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World Cup over for Suarez after record ban for biting

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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World Cup over for Suarez after record ban for biting | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

World Cup over for Suarez after record ban for biting
Reuters / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Uruguay’s Luis Suarez was hit with the biggest ban imposed at a World Cup on Thursday as FIFA threw the book at one of soccer’s most talented but controversial players for biting an opponent.

The sport’s governing body suspended Suarez from all football-related activity for four months and ruled he could not play in Uruguay’s next nine competitive games, meaning he is unlikely to appear in non-friendly matches for his country until 2016.

The ruling ended Suarez’s World Cup and his lucrative off-field sponsorships are now in doubt.

“Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch, and in particular not at a FIFA World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field,” Claudio Sulser, chairman of the Disciplinary Committee, said.

The four-month ban means Suarez will have to sit out the first two months of the next English season and he will miss Liverpool’s opening Premier League and Champions League matches.

The 27-year-old striker must immediately leave his Uruguay team mates who are preparing for a World Cup last-16 match against Colombia on Saturday.

FIFA also fined Suarez 100,000 Swiss francs (65,221.80 pounds) after 10 hours of deliberations by its independent Disciplinary Committee.

The Uruguayan FA will appeal against the ruling, but Suarez cannot play even if a challenge is lodged. The imposition of the fine could be delayed pending the appeal.

Suarez is one of the most gifted players in world football, scoring 31 league goals in 33 games for Liverpool last season.

He returned from a month on the sidelines with an injury to score twice in Uruguay’s 2-1 win over England last week, transforming the team’s World Cup which began with a loss to Costa Rica in a game Suarez missed through injury.

But he is also one of the game’s most troubled players and has been banned twice previously for biting opponents.

Former Brazil striker Ronaldo had no sympathy.

“Football must set an example and show examples of good players,” he told reporters. “People who are out of line must be punished.

“If my little children bit me, they are sent to the dark room with the big bad wolf. This is football’s equivalent.”

Suarez will not be able to train or attend matches with Liverpool until late October, a huge blow to their domestic and European ambitions.

“Liverpool Football Club will wait until we have seen and had time to review the FIFA Disciplinary Committee report before making any further comment,” Liverpool chief executive officer Ian Ayre said on the club’s website.

RECORD BAN

Although FIFA has banned many players for life and issued other lengthy playing bans, this is the record punishment imposed for wrongdoing at the World Cup, surpassing the eight-game ban handed to Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for breaking the nose of Spain’s Luis Enrique in 1994

As well as the biting cases, Suarez was banned for one match at the last World Cup in South Africa for a deliberate handball that cost Ghana a match-winning goal in a quarter-final.

The latest incident occurred in the tense final minutes of Uruguay’s last Group D match against Italy, shortly before the South American champions scored to seal a 1-0 win and knock Italy out of the tournament.

Suarez clashed with Giorgio Chiellini and the defender pulled open his shirt to show the mark to the referee, who took no action.

Reuters photographs show what FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee accepted were bite marks on Chiellini’s shoulder. Pictures also showed Suarez sitting on the ground holding his teeth.

IMMEDIATE IMPACT

The ruling may have long-term repercussions for Suarez off the pitch. His sponsors had said they would decide on their relationship once the outcome of the investigation was known.

German sportswear firm Adidas stopped short on Thursday of axing Suarez but said it would not use him in any further World Cup marketing.

“Adidas certainly does not condone Luis Suarez’s recent behaviour and we will again be reminding him of the high standards we expect from our players,” a spokeswoman said.

Suarez’s value in the transfer market, estimated to be at least 50 million pounds, could also be affected should Liverpool decide to sell him.

He served a 10-match ban 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.

The other major controversy of his career came in 2011 when he was alleged to have racially abused Manchester United’s French defender Patrice Evra during a Premier League match.

He was banned for eight matches and fined 40,000 pounds for that and was then handed a further one-match ban for making a gesture at Fulham fans. When Liverpool played United in the return match he refused to shake Evra’s hand before the game.

— 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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