by Daisy Cutter

Luis Suarez is a cheat and a diver of global renown. He is also an extravagantly gifted footballer and seeing a player capable of the sublime instead opt to dramatically hurl himself to the ground can often be a source of great frustration, like Cezanne discarding his watercolours and getting out a box of crayons.

However, although these traits directly conflict on a moral scale it is perfectly possible to distinguish between the two simply because they are so vastly different. One is a man’s glory, the other his failings, and even if this were not the case surely we do not see the world in such singular fashion that we believe that a human can only be one thing alone? A burglar may be otherwise charming and help old ladies across the street. Someone who is cruel to animals might be witty and erudite, quoting Jung at dinner parties.

As Walt Whitman once said ‘I am large. I contain multitudes’ and that capacity to hold contrasting habits and thoughts, attributes and flaws, can be extended to us all.

It does not require a degree in behavioural studies to separate the light and shade of any given individual or – crucially to the point I’m attempting to make here – to identify which is being displayed at any given time.

Admittedly one may colour the other which is why some people struggle to enjoy the films of Tom Cruise due to their distrust of his views on Scientology but every man, woman and drooling simpleton knows when he is being Ethan Hunt and when he is standing at a lectern pontificating on aliens.

If this were not straightforward enough what makes it even easier to determine when Luis Suarez is being a cheat and a diver and when he is displaying his God-given talent with a ball at his feet – when he’s up to no good and when he’s being denied the opportunity to produce the goods – is the fact that the Uruguayan is so startlingly bad at the former.

When he cheats he throws out both hands volleyball-style on a goal-line to deprive Ghana of a deserved World Cup semi-final spot. When he dives it’s exaggerated to the realms of comedy, his head thrashed backwards, teeth exposed, like a mule gasping for a final breath in quicksand. There is no trace of subtlety and each whip back of his leading leg and pained freefall should be accompanied by flashing sirens such is their blatancy. Suarez is not a criminal mastermind blessed with cunning and sly deceit. His villainy is writ large in cartoon transparency.

When the temptation to err gets the better of his footballing instincts it is the true definition of the sublime to the ridiculous.

For top class referees to not be able to determine between the sublime and the ridiculous is extremely disconcerting but that is something we are witnessing with increasing regularity this season. Suarez gets bundled over, tripped or impeded and the official waves play on. Why do these injustices occur? Because – we are told at least – that the Liverpool striker’s reputation precedes him.

The explanation is offered whole. As if that somehow suffices.

Yet if a player’s reputation is now considered enough to directly effect decisions rather than simply colouring them then a match between Manchester United and Marseille would see Joey Barton sent off and Paul Scholes awarded with the man of the match champagne before a whistle has been blown. Indeed on current form Liverpool would find themselves starting each game a goal down because Reina is in the starting XI.

Why then has Luis Suerez been singled out as the sole fall guy for a new secretly-implemented draconian law that imparts judgement administered entirely on the person’s character rather than his actions?

Because that is what is happening presently. An official is not just being influenced by Suarez’s propensity to dive – an understandable consideration: he is making decisions based wholly on it, and in doing so ignoring the clear evidence to the contrary that is happening right under his nose. And that’s not just wrong. It’s disgraceful and disturbing.

At Carrow Road on Saturday the striker found himself through on goal with only John Ruddy to beat. His chasing marker Leon Barnett attempted to rectify being caught hopelessly out of position by shoving Suerez in the back before committing a virtual karate chop with his elbow for good measure. It was the kind of challenge that usually sees an empty wallet splayed on the pavement and an appeal for eyewitnesses. It was, in short, an assault.

Many times since Suarez arrived in the Premier League he has endured decisions go against him. Sometimes rightly, sometimes wrongly. On each occasion he has reacted by pounding the turf in frustration like a petulant toddler demanding sweets on a supermarket floor. This time there was only a long laugh of disbelief, such was the farcical refusal of Mike Jones to point at the penalty spot.

It is hoped that the incident will be discussed in-house at the F.A. It is hoped that other top flight officials watching on Match of the Day were jolted by what they saw. Because if this persecution based on the man rather than the play is allowed to fester and continue then something fundamentally good in the game will be forever lost.

Not for the first time – but certainly with the novelty of the player being entirely the good guy – we need to talk about Luis.