By Russell Stoddart
Former Professional Footballers Association chairman Pat Nevin believes that Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has let down his fellow professionals with his "vile" approach to the game.
The Uruguayan became embroiled in fresh controversy on Sunday after he was caught by TV cameras biting the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
The former Ajax star had gone some way to mending his tarnished reputation, one that had been earned following his ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra last season, with a series of outstanding displays for his club this term and made the six-man shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year award, though Nevin does not expect him to win.
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"At least the PFA will escape the embarrassment of seeing Suarez lifting the Player of the Year award. He's got enough votes to get on the shortlist but I don't know any black players who voted for him so I very much doubt he's polled enough to win.
"It puts the PFA in a difficult situation because they are there to defend one of their members but the other party is a member, too."
The PFA has given Suarez, who was banned for seven games by the Dutch Football Association for biting then-PSV player Otman Bakkal in 2010, its support by offering the 26-year-old anger management counselling and Nevin believes that he would be foolish to turn down the gesture.
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"It raises more questions about his state of mind. What was his thought processes at the time? Was he thinking of anything? And what does this show to kids who like to copy their favourite players?
"Suarez is guilty of a vile concept of sport. Not only has he cheated but he's seen to get away with it. His handball on the line allowed Uruguay to beat Ghana in the World Cup finals in 2010 and [on Sunday] he should have been sent off but stayed on the pitch to score an injury-time equaliser."
Despite his latest misdemeanour, Nevin acknowledges that there is "no way" that Liverpool would entertain the prospect of sacking Suarez and risk losing a multi-million-pound commodity for nothing.
"I live the real world and there is no way that Liverpool will sack their most valuable property so that someone else can pick up a £30 million player for nothing," he continued.
"Brendan Rodgers might decide in the summer that Suarez carries too much baggage and offloads him but, in the meantime, the club will, I'm sure, accept any FA punishment for the player while almost certainly taking internal disciplinary action of their own."