Opinion article* published in the Newcastle Herald, written by University of Newcastle Law School legal practitioner, Daniel Matas.
Picture this: You are walking down Hunter Street minding your own business when a stranger, without warning, sinks their teeth into your shoulder leaving puncture marks. You would be entitled to expect, wouldn’t you, that after a police investigation, the individual involved would be charged with assault?
However, while Luis Suarez’s more recent decision to lunch on Giorgio Chiellini’s left shoulder during Uruguay’s World Cup clash with Italy appears to have cost the Uruguayan forward nine international appearances, it has not attracted a hint of criminal prosecution.
Sport, whether football or any other, does not give a player the right to deliberately assault or inflict harm on somebody else. So why is it that the same incident occurring on a football field is unlikely to lead to criminal charges?
The fact is, though the option of criminal liability exists, violence on the sports field is a grey area where police remain reluctant to intervene.
*This opinion piece represents the author’s views