Barnes: Suarez gets a rough deal

27 September 2012 08:50

John Barnes thinks Luis Suarez's integrity would never be questioned if he played outside the Barclays Premier League.

The debate over whether Suarez goes down too easily resurfaced again last weekend when the player was denied a penalty in the Reds' 2-1 defeat against Manchester United.

"The diving tag is unfair on him. He is no different to anyone else in world football who plays up front," said Barnes, an analyst for ESPN.

"He twists and turns at ridiculous angles and he very often falls over.

"Even if there is no-one there around him he is going to fall over because no-one can twist like him and stand up.

"I don't see diving. Sometimes you look to gain an advantage. This is the way modern football is. It changed when the modern laws came in to protect the player. That has allowed players to look for an advantage."

Perhaps the most controversial defence from Barnes is that British football fans are almost obsessed with the idea of hounding players who are branded as divers.

"It (diving) has never been an issue in South America, Italy or Spain," Barnes added.

"In other countries players are not judged from a moral point of view, but that is the case in England because we are English and we are morally correct, we are the moral policemen of the world."

He added: "Foreign defenders don't brand other players cheats. They just look at it and say 'you tried it on but it didn't work' Your moral judgement and compass isn't brought in to question."

Source: PA

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