News24

Liverpool furious at Suarez ban

2011-12-21 13:45

London - Liverpool reacted furiously after Luis Suarez was banned for eight games by the Football Association for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra and vowed to fight the verdict.

The club said late on Tuesday English football's governing body had been "determined" to find Suarez guilty and in a strongly worded statement said the 24-year-old Uruguay striker had not received a fair hearing.

"It appears to us that the FA were determined to bring charges against Luis Suarez, even before interviewing him at the beginning of November," the statement said.

"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 allegations relate to a 1-1 Premier League draw between bitter foes Liverpool and United at Anfield on October 15 after which France defender Evra claimed he had been racially abused "more than 10 times in the game".

Liverpool said they were stunned that such a lengthy ban should be imposed on Suarez - who has been the club's outstanding player this season - as a result solely of Evra's testimony.

"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.

"Luis himself is of a mixed race family background as his grandfather was black... It seems incredible to us that a player of mixed heritage should be accused and found guilty in the way he has based on the evidence presented."

Liverpool will be provided with the full reasons for the ruling, but several British newspapers have reported the case centred around Suarez's use of the word "negro".

It is believed Suarez told the panel this was a descriptive expression and not deemed offensive in his home country.

Suarez, reacting to the decision on Twitter, said: "Today is a very difficult and painful day for both me and my family. Thanks for all the support, I'll keep working!"

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, who has been staunch in his support of Suarez, also took to Twitter to voice his anger at the verdict.

"Very disappointed with today's verdict," Dalglish said. "This is the time when @luis16suarez needs our full support. Let's not let him walk alone. KD."

Liverpool cast doubt on Evra's reliability as a witness, saying: "It is also our opinion that the accusation by this particular player was not credible - certainly no more credible than his prior unfounded accusations.

That was a thinly veiled reference to a 2008 scuffle between Evra and ground staff at Chelsea, when a subsequent FA hearing branded the defender's testimony "exaggerated and unreliable."

Suarez, signed for 23 million from Dutch side Ajax in January, has scored eight goals in 19 Liverpool appearances so far this season.

The Merseysiders statement means they are certain to challenge the ban, and given Suarez remains free to play while an appeal is in progress, he could feature in Wednesday's match away to Wigan.

Liverpool, who saw Premier League champions United surpass their record of 18 English titles last season, are currently sixth in the table, 10 points behind their second-placed north-west rivals.

Suarez's ban could yet have a knock-on effect for England captain John Terry.

British prosecutors are currently considering if there is enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the Chelsea centre-back regarding claims he racially abused Queens Park Rangers' Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League match in October.

AFP

Comments
  • jowza1 - 2011-12-21 14:05

    lock him up in your empty trophy cabinet

      Khoi - 2011-12-21 14:59

      Too small in size, won't work for him.

      Kevin - 2011-12-21 16:12

      Empty trophy cabinet??? Champions League : 5 (1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005); Championship : 4 (1894, 1896, 1905, 1962); Community Shield : 15 (1964, 1965, 1966, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2001, 2006); Europa League : 3 (1973, 1976, 2001); European Super Cup : 3 (1977, 2001, 2005); FA Cup : 7 (1965, 1974, 1986, 1989, 1992, 2001, 2006); League Cup : 7 (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995, 2001, 2003); Premier League : 18 (1901, 1906, 1922, 1923, 1947, 1964, 1966, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990)

      Juan.pike - 2011-12-22 09:26

      pwed ... LOL

  • cliff.drysdale - 2011-12-21 14:17

    Liverpool has no right to be Furious, it was inevitable that a serious ban was going to be delt out to the person who did not heed the Soccer federations warnings against racial abuse. It so happened that it was their player who was delt the blow. There has to be an example made and if you can't conrol your players then you as a club and management are equally to blame along with the player. Attitude on the field mirrors your attitude off the field.

