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FA’s Decision Against Luis Suarez Stings Liverpool Fans More Because Of United Rivalry

luis suarez patrice evra FAs Decision Against Luis Suarez Stings Liverpool Fans More Because Of United Rivalry

The verdict has been reached by The FA in the case of Luis Suarez regarding the alleged racist comments made by the Liverpool striker against Patrice Evra in the Liverpool against Manchester United match from October 15. Suarez has been handed an eight match ban and £40,000 fine after The FA charged him with misconduct. The sentence is suspended pending the outcome of whether Liverpool want to appeal the charge or not.

I’ve purposefully avoided writing about the topic of the Suarez case until now because, frankly, I don’t believe it had anything to do with football. It was an incident that happened on the pitch but had nothing to do with the game that we follow. Plus, it’s an incredibly thorny topic that is complicated by a lack of evidence in the public domain as well as cultural and language differences. To come out either for or against Suarez would have been, I believe, unfair unless we were able to review the evidence that The FA had seen.

Of course, I don’t think that racism should have a place in this sport either on or off the pitch, but now that a conclusion has been reached, the ramifications will have an impact on football. I believe that the Anfield club will appeal the sentence and will hope for a reduction of the ban as well as some sort of penalty for Evra who is also accused of using insulting words. But a lot of the next steps will depend on what The FA’s Independent Regulatory Commission reveals when they explain their findings, their reason for its decision and the reasons for the penalty.

The Suarez case is undoubtedly a serious issue, but I believe the verdict is even more of a sore point for Liverpool supporters because the game was against Manchester United. If it had been any other club, the penalty would have been the same but it just hurts more when it’s their arch-rival. I’m sure some Liverpool fans feel a sense of injustice because Manchester United may have gotten away with it again, and if the tables had been turned then Manchester United would not have received as severe a punishment. That’s quite possible, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is a verdict that Liverpool fans are incensed by, while Manchester United fans are already gloating about the decision.

Liverpool, the club and its fans, may feel that they’ve been unfairly treated in this case, but it’s one of those controversial topics where it’s hard for Liverpool or Manchester United supporters to be objective regarding the decision. Liverpool fans will feel that Suarez has been persecuted and is being made an example of. Manchester United fans will feel it’s the right decision. But for those of us who are in the middle, myself included, who don’t support either club, it’s more complicated. We’re stuck in the middle because there’s not enough evidence to sway us one way or the other.

Did Luis Suarez act inappropriately? I believe he did based on the little evidence that has been made available. Did Evra act inappropriately too? I believe he did, but yet again, I’d like to better understand why The FA’s independent committee ruled the way they did before knowing whether The FA’s sentence is fair or not.

It’s a messy topic, and it’s one that I would rather wish had not happened at all. But it has, and the decision has been made. And now we have to wait to find out what the consequences will be pending the appeal.

The story is far from over, and I believe will continue to simmer long into the future as long as managers Kenny Dalglish and Sir Alex Ferguson are in business. This is something that Dalglish, in particular, will not forget anytime soon, and he’ll want his vengeance by knocking United off its perch. Whether that will happen or not is a tall order, but I wouldn’t put it past Kenny Dalglish.

 

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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93 Responses to FA’s Decision Against Luis Suarez Stings Liverpool Fans More Because Of United Rivalry

  1. Gargoyle says:

    Given how long this incident was investigated by the FA it’s very hard for me to believe that the ban was not justified. Suarez got what he deserved.

  2. dlink09 says:

    well this effects Liverpool on the pitch too.. Suarez has been there best player, Carol now has chance to prove his worth.. i am really surprised with Liverpool this season.. with all the rubbish money they spent on transfers and they are equal in points to Arsenal..

  3. Hank says:

    Im a Liverpool fan, so take this for the biased opinion it is, but 8 games seems unreasonable. Assuming Suarez did use a racial epithet, is that really twice as bad as delivering a leg breaking tackle? Or worse than the thousands of other things that are probably said regularly during epl games that could be considered sexist, homophobic, offensive to the disabled, etc?

    • Mufc77 says:

      The ban will likely be reduced to 4-5 games. I bet John Terry is $hitting himself right about now

    • Harry Cee says:

      Kicking a man one time is one thing…but constantly repeating and harassing someone to provoke a reaction throughout a 90 minute match is something else.

      • Duck says:

        I missed the part where he was harassed for 90 minutes? Evra said to him, “Get your hands off me, you dirty South American,” to which Suarez replied, “Porque, negro?” End of, there was no harassment for 90 minutes, one exchange. Which if you knew Spanish and grew up with it you would understand that it means nothing racist.

