Regardless of where you stand on the subject of Luis Suarez's mega-ban for biting Giorgi Chiellini in the middle of an already exciting World Cup, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would disagree with the theory that FIFA are probably making up most of their post-verdict statements on the subject as they go along. Every time a new question arises as to the exact nature of the ban, the answers from football's governing body seem woefully inadequate at best or absolutely laughable and unenforceable at worst.
Last week, FIFA clarified that although Suarez had been banned from all "activity related to football" this in fact did not preclude activity related to football such as going for a medical at another club nor eventually transferring to said club should all involved parties come to a mutual agreement. The murkiness of what constituted "activity related to football" saw the BBC reach out to FIFA, the FA and the PFA in England, and FIFPro with a series of scenarios as to what, in their expert opinions, might constitute "activity related to football."
"We agree that the sanction lacks clarity," said an unnamed FIFPro spokesman after receiving the BBC's query. "The concept of being banned from all football-related activities is not defined."
FIFA did not respond to the BBC, possibly because they still need time to develop answers to situations they had not yet considered. The PFA provided their own interpretation of the ban conditions; unsurprisingly, any and all official club business is absolutely off the table for Suarez, including any club charity work. While it became immediately clear that Suarez wasn't allowed to step foot inside a stadium to watch any kind of professional football match, the PFA believe the ban extends to attending school football matches and even non-league games, putting any hopes Suarez had at catching up with Nantwich Town FC next season in peril.
The more important question is: what can he do? Lots, according to the PFA!
- Give media interviews. Oh. Good.
- Play football with his children or friends. After dinner kickabouts with Delfina and Seba are safe.
- Attend amateur football games as long as it is not in a stadium. The odds of Suarez bearing witness to five-on-five matches in Sefton Park just got a whole lot bigger for local Scousers.
- Play football on a games console. Jose Enrique personally contacted FIFA regarding this particular issue.
To be clear, this is just the PFA's interpretation. FIFA could very well come back with a very detailed list of "activity related to football" definitions completely at odds with the PFA's own list, if they even provide further clarification at all. Given the unlikelihood of FIFA providing swift explanation as to the exact nature of the ban, one silver lining to Suarez's apparently imminent sale to Barcelona is that this may quickly become someone else's problem to worry about.