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article imageOp-Ed: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez decimated by eight-match FA ban

By Kev Hedges     Dec 20, 2011 in Sports
Liverpool - Liverpool's Luis Suarez has been handed an eight-match ban and a £40,000 fine by the FA (Football Association) after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
Suarez has vehemently denied the allegations, he will be given two weeks (14 days) to appeal against the decision. Liverpool manger, Kenny Daglish is said to be very disappointed and had always backed the player throughout. He also admitted to be "very surprised and disappointed". The former Liverpool player and now coach said:
This is the time when Luis Suarez needs our full support. Let's not let him walk alone.
The hearing had dragged on for a fully six days and the "insulting words" used had been a reference to Patrice Evra's colour. Evra, who plays for Manchester United was alleged to have been involved with an on-pitch row with Suarez in which Evra claimed Suarez used "insulting words". However nobody, including Manchester United players and those from Liverpool had heard the remarks and the FA seem to have taken Patrice Evra's words as gospel. A statement from the club claimed that it was extraordinary that Suarez was convicted purely on the say-so of Evra alone. A Liverpool statement said:
No one else on the field of play - including Evra's own Manchester United team-mates and all the match officials - heard the alleged conversation between the two players in a crowded Kop [Liverpool fan stand end] goalmouth.
It appears to us that the FA were determined to bring charges against Luis Suarez, even before interviewing him at the beginning of November. Nothing we have heard in the course of the hearing has changed our view that Luis Suarez is innocent of the charges brought against him and we will provide Luis with whatever support he now needs to clear his name.
Liverpool now want the FA to charge Evra with making abusive remarks to an opponent. However the penalty is suspended while any appeal by Suarez takes place.
Meanwhile Chairman of anti-racism group "Kick It Out", Herman Ouseley said:
The FA has shown leadership and intent through what has clearly been a difficult and complex complaint to deal with, and invested time and expertise to ensure this outcome. It has demonstrated that it will not stand for discrimination, something organisations such as Fifa and Uefa should take heed of. This charge is not saying Luis Suarez is a racist. It's saying, on this occasion, he used racist language. It doesn't make him a bad guy - he needs to learn what is acceptable.
In truth Ouseley is right - assuming Suarez is guilty. But remember we have only Evra's word against that of Suarez. Ouseley has no idea what was really said no more than I do, or you reading this! If racist remarks cannot be ratified or proven then Suarez must be innocent until found guilty. Otherwise we are right back in the witch hunt days where someone who says your black cat is too black so therefore you must be a witch. Suarez has been dunked in the pond I'm afraid in the melee to be seen as anti-racist. I think if you want to see racism from a Spanish angle then why not punish those that blacked up their faces when remonstrating against Lewis Hamilton in Formula One meeting in the spring of 2009? That was far worse and pretty much went unpunished.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Liverpool FC, kenny daglish, Racism, patrice evra
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