    • Bishopville Red says:

      Don’t forget, the FA is the same entity that banned players for longer periods when they did not fail a drugs test than they do for actually testing positive for banned substances. It’s not the first time they measured out a punishment that seemed incongruous compared to other penalties for serious infractions.

  4. Mufc77 says:

    Liverpool still backing there player with a classy statement, they should be ashamed Of themselves.

    • Jim says:

      Do you mean like when Man Utd backed Cantona when he attacked the Palace fan in the stands?

      • Mufc77 says:

        If I remember correctly utd suspended cantona for the remainder of the season before the FA handed down it’s punishment.

        While I accept that Liverpool would/should support Suarez they made themselves look bad by coming out and again questioning Evras credibilty. Then going on to say that Suarez has a black grandfather so it doesn’t make sense for him to use a racial slur followed by has former black team mates So he couldn’t possibly be racist is stupid. Isnt the “I have black friends so I can’t be racist” what they always say in these cases.

        A simple statement saying they disagree with the verdict but support suarez and will back him if he decideds to appeal would have been much better in my opinion.

    • JSterling says:

      Classy, just like Ferguson repeatedly insulting managers, players, and referees? Kenny would never do something like that. Ferguson somehow manages to avoid censure no matter how little class and respect he shows to the professionals around him.
      Looks like one of Evra’s racial claims finally came off for him then, he was just pissed cause he looked like shit whenever Suarez got near him.
      To ignore cultural differences is unbelievably ethnocentric, and while I agree Suarez was probably riling him up throughout the match, he is no racist. Evra said so himself.

  5. Duck says:

    A bunch of old white English men decide a Uruguayan saying a Spanish word to a Frenchman is racist. Brilliant!!

    If this sticks, I plan on seeing plenty of race claims in the near future, 8 match bans for everybody, justified or not, apparently.

  6. Fairchild says:

    Penalty doesn’t fit the crime. Of course there’s no place for racism in the game, but how can you prove that a player made a racist comment in what seems to be a “he said he said” case. Would love to see the evidence from the FA. I support Liverpool and Suarez and think of the ban, instead, as punishment for his diving, which is something the Uruguayan needs to cut out of his game ASAP. Each time he flops, it take from the integrity of the English game.

    • Nonsense says:

      Really? I think it’s a matter of record what Suarez called him but that it was a term of affection or love in his country, bull! So we’re to believe he used a term of love on that day during the heated play? C’mon son!

  7. jtm371 says:

    i’m not a fan of Suarez but i think 8 games is a bit stiff.the FA has set a precedent if John Terry get anything less it will be a miscarriage of justice with video evidence.there is no room for racism but it will be with us till the end of time.the FA need to be consistent i know that is a oxymoron.

  8. Yespage says:

    Eight games?! What could Suarez have done to warrant an 8 game suspension? You can willfully attempt to harm someone and get a lesser penalty. 8 games seems like absolute certainty about the charge. Suarez better be guilty of saying some seriously degenerate stuff to warrant this punishment.

    If he did, he has done his club an extremely bad disservice.

    • Nonsense says:

      So because the FA hands out weaker bans for what you THINK are worse actions he shouldn’t receive an 8 game suspension for what he said…good logic. If those other actions you speak of should be deserving of harsher suspensions that’s a separate issue.

  9. trickybrkn says:

    Why the dance around racism… I just don’t understand.

    • Gargoyle says:

      I know it’s amazing. Even the mealy-mouthed article from EPL Talk doesn’t really address the issue. The notion that the FA decided arbitrarily to suspend the best player on perhaps the league’s most popular team for no reason strains credulity. And please everyone – spare me the “cultural differences” BS.

      Not really surprised at LFC fans would take the defend their man at all costs approach and point fingers elsewhere That’s the LFC way.

      • Yespage says:

        It should be noted that this isn’t like the Andy Gray situation where the evidence is incontrovertible. The Suarez-Evra conflict is what one person says about the other. Allegedly there is no other witness evidence.

        In addition, Evra is hardly the only black player in the EPL. Is this a sign that Suarez has a history of such derogatory remarks?

        The quality of the evidence that is public seems asymmetric with the magnitude of the punishment. If he is guilty, then so be it.

  10. Pat says:

    Very well written article, I agree with most of your points. The key here is we don’t have all the evidence that the FA had. If it comes out that they just took Evra’s word for it, I would be appalled. Doesn’t seem fair. Liverpool seems to have come out with a strong statement not knowing the evidence the FA had either, and this seems premature. And obviously Liverpool fans will be extra sensitive to this as it takes away their best player.

    Bottom line in my opinion: Racism has no place in the game, however, 8 games seems awfully harsh, there better be more evidence.

