Could there be a more psychological explanation for Suarez’s latest biting incident...
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Anger management specialist David Cliff believes that Luis Suarez could be suffering from high functioning autism.
The Uruguayan striker faces a severe punishment and a lengthy ban, after appearing to bite Giorgio Chiellini during his country’s 1-0 World Cup victory over Italy.
It’s the third time the forward has been involved in such an incident, having faced similar allegations during his time with Ajax and current-club Liverpool.
But Cliff believes that the 27-year-old’s actions are unlikely to be born purely out of anger, saying: “”Biting is not necessarily an angry response, it is a primal behaviour.”
Suarez, who has been linked with transfer moves to Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid already this summer, will be waiting to learn his fate at both club and country level, with Liverpool reportedly in discussions about how best to deal with the situation.
“Biting is associated with territorial marking, power relationships, arousal, distress and sometimes even developmental issues or undiagnosed conditions such as high functioning autism,” explained Cliff. “There are many possible explanations for biting, but anger is not always high among them.”
Following his incident with Branislav Ivanovic in 2013, Suarez has worked hard to win over many of his detractors with sparking on-field displays. His efforts were rewarded with 31 Liverpool goals last season, as well as multiple Player of the Year Awards.
However, this latest moment of madness comes as little surprise to Sports psychologist Dr Thomas Fawcett, of the University of Salford, who said after the Ivanovic controversy: “”It’s in the man, I would think that within five years’ time if there was a certain nerve hit or chord rung with Suarez in a different situation he would react in the same way.”
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