PFA to offer Suarez counselling

The PFA will offer Luis Suarez anger management counselling after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Last Updated: 22/04/13 at 18:10 Post Comment

Gordon Taylor: Suarez will be offered help

Gordon Taylor: Suarez will be offered help

The Professional Footballers' Association will offer Luis Suarez anger management counselling following the latest controversy in the Liverpool striker's career.

Suarez has been charged with violent conduct by the Football Association and fined by Liverpool after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in the 2-2 Barclays Premier League draw between the two clubs at Anfield.

It is the second such incident involving the Uruguay international, who was banned for seven matches for biting an opponent during his time with Dutch club Ajax in 2010.

It also comes just a month after he allegedly punched Chile's Gonzalo Jara in a World Cup qualifier.

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the PFA, the players' union, told Press Association Sport: "There is no doubting his football ability, that's why it is so disappointing and embarrassing when he lets himself down.

"We have to work hard on anger management now. We have trained counsellors in this field and we will be offering their services to Liverpool and the player to try to improve matters."

Suarez is also one of the candidates for the PFA Player of the Year award to be announced on Sunday but his position on the shortlist will not be affected.

Taylor said: "It's decided on votes and it is a football matter but of course it is embarrassing that it should happen."

Awareness of anger management techniques has grown in recent decades and there is a feeling it can make a genuine difference.

Dr Andrew Reeves, a practitioner accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, said: "Anger management, as an idea, has been around a long time but it has moved on a little bit.

"When it was first developed it was about stopping people being angry whereas I think now it is much more about how people can use their anger in an appropriate and safe way to motivate themselves and energise themselves.

"Particularly on a football field you'd look at how someone could use that productively rather than going out and doing things that are not okay.

"My experience is it can be really effective.

"Anger per se isn't a bad thing, anger is bad if we are directing it in a way that is destructive or harmful to others.

"If we can recognise our anger and use it productively it can be a real motivator.

"When people do things that aren't appropriate it is because they have realised too late that their anger has been building up. It comes out and they do something on the spur of the moment.

"You would try to help raise people's awareness of how that has been building up over a period of time - that period might be a few weeks, a few days or, in the case of a football match, possibly minutes.

"But even if the timescale is short, if you can start to identify the build-up of anger in you, and the earlier you can recognise it, the more scope you have to intervene and do something differently with it.

"We can do some really positive things if we are using the energy behind anger in a way that is going to be constructive."


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