  11. cnl. onions says:

    This is baffling to me. A player who doesn’t know English is given a sentence of roughly 1/5 of the season based on the account of one player with a history of crying wolf. Luis is also 1/4 black…this doesn’t pass the common sense test. This is madness and it will be awesome when Liverpool sues and takes the FA to court for this and wins. It’s just too unfortunate that Luis has already had his character assassinated by this so no one wins. The FA is being exposed for the ancient bunch with no real grasp for society that they really are.

    • toonatnoon188888 says:

      and his reputation was good before this? the guy is scum and i really do use the word sparingly. i’m not fully convinced that the 8 match ban is unjustified but none of us can be unless there’s an FA insider/rep creeping around epl talk waiting to explain their reasoning. if i had to guess i’d say it was because what they saw was far enough past the line that they had to address it. if english football’s ruling body were to condone this kind of behavior they would be sending the wrong message to the fans. once the story went viral there was an expectation that action would be taken and unfortunately for suarez he is the scapegoat for an issue in world football that has not been taken seriously enough. a sport is not going to change the way that people treat each other or rid the world or racism but when punishment like this is dealt it reiterates the message that there’s no room for it on the pitch.

      i played for many years myself with people of all colors and had plenty of slurs thrown my direction, most of which out of hatred and hatred alone. evra chose to deal with it one way and i often chose to in another but that does not make him wrong. had it not been liverpool and a player like suarez things might have gone differently but at the end of the day the guy had it coming and was finally caught for being the low-life that he is. i see no problem with the ban being reduced but if he has to sit out all 8 then serves him right. no one MADE him use that language and he got busted for it. too bad.

      • cnl. onions says:

        A reputation for being a dramatic player and one for being a racist are two MAJORLY different situations..shame on you for not realizing that. Even the Wigan supporters booed him today…I didn’t even know they had fans.

      • reded says:

        toonatnoon188888
        Please stop talking drivel! As for calling someone scum, watch your own team. He is a quality player and using scum phrases winds people up…… just like other things being said. If i called you this to your face, you’d probably be annoyed. So watch your own team and dont bother commenting on individuals, especially if you dont like them. Pot – kettle.

  12. Pete says:

    Suarez was pretty much found guilty on Evra’s word. That to me sets a dangerous precedent. I wouldn’t expect to see someone found guilty in any other area of the law when it’s one person’s word vs the other person’s word. Whether Suarez said something racist or not, I think it’s dangerous to find someone guilty in this kind of situation.
    Seems to me to be a case of the FA not wanting to appear soft on racism and therefore they decide to find him guilty even though there’s little to no evidence of the said racism.

    • Mufc77 says:

      And you have proof of this, right?

      • Pete says:

        I know there’s no other player that has come forward to say that they heard anything said, the ref has not come forward to say that he heard anything said and I’m yet to see any news report claiming that lip readers know what he said.
        Taking these facts into account, there’s nothing else but evra’s word vs Suarez’s word.

        However, if you have any evidence to say that racism has been proved beyond doubt I’d be happy to stand corrected

        • Mufc77 says:

          I highly doubt the FA would be stupid enough to hand down a 8 game ban based just on what Evra claimed. Knowing what a Sh*t storm this was going to create they must have other evidence in the case, whether that evidence is made public is another matter.

  13. bobs@nders44 says:

    I think you were avoiding this topic because, you, like so many of your fair-complected colleagues (journalists, bloggers, etc.) don’t understand how racism affects people since you haven’t truly experienced it. Shame on you for avoiding the topic because it “doesn’t have to do with football”. This has everything to do with football. It is a classic example of how a player’s lack of self-control can be damaging to himself and those around him. Did he physically hurt Evra? No…but he embarrassed himself and LFC and will now suffer the consequences just he would for a dirty tackle or swing of the fist. When managers sign players they are not simply acquiring a set of skills but a human being who has thoughts and emotions that impact the game in more ways than the final score. “King” Kenny should have known what he was getting himself into and the fact that he is now suffering the consequences for his carelessness is not a reason to fee sorry for liverpool. The number of games *could* be lowered but I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t. Oh well.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Sorry Bobs, but I still think the story had nothing to do with football. It was all about racism. This blog is about football. I’m sure there are blogs out there somewhere that deal with racist issues.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • bobs@nders44 says:

        It happened at a FOOTBALL match DURING the game. Are you dense? It would be one thing if they were at a pub in street clothes but that isn’t the case now is it? I find it hilarious how scared white people are of racism despite how little I actualy affects them. Again I will say, shame on you. EPL talk is a blog about Premier League football as a whole not just the topics that you aren’t too scared to write about.

