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Suarez faces another ban after biting Italian defender

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Suarez faces another ban after biting Italian defender | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Suarez faces another ban after biting Italian defender
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Uruguay striker Luis Suarez looks almost certain to be banned from the World Cup for the second successive tournament after he bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during his team’s 1-0 win on Tuesday.

FIFA is investigating the incident which has become a worldwide talking point and Suarez, twice previously banned for biting, looks likely to be hit with another lengthy suspension despite escaping punishment during the match.

“We are awaiting the official match reports and will gather all the necessary elements in order to evaluate the matter,” a FIFA spokesperson said.

Suarez and Chiellini clashed in the Italian penalty area 10 minutes from the end of the match which sealed Uruguay’s progression and Italy’s elimination from the tournament.

Chiellini furiously pulled open his shirt to show the mark to the referee.

Reuters photographs show what appeared to be bite marks on his shoulder and pictures also showed Suarez sitting on the ground holding his teeth immediately after the incident.

The Italians were still complaining about it when Uruguay’s Diego Godin scored with an 81st-minute header to secure a 1-0 win that sent them into the second round and eliminated Italy.

“It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off,” Chiellini told Rai TV.

“It is clear, clear-cut and then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn’t have done.”

Suarez said the incident was just part of the rough and tumble of the game.

“Those are situations that happen on the pitch. We were both just there inside the area. He shoved me with his shoulder, and my eye got left like that also,” he said in reference to Chiellini’s mark.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez did not see it.

“I’d like to see the images,” he told a news conference.

“I didn’t see that. And if it happened the referee probably didn’t see it. So no I don’t have any more comments to make. We had more important things than this in a football match.”

10-GAME BAN

Liverpool’s Suarez was banned for 10 games last year after biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match and in 2010 he was suspended for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax Amsterdam.

He missed Uruguay’s World Cup semi-final against the Netherlands four years ago after being sent for a handball on the line that denied Ghana what would have been a match-winning goal in the final minute of extra time in a quarter-final match.

He was sent off for that incident and although he was not cautioned by the referee on Tuesday, FIFA’s rules allow the use of video or “any other evidence” to retrospectively punish players.

FIFA’s disciplinary code sets a maximum ban of 24 matches or two years, but the longest suspension FIFA has imposed for an offence in the World Cup was eight games for Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for breaking Spain’s Luis Enrique’s nose in 1994 with an elbow.

Uruguay could potentially play four more games in the tournament and it would be a surprise if Suarez were to be given a ban of a shorter duration.

“I have watched the incident several times on television,” FIFA executive committee member Jim Boyce told Reuters. “There is no doubt Luis Suarez is a fantastic footballer but once again his actions have left him open to severe criticism.

“FIFA must investigate the incident seriously and take whatever disciplinary action is deemed necessary.” Another FIFA executive committee member, Michel D’Hooghe of Belgium, who is also the head of FIFA’s medical committee, told reporters he had not seen the incident.

“We would await a medical report if it was deemed necessary given the nature of the incident,” he said.

“But whatever, it is very, very sad for everybody who loves football.”

His latest indiscretion sent the world’s social media into meltdown and within minutes of the match ending #Suarez was the top trending hash tag on Twitter.

A tweet from former Liverpool striker Michael Owen was typical of a wave of reaction from former players and pundits: “Tell me I’m seeing things. Surely Suarez didn’t bite someone again?,” he wrote.

“I’m genuinely gutted. I love watching him play more than any other player but he obviously can’t control himself.”

Suarez, England’s Footballer of the Year, scored both goals in Uruguay’s 2-1 victory over England having missed the opening match against Costa Rica as he recovered from knee surgery and until the incident had kept control of his temper during a bruising game.

Italy, who needed only a draw to progress, looked comfortable until they had Claudio Marchisio sent off for a foul on Egidio Arevalo Rios after an hour.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Tourism

Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp”

Tim Newton

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Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp” | Thaiger
PHOTO: The monsoon waves are starting to hit Phuket's west coast

Thailand’s Sports and Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is acknowledging that Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ model for a no-quarantine re-opening in July will need “a major revamp”. As the Songkran travel bubble bursts and the monsoon season waves start to roll onto the island’s west coast beaches, Phuket’s scheduled July re-boot suddenly seems a long way off.

Minister Phiphat says he plans to meet with “all related agencies” this week. Apart from the latest national re-surge in new infections, Phuket has been unable to get its hands on sufficient vaccines to meed its deadline of 70% of the island vaccinated by July 1. Thailand’s limited supplies of the vaccine – including some 930,000 doses designated for Phuket – are being rerouted to other provinces as the government prioritises the limited supply.

“We are all concerned about the reopening timeline,” he was quoted in Bangkok Post.

But the Minister did acknowledge that, if the 70% vaccination level couldn’t be met, they may consider opening some areas of the island. Exactly how that would work hasn’t been revealed at this stage.

The minister also brought up the ongoing travel bubble negotiations and says he hadn’t heard back from some of the candidates with their reaction to the current outbreak.

Flights in and out of Phuket Airport’s international terminal have been extremely patchy and the flights from feeder tourist markets will need to co-operate with any re-opening plans.

Phuket, whilst suffering a rise in new infections, hasn’t been hit as hard as some of the other popular holiday provinces, like Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin).

This year’s Songkran was going to be a major stepping stone for the island’s recovery and many hotels, some who had opened especially to cater for Songkran holiday traffic, noted a lot of cancellations just prior to the break.

But some island hotels have still reported high occupancy rates over the past week. One Manager, who did not want his name published, said that their hotel was almost full with Thai patrons, most who had pre-paid for their flights and accommodation and decided to go ahead anyway.

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, the president of the Phuket Tourist Association, says that they are opposed to any lockdown as it would cripple the island, with its tourist businesses already suffering greatly. He stated that 15% of people cancelled their Songkran bookings, while 30% had postponed their trips.

The Sports and Tourism Ministers is still in quarantine after having close contact with Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 2 weeks ago.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and Kolour events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions

Tim Newton

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Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | Thaiger

Three of Thailand’s biggest expat areas are seeing sharp rises in new infections, partly from pre-Songkran traffic. The Songkran holidays, now officially over (but will see many people taking today off and making a weekend Songkran extension), and the government says they are expecting to see a rise in the cases numbers reported in the popular holiday locations.

Chon Buri Public Health office says they now have a total of 910 infections since April 1. They have 103 new cases in the past 24 hours. Most new cases are in Bang Lamung district which includes Pattaya City with 47, Siracha with 12) & Chon buri City with 8.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile Phuket has a total of 142 infections recorded on the island with the Governor still insisting there will be no need for a lockdown. Here’s a breakdown of the areas and the numbers of recorded infections so far (below).

Governor Narong announced that the Phuket Infectious Disease Control Committee won’t be implementing an official lockdown, but will “strictly raise the intensity of public health measures to counter the spread of Covid-19″.

“Everyone should wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently and install the Mor Chana app (available for free from App Store and Google Play Store).”

A meeting of the CCSA, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to upgrade restrictions in red zone areas around the country, which includes Phuket and Pattaya. Read more about the latest red and orange zones HERE.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

For Hua Hin expats, there’s been 100 new Covid-19 infections announced in Prachuap Khiri Khan in the past 24 hours, 75 cases from Hua Hin. This takes the total in the province since April 1 to 625. Hua Hin accounts for nearly 90% of the district’s total cases.

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