  • Ian - 2011-12-21 14:24

    As the Chairman of the South African Supporters Club Gauteng, we are very shocked and disappointed with the verdict based on Evra's word alone, this is not the first time he has accused someone of slurs. I would suggest taking a deeper look at Evra's history of accusations. We as a supporters club are against all proven forms of racial abuse, this however is unproven. Luis has played for years in multi racial teams and has many multi racial friends, this is unjustified. YNWA

      jowza1 - 2011-12-21 14:44

      What can we say,shame?

      Dave - 2011-12-21 17:40

      Sadly Ian, his reputation precedes him..... He's not exactly Mother Theresa is he? He's already had a 6 match ban for BITING..... yes, that's BITING!!!!..... an opponent in Holland, fighting with team mates in training, throwing himself to the floor multiple times in every game, diving against SA in the World Cup, the deliberate handball against Ghana, and the icing on the cake for me and every other Everton fan in the world..... the way he had Jack Rodwell sent off earlier this season after no contact at all..... and that list was off the top of my head without doing any research. And, lest we forget, he's also up on a charge for showing the finger to the Fulham fans. No mate, this reprehensible individual is no Bobby Charlton, and I don't feel sorry for him - or your club - in the least. NSNO

      Deon - 2011-12-24 06:30

      Liverpool fans, and employees, claimed Evra had a history of playing the ‘race card’. For those who don’t know, the race card refers to exploitation of racist attitudes to gain a personal advantage, typically by falsely accusing others of racism against oneself. In essence, they were saying Evra had in the past lied about being targeted by racial abuse. A very serious claim, I’m sure you’ll agree. It stands to reason that if it is a serious thing to claim racist abuse, it is also a serious thing to claim someone has lied about claiming racial abuse. Liverpool’s official website columnist, Kristian Walsh, claimed on Twitter that “Patrice Evra has accused racism of three players before today. All three have been cleared.” This tweet was retweeted by hundreds of Liverpool fans, as were similar ones. The problem was, that it wasn’t remotely true, not one bit.

      Deon - 2011-12-24 06:31

      In fact, before Saturday, Evra had accused zero people of racism, not the three quoted by Mr. Walsh and dozens of other Liverpool fans, not two, nor even one. There have been two incidents involving Evra and accusations of racial insults, the only problem is that Evra did not claim in either that he was racially abused – the claims came from others. In the 2006 case of claimed racial abuse by Steve Finnan, the accusation was levelled at Finnan by a deaf fan who claimed he lip-read the racial slur. Evra declined to complain. A rather odd thing to do for a man with a supposed inclination to play the race card, I’m sure you’ll agree.

      Deon - 2011-12-24 06:31

      In the case with involving Chelsea groundsman, Sam Bethell, it was Mike Phelan and Richard Hartis of Manchester United’s coaching staff who claimed they heard the abuse. As the FA report says “The two witnesses who say they heard those words directed by Mr Bethell at Mr Evra are the Manchester United first team coach Mr Mike Phelan and the goalkeeping coach Mr Richard Hartis.” It later goes on to say “Even if we disregard the fact that Mr Evra has never claimed to have heard such a remark on that day, it is notable that there were several other people far nearer to Mr Bethell at the critical point in time than were either Mr Phelan or Mr Hartis.” So in reality, Evra accused neither Finnan nor Bethell of a racist remark. The claims were made by others. These are the cold, hard facts.

      Deon - 2011-12-24 06:34

      Football is a wonderful thing, but can also be a dangerous thing. When we as football fans are switching our moral views, assuming guilt or fabricating incidents based on the shirt a man is wearing, we have gone too far. We cannot and must not lose perspective because of it. As ridiculous as it is for a man who didn’t have another care in the world on Saturday at 12.45, it is only a game.

  • Rodney - 2011-12-21 16:57

    Hope this a good enough warning to.all the racist bigots out there,r

  • Nunu - 2011-12-21 17:41

    A word may be a normal/regular one. The context under which it is used defines whether it is an insult or not.

  • Carl - 2011-12-21 20:34

    best football news of the year

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