        • The Gaffer says:

          I disagree. I’m not “scared” to write about it, far from it. Lots of things happen during a football game, but this blog concentrates on the actual football that’s played on the pitch.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

    • Yespage says:

      Gaffer’s post is spot on. LFC fans are wondering about the evidence that led to the sentence, many supporting the sentence if Suarez is guilty. Then you have some Man U. fans gloating over the whole thing. We still know nothing about why the FA acted as they did. Until that info is released to the public, “the story is far from over.”

  14. trueblue999 says:

    everyone who thinks this is the wrong decision should state their race before their comment. i’d be willing to bet that the majority of people saying this is unfair are white. take that how you like but it needed to be said.

  15. Steven says:

    We don’t know yet what evidence the FA used to ban Suarez. It is clear that they wanted to make a strong statement about racism which is why they gave him an 8-match ban.

    Evra has accused others in the past of racism but those did not stick. I wonder if ther FA took into account the past of the accuser and the accused. It will be very interesting to read exactly what evidence was used and how the panel came to its conclusion.

    • Nonsense says:

      Saurez apparently used the term ‘negro’ but states its a term of love in his country. That whole premise is BS. We’re expected to believe for 90 mins he just kept shouting out a term that means love in his country. I guess now he knows not to use it here! Did the FA take into consideration Saurez bit a player, flipped off fans, etc?

  16. Drew M. says:

    If the evidence was so compelling as to justify an 8 match ban, why did it take almost two and a half months to come to this decision?

    • Harry Cee says:

      Doesn’t it make more sense to make an informed decision by carefully weighing evidence than rushing to a 1/2 assed one and be wrong?

      • Drew M. says:

        Good point. I guess I’m used to bans based on observed behavior on the pitch. Dangerous play? Ban. Swearing into the microphones? Ban. Heck, Suarez’s middle finger antic should have got a prompt response. In a case like this, I wouldn’t want a decision to come out three days after the incident, but two and a half months?

        I agree that the FA needs to do what it has to to stamp out racist comments and other bad behavior, but I’m not sure how much impact it’ll have if there’s a such a gap between incident and punishment. If the FA wants to be serious about tackling this problem, they need to have clear procedures that are promptly followed. Dragging things out gives the sense that they are not serious, almost like they’re hoping it will just go away on its own, which they then try to correct by upping the punishment.

  17. Clampdown says:

    Gaffer, do you know if the FA will actually provide more clarity regarding evidence in the case and why it arrived at this decision?

    • The Gaffer says:

      The FA is supposed to issue a written statement that will clarify “in due course.” When it’s published, I’ll be sure to share it on this blog.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  18. Harry Cee says:

    Gaffer more or less said what I was thinking. The one thing I think I do disagree on however is a point made by someone else in that it has everything to do with football not to mention how we interact with others. I am glad that in this sport there is a hard stance in regulating how athletes behave on the pitch. As I have stated so many times before, this behavior has no place in sports nor any other approach in life, however, I am curious to know what evidence the FA used to come to its verdict because if it’s strong evidence then yes I am all for it. Not to mention, this should set precedence that actions like this is intolerable. One other thing however, probably got in Suarez’ way….he BIT another player back in 2010…or did you all forget? http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/blog/dirty-tackle/post/Luis-Suarez-is-biting-people-now?urn=sow-287769. Your past actions sometimes sets the tone for any cases on your FUTURE actions.

    • Clampdown says:

      Harry, I would agree with you on this. First, even though I am a Liverpool fan, if it has been proven that Suarez used an incendiary racial comment to abuse Evra, then I’d say he deserves a stiff sentence. However, there are so many complicating factors in this, and I’m really curious to see the FA’s full report and the evidence upon which they based the decision. There is the alleged term itself, its alleged common use in South America, the fact that Suarez is a quarter black, the fact that no one else other than Evra heard him say something racist, and a claim that Evra called Suarez a “dirty South American” (which would beg the question of why Evra has not been charged).

      • Harry Cee says:

        Just because it’s ‘ok’ to say something at home doesn’t make it right to do somewhere else…ESPECIALLY when you know it’s wrong. If that kind of thinking was allowed to stand, then all the campaigning and advertising to kick racism out of football passed right over Suarez’ head…supposing that all this is true of course.

        It’s up to him and him alone to be responsible for his speech…barring that he bears punishment for not being responsible.

        • Clampdown says:

          I don’t disagree with this either. However, you are assuming that he (and other South Americans) find the word “negrito” objectionable. I don’t know if this is the case. You’re assuming he knows it’s wrong. Does he? Why would he admit to the FA of using the term if he knew it was wrong. No one heard him say it.

          • Harry Cee says:

            Same reason why Rap artists (like Ludacris) have no problems with using (and admitting to using) the N word because where THEY come from it’s acceptable….however they know FULLY well that in a lot of places, the word is NOT.

