New Delhi: Luis Suarez can bite a fellow player and still escaped with a ban lasting few months and some matches. But, for a player in the lower league in Switzerland, kicking a ball at the referee meant a 50-year ban.
It happened when Portugal Futebol Clube defender Ricardo Ferreira attacked the match referee after the final whistle. He was an unused substitute in the 1-0 defeat by SC Worb in the local Bern league. According to reports, Ferreira after kicking ball in the referee's face, went on to threw water as the official made his way to the tunnel.
Strangely enough, Ferreira has previously served a 45-game ban for assaulting opposition players. In such a situation, it sure looks like a habitual offender. But banning a player for half-a-century, it sure amounts to absurdity.
Reacting to the ban, Ferreira said "I had expected one or two years maximum. But 50 years? Football's my life.” However, in defence of the league's verdict, lawyer Robert Breiter said, "We do not want such a player in our league." The lawyer also reminded the player's past record. "Unfortunately we encounter such cases about once a year," added Breiter.
In fact, the ban was meant to be an indefinite one, but the league's computer system required an end date and, it was set for 50 years. If Ferreira keeps his football flame alive, he will be free to play in 2064, by which time he will be 78.