bit of ‘footy’ being played and its called the World Cup. Similarly, you’d have had to be in a coma in the past few days not to have heard about Uruguay’s star soccer player, Luis Suarez, biting an Italian player in their last match. The news is everywhere from prime time TV to Instagram; indeed there are Amazonian tribes as yet to be touched by modernity that have been doing cave drawings depicting the event.
In case you missed the news, here’s the brief rundown: Luis Suarez bit Georgio Chiellini when last the two teams met, and this happens to be the third time Suarez has been caught biting another player. Again photography has found itself in the middle of a soccer controversy.
There’s been a lot of debate about appropriate punishment for Suarez, a decision FIFA felt pressured to arrive at quickly, and which they have now done. Suarez is to be banned from the remainder of the World Cup for starters, then suspended for 4 months from all professional football activity including admin, and fined. That’s all well and good, but what does this have to do with photography? Well, a bit, actually.
Some controversy has arisen amidst the fact the bite was caught on camera instead of by the eye of the referees, and now the Suarez camp, which includes the Uruguayan Football Association, desperately reaching for explanations for damage control, has dropped the ‘P’ word. That’s ‘Photoshop,’ in case there was a doubt. According to The Guardian, though it’s certainly not my choice for news, the Uruguayan FA is claiming that the images of the bite mark have been Photoshopped to look worse that they are. Not really the argument I would’ve gone with, and not particularly believable.