  19. Gary says:

    John Terry is probably sh*tting in his pants right now as this verdict means he could be in even more trouble than Suarez.

  20. Bishopville Red says:

    Just as a point of fact, and one the LFC need to get straight: Patrice Evra has never filed a claim of racism prior to this event. He’s been in race rows before, but he never filed any protests. In the first case, it was brought to the FA’s attention by a spectator who lipread an exchange and claimed they were offended by the racial abuse Evra received. In the second episode at the Stamford Bridge, it was members of the MUFC party who made the claim, not Evra. He remained silent.

    Secondly, to the people claiming it’s a he-said-she-said and therefore impossible to get to “the truth”, you need to remember one simple fact of the Suarez defense: They basically admitted he dropped N-bombs when they went with the “it’s a cultural issue. N-bombs are common in South America.” excuse. Clearly that defense acknowledges words were said and wishes to downplay their insensitivity and racial charge. It is not the defense you employ if you’re insisting it was never said in the first place.

    Finally, those of you who are complaining that a cultural mix-up has cost Suarez eight games: last I checked, it really doesn’t matter what’s acceptable where you’re from; it matters what acceptable where you are. If you’re going to go to country and accept the trappings for a certain quality of life, the onus is on you to, in turn, figure out society’s expectations and respect them. For exapmle, the “we don’t acknowledge human rights back home, so it should be OK that I violated them here.” excuse does not fly in North American courts.
    Learn expectations, follow expectations, or suffer consequenses of violating them.

    • Clampdown says:

      But he didn’t use “N-bombs”. (or at least the word I believe you are talking about) And the difference most certainly does matter.

      By the way, Chicharito has tweeted the same term in reference to a player in Mexico.

      • Bishopville Red says:

        Does it? Really? When was the last time you said of a co-worker, “He’s a clever b***k fellow.”, or of a stranger on the street who held a door for you, “What a polite African-American.”? You think you’d get away with that statement even though you didn’t drop an n-bomb?

        • Clampdown says:

          I haven’t, because that would be an uncommon thing to say in the US. I’d like to hear an expert on South American culture chime in on this. I think the distinctions do matter.

          By the way, why are you not outraged that Evra called Suarez a “dirty South American.” We all know the meaning of that, right? How is that no different than calling him a “dirty sp*c”?

          • The Gaffer says:

            Suarez allegedly called Evra a “negrito.” According to Tim Vickery, the term can be used in South America as one of affection or one of hate — it depends on the context of the usage. I’m sure Suarez was trying to bait Evra during a hotly-contested derby between Liverpool and Man United.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • Clampdown says:

            Gaffer, I get that and I have read the Vickery column, and I imagine that the term is used in many situations between affection and hate. But its another reason why I would like to see the full FA report and see what the players claimed was said to one another.

            A lot of people are equating the word negrito to n*gger, which doesn’t appear to be the way the word is viewed in South America. If Suarez called him the latter word, he would most certainly deserve a ban.

          • The Gaffer says:

            Sorry Clampdown. My fault. That reply wasn’t aimed at you, more of a general comment on the thread.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • Harry Cee says:

            Hey Gaffer, that sounds familiar…where have we heard that before…hehehe

            “Suarez allegedly called Evra a “negrito.” According to Tim Vickery, the term can be used in South America as one of affection or one of hate.”

            Rap musicians for $100

  21. Todd says:

    Now I’m not defending Suarez or Terry’s words or any other racist statements made over the decades, but I think in this age of technology and media, things just get blown way out of proportion. This wouldn’t have been a story 15 years ago. Things are said on the field, a lot of time in haste and during the heat of the moment, that should not be taken too literally. I’d like to think once the whistle blows and everyone walks off the pitch, you go have a beer and forget about it.

    It’s not like that’s the first bad thing someone’s said to an opposing player, yet people act bewildered when they find out. Guess what, we’re all savages when it comes down to it, and the spirit of competition brings that out. Racism is not dead and probably won’t be for awhile. Slavery JUST ended here in America when you really think about it. Sure it doesn’t belong in the game, but trying to govern players’ words is just not what they need to be focusing on imo. 8 games is really harsh.

    • Bishopville Red says:

      Ladies and gentlemen, Sepp Blatter is trolling this site!

    • Harry Cee says:

      I have said it before Todd and I will say it again. If this happened to me…the last thing that is going to happen is me sharing a beer with someone calling me a derogatory name. Hell, that person would be lucky to not need a straw to sip it thru.

      • Todd says:

        And if you attacked your insulter on the pitch, you’d be the one in the hot seat. It’s all about trying to get a rise or reaction people. Those that have played at higher levels understand this.

