The Football association has handed Liverpool’s Luis Suarez an eight-match ban and a £40,000 fine after finding the Uruguayan striker guilty of racial abuse against Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
The verdict of the FA came at the conclusion of a six-day hearing, on Tuesday during which the Uruguayan had denied the allegations; he now has 14 days to appeal against the decision. In a Twitter message, Suarez said, “Today is a very difficult and painful day for me and my family. Thanks for all the support.”
Liverpool’s official statement said, “We find it extraordinary that Luis can be found guilty on the word of Patrice Evra alone… 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 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.”
The club also sought to know whether any charge would be brought by the FA against Evra for making abusive remarks to Suarez: “Evra admitted himself in his evidence to insulting Luis Suarez in Spanish in the most objectionable of terms… Luis, to his credit, actually told the FA he had not heard the insult.”
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish said he was “very disappointed”, and in a Twitter message by him he added, “This is the time when Luis Suarez needs our full support. Let’s not let him walk alone.”
The FA held that the penalty would be effective only after the outcome of any appeal by Suarez was known, and stated: “The reason for this is to ensure that the penalty does not take effect before any appeal so that Mr Suarez has an effective right of appeal.”
The incident took place during Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Man United at Anfield on October 15, 2011. Evra’s claim of being racially abused came immediately after the game and the player lodged a complaint with match referee Andre Marriner, who included it in his match report. The Man United defender later said to French television station Canal Plus, “There are cameras, you can see [Suarez] say a certain word to me at least 10 times.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.