Bad Boys

Cantona to Keegan and Bremner: The longest bans in football

Here’s some reading while you wait, Luis.

LUIS SUAREZ IS facing another lengthy ban as he’s been found to have bitten Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay’s group game on Tuesday at the World Cup finals.

He’s not the first to sit out the action for a long time.

Soccer - FA Carling Premiership - Crystal Palace v Manchester United - Selhurst Park EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

Cantona kicks up a storm

Eric Cantona was known to be unpredictable, both on and off the pitch. However, nothing quite prepared people for the moment the Frenchman reacted to abuse from Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons after being sent off during a 1995 Premier League game. Cantona launched himself into the crowd with a kung-fu kick and landed two punches for good measure. The English FA saw no mitigating circumstances and, not considering a four-month club ban enough, extended it to nine months.

Tassotti puts Enrique’s nose out of joint

Italy defender Mauro Tassotti thought he had got away with breaking the nose of Spanish star Luis Enrique when he deliberately elbowed him in the 1994 World Cup quarter-final. Enrique could not continue and the Italians went on to win the game 2-1. The referee missed the incident, but the television images did not lie and the Italian was subsequently banned for eight games.

‘Prodigal Son’ Rossi from villain to hero

Italian Paolo Rossi returned to the national squad for the 1982 World Cup finals, but only after a three-year ban for being implicated in a 1980 match-fixing scandal was reduced to two. He also had to hand over his passport and expressed outrage at his treatment. He always protested his innocence and after poor performances in the 1982 group games, he scored six goals in the latter stages including a hat-trick against Brazil in the quarter-finals. The Prodigal Son’s rehabilitation was complete.

Cook brings match to the boil

Not a name to conjure with in terms of stardom, but Billy Cook did achieve some notoriety in 1915 as he and his Oldham Athletic team-mates were battling it out for the English league title. Cook’s interest in the title chase came to an abrupt end in a game against Middlesbrough when he was red carded but refused to leave the pitch. The referee decided if you’re not moving then I am and left the pitch thereby forcing the match to be abandoned. The football authorities took a very dim view of Cook’s behaviour and banned him for a year. Oldham went on to finish second in the title race just a point behind Everton.

Soccer - FA Charity Shield - Liverpool v Leeds United PA PA

Keegan and Bremner lose their shirts

The England and Liverpool striker Kevin Keegan and the fiery Leeds United Scottish midfielder Billy Bremner brought shame on themselves with a punch up during the Charity Shield season-opener in 1974/5. They became the first British players to be sent off at Wembley. It was viewed with even more distaste by the FA suits as it was live on television for the first time. Their mutual disgust at being sent off took the form of both of them flinging their shirts to the ground as they left the pitch. They were not spared, both receiving 11-game bans.

Luis Suarez banned ‘from any football activity’ for four months

Ghana’s Boateng and Muntari sent home from Brazil after ‘vulgar insults’ and ‘physical attack’