        • Harry Cee says:

          well guess what, you see my point. THIS is why this was a big deal. Suarez (as the FA has ruled) was doing something racially inappropriate to antagonize and get a reaction out of Evra. rather than Evra take the bait and knock the living s**t out of him, he filed a complaint and let others higher up punish the offender.

          But to go back to your earlier Blatter based statement, you mean to tell me that if we were playing a game and all game long you insulted me everything but a child of God, that afterwards we should go to the nearest pub and drown a few suds and everything is cool?

          You. cannot. be. serious.

          We’re all savages when playing sports? Um…ok. I have played many sports since I was a kid well into adulthood but never felt a savage need to call my opponents out of their name just so I could win. So, I think you may be in the minority on that one.

          Lastly, the reason why this wouldn’t have been made an issue 15 years ago was in many cases, people still didn’t give a damn about those of other nationalities that complained, but when you have things like bananas thrown at players, fans wishing a player died while his team mates bus got shot up all the way up to the FIFA president thinking along the same lines as yourself, then yes, each incident needs a serious look over.

          • Todd says:

            That “beer” statement was taken from my comment in another thread, which I missed the boat on, so it’s kind of off base on the race issue. So no, I’m not serious in that regard.

            I stand by my statement about the spirit of intense competition bringing out the savage in us all though. For some it’s subdued, and others it runs rampant, as we can see. However as humans, we are simply wired this way.

            PhillySpur is spot on, and more or less said what I said without coming off like Blatter (LOL, hanging my head).

          • Aaron says:

            You go on the assumption that Suarez was intentionally racially baiting Evra based on WHAT evidence, exactly? You know as much as the rest of us yet you’re jumping on the bandwagon making assumptions you can’t possibly support with facts at the moment.

            This COULD have been handled differently even though the two players clearly detest one another. It COULD have been a mediated sit-down that allowed Evra to explain his offense to the word used, Suarez an opportunity to respond, and a mediator’s to actually build some real understanding, as well as caution, for both players. If you seriously believe that meting out a ban is the only recourse even in the most nuanced of cases, fine. They you must also agree that Evra should receive a ban of equal proportion for the racially-tinged insults he hurled back at Suarez.

            Me, I would prefer to take a more balanced, enlightened approach to the current corporal punishment system and ACTUALLY address the difficulties that blanket claims to racism have in a global society, particularly one as rich and varied as football. Your call to throw the book at offenders of all types, context be damned, is not only short-sighted, it’s completely ineffectual at meeting the challenge and opportunity to talk about the impact of language and how meaning does and does not carry between cultures can be addressed more appropriately.

          • Harry Cee says:

            Aaron, you need to go back to my earlier statement:

            “As I have stated so many times before, this behavior has no place in sports nor any other approach in life, however, I am curious to know what evidence the FA used to come to its verdict because if it’s strong evidence then yes I am all for it.”

            I am just as curious as you, however I don’t think that any governing body would rule in this way with something flimsy.

            If you think the approach to the ban was unfair because it was heavy handed…well in some cases, life isn’t fair, and nobody should have to sit 2 or more grown spoiled, millionaires down and tell them how they should treat each other on a field, playing ball.

  22. Aaron says:

    This could have been resolved if Ferguson had been man enough to go directly to Dalglish to find a way to mediate a sit-down with both players to hash out their issues as men. Instead, and I believe this with all my heart, Sir Alex made a decision to forgo that opportunity to instead seek a way to extract a very painful thorn from his club’s side.

    Once again, as with previous claims made on Evra’s behalf by MUFC, there seems to be intent on the part of that organization to utilize official channels to benefit themselves rather than work with their opponents to resolve matters in a respectful, quiet, dignified way.

    If any good comes from this, which is hard to imagine since Suarez’s name is now forever linked to this charge, it will be that the FA recognizes that “zero tolerance” policies don’t work particularly well when there’s nuance involved. Sometimes racism IS racism, but other times racism perceived is NOT racism intended. This is where there’s an opportunity for a more intimate, adult conversation between the aggrieved and the “offender” MUST be considered before meting out punitive rulings.

  23. PhillySpur says:

    This is so silly it’s beyond belief. Banning someone for 8 games for saying something offensive. Let the players deal with it. If he’s running around making racist remarks I’m sure there would be plenty of Liverpool players that would take issue with that. It’s a game, words are exchanged and they’re not often kind words. The Gaffer is right. It has nothing to do with football. The FA should not be involved in this. On the other hand, since I do not like Suarez or Liverpool, selfishly, I’ll be glad to see him out for 8 games.

    • Aaron says:

      I’m an LFC supporter (obviously) and I appreciate your candor. This was a situation that would best have been handled discretely, as men should do, but was instead sent immediately through disciplinary channels.

