Liverpool striker and Uruguayan national Luis Suarez was banned 8 games today by England’s Football Association for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, cited for calling him a “Negro” on multiple occasions in a game in October. Suarez will also be fined £40,000.
Suárez has 14 days to appeal the ruling and sentence.
Suárez admitted calling Evra a “Negro” but denied it was an insult. He reciprocally alleged it was a reply being “South American” by his opponent. Evra alleged he was racially insulted 10 times by Suárez.
The ruling will bring more attention to the ongoing case of Chelsea instigator John Terry who was marked later that month by QPR’s Anton Ferdinand for a single racial taunt.
The ruling also calls into question the recent remarks and comments by FIFA president Sepp Blatter who suggested that racism on the field be dealt with between the players and settled with a handshake.
It’s astounding that in this day and age that this type of garish, unsportsmanlike behavior continues, but is also subject for debate. There is no room in sports for Suarez’s onfield commentary, within or external to the gamesmanship at hand.
Liverpool have issued a statement, expressing shock at the verdict:
Liverpool Football Club is very surprised and disappointed with the decision of the Football Association Commission to find Luis Suarez guilty of the charges against him.
We look forward to the publication of the Commission’s Judgment. We will study the detailed reasons of the Commission once they become available, but reserve our right to appeal or take any other course of action we feel appropriate with regards to this situation.
We find it extraordinary that Luis can be found guilty on the word of Patrice Evra alone when no-one else on the field of play – including Evra’s own Manchester United teammates and all the match officials – heard the alleged conversation between the two players in a crowded Kop goalmouth while a corner kick was about to be taken.
The Club takes extremely seriously the fight against all forms of discrimination and has a long and successful track record in work relating to anti-racist activity and social inclusion. We remain committed to this ideal and equality for all, irrespective of a person’s background.
LFC considers racism in any form to be unacceptable – without compromise. It is our strong held belief, having gone over the facts of the case, that Luis Suarez did not commit any racist act. It is also our opinion that the accusation by this particular player was not credible – certainly no more credible than his prior unfounded accusations.