      I just wonder who neutrals and other fans are going to kick around now that Suarez is likely going to be out of action for some time, after all the appeals are said and done?

  24. dominjon says:

    One thing nobody seems to mention is that this terrible racist Suarez, is in fact, of mixed-race. His grandfather was black. I am obviously biased but this is a joke decision. The player did not report to ref as required. His manager did not report as required. Player first made claim to the media, which is again against the rules. No other player, including his own team mates heard any statement. No conclusive video evidence was found.
    Also, Evra admitted using insulting terms in spanish towards Suarez. But apparently that doesn’t matter.

    • Nonsense says:

      ….and being of mixed race means you couldn’t possibly be racist or use racist terms? Evra did report the incident to referee Andre Marriner, who included it in his report. No conclusive evidence? Suarez admitted the term he used and tried to justify it as an acceptable term in his country, one of endearment. I doesn’t sound likely that Saurez was using it as a term of endearment the whole 90 mins of heated play.

  25. dlink09 says:

    LFC/Manu messed this up pretty bad.. Kenny/Fergie should have found a way of solving this problem peacfully.. now we are talking about witch hunt and suppoters of both clubs trying to ram each other next time they meet..

    • Bishopville Red says:

      I’m really not sure why the onus is on Manchester United or it’s manager to solve a problem created by a Liverpool player. That’s what the FA is for.

      Besides, judging by the unapologetic response issued by LFC, I don’t see where there was any ground for resolution.

  26. brian says:

    I am Liverpool supporter, now that the example have been made out Luis let see how the next race issue will be deal with. I live in Los Angeles, Negro is term for black, like black in English. The context the Negro was used may be offensive but the argument is one man word against another man without a witness. 8 games and 40k seem excessive to me. Ok what about fans that rain abusive language on players, are they go to be prosecuted from now on?

    • Harold says:

      Fans that have been found guilty of racist chants towards players have been sentenced to jail time. In that context an 8 game ban and 40k fan to someone earning far more than that each week seems very lenient

  27. Nonsense says:

    I would imagine foreign players, especially ones that have played at other European clubs know the term would be a sensitive area and could set someone off. Let’s not plead ignorance or cultural differences. Let’s all get real the world has become a lot smaller than you think. Just because someone is from a different country doesn’t mean they are shut off from the rest of the world and couldn’t possibly know any better.

  28. Harold says:

    Liverpool’s response to this has been embarrassing. Their statement completely missed the point by saying Suarez had been found guilty on Evra’s word alone. Did Suarez not admit that he’d called Evra a “negro”?

    The FA had to act, and be seen to be acting. There is a lot more football played in England other than the Premier League. If Suarez had got off without a ban using the “it is acceptable in my country” argument how many others were going to use that a license to say whatever they liked because it’s acceptable to use such terms in my country, city, house, etc?

    The Liverpool manager is playing a very high risk game defending his player to the hilt and asking fans to “show your support” for a player who has been found guilty (after due process has been carried out) of using a racially motivated term towards an opposition player

    • Clampdown says:

      I’m an LFC fan and I’m not embarrassed at all. It’s clear the club believe he has been treated unfairly and the FA’s conclusion doesn’t match what it believes to be true. Until I am provided with proof that Suarez racially abused Evra I refuse to jump on the bandwagon of those convicting him.

      Now where is the disgust for Evra for calling Suarez a “dirty South American” and for Chicharito for referring to a Mexican player as “negrito”? Oh right, selective outrage is easier up in the perch.

      • Nonsense says:

        Queue the violin music for Clampdown.

        Suarez admitted he used the word but only in it’s good meaning…come on! If you watched the match it was intense play and it makes no sense that Suarez would be shouting out terms of endearment to Evra. LFC should not stand behind a plea of ignorance. LFC isn’t the first European club he played for and he probably was trying to get a rise out of Evra. Do I know if he’s a racist? No, I don’t know him personally however it is unacceptable to use racist words to try and get a rise out of someone.

        • Clampdown says:

          Nonsense, Nonsense.

          I require no violins. You can join the knee-jerk crowd. I’ll wait to see the full FA report and hear Suarez’s defense before I convict him.

          • Nonsense says:

            I’m not having a knee-jerk reaction.

            1-Saurez admitted what he said
            2-It has been validated that the word he used can hold two different meanings
            3-Doesn’t pass the common sense test that Saurez would be using the word in the affectionate meaning throughout a match where the two were going at it.

          • Clampdown says:

            It doesn’t pass the common sense test that Suarez would admit to using a word he considered racist and put himself at the mercy of the FA when no one heard him say anything racist. It doesn’t pass the common sense test that LFC would so vociferously back him if they didn’t think he has been misinterpreted.

            The way in which he used the word at issue and its meaning where he comes from is crucial. This is why I’d like to see the full report.

            And Evra’s language was OK? Funny how none of the Man U fanboys want to take this on.

      • Nonsense says:

        I guess now is the time you insert your foot into your mouth now.

  29. IanCransonsKnees says:

    One rule for one, one rule for another. If fans were found guilty of this they’d get a three year banning order from all sporting events in the UK and probably a fine or jail sentence.

    If Terry gets found guilty no doubt Chelsea will stick by him, but I hope he would be prevented from playing for England again.

  30. Harold says:

    Clampdown – are you aware that Suarez admitted that he used the word “negro” towards Evra? Due process has been observed and based on the evidence provided to the three man panel they have found Suarez guilty of the following:

    Mr Suarez used insulting words towards Mr Evra during the match contrary to FA Rule E3(1);
    The insulting words used by Mr Suarez included a reference to Mr Evra’s colour within the meaning of Rule E3(2);

    Liverpool could have come away from this episode with a lot more credit if they had accepted the guilty punishment, blamed it on cultural misinterpretation and naivety. Then announced that they would be bringing in cultural sensitivity training for all players brought in from overseas. Getting all the players to wear Suarez t-shirts as they warmed up this evening was at best ill advised and at worst offensive

    • Clampdown says:

      I’ve read the FA’s statement. It is meaningless without the report. I’d also like to see a statement from Suarez himself.

      Interesting that everyone seems convinced Suarez initiated the confrontation. From what I read, it started when Evra told him to get his “dirty South American” hands off of him. So, I ask, Harold, why no condemnation or charges for Evra?

      • Harold says:

        You want to hold off from condemning Suarez until the FA issues their report, but you want to condemn Evra based on what he is reported to have said?

        Evra claimed that Suarez used an insulting term referencing the color of his skin towards him on 10 occasions. It has not been reported when the first time was – we will have to wait for the report. If it was prior to the ref calling them over, Suarez patting Evra on the head (in itself a patronizing act) then Evra responding with “Get your hands off me South American” is a lot more understandable. It’s not acceptable, but more understandable if he was responding to having been racially abused. Evra should be praised for controlling himself, I know a lot of people who would have beaten the crap out of Suarez in such a situation. Evra kept his temper in check, comparatively speaking, and reported the matter to the appropriate authorities at the end of the game – just as kids are instructed to do when learning the game

        Were you as accepting of racial intolerance when John Barnes played for Liverpool and Everton fans threw banana’s at him and chanted “N***rpool”?

  31. Nonsense says:

    Clampdown -

    You’re giving Suarez and LFC too much credit… Suarez isn’t exactly the model of sanity (i.e. biting a player). So I could see him admitting using the word only to explain it means really wonderful things in his country…trust him.

    • Clampdown says:

      Yes, he does have a past that makes him seem a bit unhinged at times. But I’m not going to label him a racist until I’m convinced by some sort of proof.

      BTW, did you know Defoe once bit Mascherano?

  32. Nonsense says:

    …and shame on LFC for the statement they released. CLASSLESS

  33. Peter says:

    I’m a die hard Man United fan. For the record, I’ve yet to gloat, and have no intention of doing so either. I think the FA is right to investigate; I just don’t have any faith in them to conduct a proper and thorough one. For issues of this nature, I think a 3rd party regulatory agency, preferably unrelated to football handles the investigation.

    I was rooting for Suarez. I hate to believe that this sort of behaviour still has a place in 2011…

  34. Gaz says:

    Only two people know what was said on the pitch. I’m not sure what evidence can conclude (without question) that (1) he said a bad word, and (2) he meant offense by using the bad word.

    This doesn’t stop racist remarks, it gives players one more way to gain an advantage without playing football. Accusing players of harasement will become the new diving.

  35. Les says:

    The real issue here is not only racism, but prejudice of any kind, not just based upon skin color. People everywhere would like to think that their hands are clean of this scourge, but they are not. It’s so deep-rooted in society that we are not even aware of it. For example, I have an uncle whose mother moved to Wales from England and has been living there more than 30 years. She is still considered an outsider, even after 30-plus years! That’s a kind of prejudice, same as the between people of dark skin and those with lighter skin. The way I see it, there are many, many more things that I have in common with other human beings than I have differences. As the Queen is reputed to have said, “I go to the bathroom the same way as you.”

    The FA is saying in it’s heavy-handed punishment of Suarez that what he did or said is unacceptable behavior, that “we don’t do this here.” Yes, you do; in fact, we all have our prejudices, it is only in coming clean about them that true communication and understanding between people happens.

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