The night the FA killed football

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By Darren Rudham

Let it be known, the FA has overstepped their bounds here. But how could they not? This was the perfect storm for them. How many times are you going to be able to throw Liverpool FC into disrepute AND get to engage in the loudest sabre rattling heard in the English game over one the league’s ugliest issues in the same fell swoop? All of the pieces just fell into their overstuffed laps.

Enter Luis Suarez. A man who famously (or infamously depending on your country of origin) handles a ball on the line in a World Cup quarter final; a man who performs the game’s first ever walk-by biting; a man who gives fans the finger (allegedly). Whether or not he said anything to Patrice Evra is almost irrelevant. He is easily cast a villain. And an easy target.

Then there’s LFC itself. As a club, with the debacles of ownership and managerial and on-field woes, we’ve never been as vulnerable to the wiles of the FA as we are now. It is the perfect platform to use Fergie’s agenda to knock us and our barbarous Northerness further off our perches. If you are small and/or weakened, the FA will kick you. Count on it.
One thing is abundantly clear, with what the FA has meted out in the past, the punishment hardly fits the crime. Had this been a criminal court of law, it would’ve been thrown out through lack of evidence. They won’t overturn this charge. They can’t. But then, they never intended to. This is the messenger. So why not have rung as loudly as possible in every town square in every footballing town in England?

They will drop the number of games on appeal. Precedent demands it. Anyway, they’ve made their point. It also serves as a display of clemency. One stone. A whole flock of birds. Is it hypocritical? Certainly. Egregious? Undoubtedly? Flat out nefarious? Without question. It’s the FA. And they’ll keep the money. Of course.

All this makes one thing crystal clear – I LOVE LIVERPOOL FOOTBALL CLUB. The way they have handled the whole issue to this point, culminating in the masterstroke response letter after the charges were made public has been nothing but class.
The coup d’ grace in the final paragraph almost made me weep. Sheer genius. The club has effectively said: “when you’re done banging on your drum, how are going to pay the piper?” How the FA responds to this nearly-veiled challenge should prove priceless.

Also, don’t expect Luis to be picking up splinters in the very near future. The prison term doesn’t begin until after the appeal process – and this should prove to be an appeal for the ages. The pound of flesh the FA is looking for will have no blood in it. The club will see to that.

The principle of the appeal aside, drawing the process out also gives the club a chance to weigh their options in the January window and to get the team ready for the inevitability of suspension. We need Luis for February. Well, we need him in every game he’s fit for, but especially in February. (Whether or not we let some of the kids get a chance or if we should get into the horror-fest that is January, is a story for another day.)

And let us not forget, he might also get “fingered” for an alleged incident after the Fulham game. Even in the event of a successful appeal process, it still may be an eight week Luis-less season.
I wonder if the lads will be in black this afternoon for the Wigan fixture. Seems fitting to mourn the passing of due process and sensibility in English football.


  1. Suarez is not an easy target as you suggest, he brings it on himself, like Rooney. I’m a Utd fan and to be honest couldn’t read past the first two paragraphs because I can’t believe that this is how LFC fans think about the issue. If ANY Utd player (past or present) was found guilty (like Suarez has) he could get lost from Utd as far as I’m concerned. Racism has no place in the world, nevermind football. I doubt very much you’ll be defending John Terry…..
    Oh and it wasn’t that he “allegedly” gave fans the finger…’s clear to see, just Google it.
    I’m all for supporting your team and I’ve a lot of friends who are LFC fans but I know that each and everyone of them will not defend Suarez once he’s been found guilty.
    Oh, and I doubt very much that they will publish this comment, but I think it’s only right to speak up when something this bad is happening.

    1. your an idiot……..whys he guilty because the fa have taken a bad pennys word for it?? or you a united supporter got the verdict you feared you wouldnt, you think it gives you the right to sound off like the do gooder?? take a look at the type of players you have past and present. hardly gives you the right. evra was looking for trouble the moment the game kicked off, he is pure scum.its okay for a coloured guy to give abuse is it??
      as for john terry, they have this thing that they dont have regarding suarez……………..PROOF!!!
      had it been say emile heskey who came out and said suarez had been racist, you would probably believe it (honest guy) my point is , evra is a piece of shi#……literally.

  2. “Whether or not he said anything to Patrice Evra is almost irrelevant.”

    It’s not though is it? It’s utterly relevant.

    Take your victimisation elsewhere, racism has no place in football and neither do apologists for it.

  3. I also believe racism or any form of discrimination has no place in the national game but we hear and lip read every other form of discrimination and insult on the pitch at virtually every game and nothing is ever done or said. So I understand why LFC and it’s fans are furious that Suarez has been the one to be made an example of in such a brutal and unfair way.
    If the FA want to crack down on all the foul mouthed insults thrown around in a typical 90 minutes then they should have issued a directive and told the referees to enforce them at every game since the season began. I understand the FA’s stance and applaud them for it but to do take this stance in such a harsh unfair way stinks of headline grabbing with a cynical twist against FIFA too.

  4. Hi
    If suarez had used the word ‘nigger’ then it was clearly racism, but he did not, he said Negrito, the equivalent of Negro – how is that a racism remark?… If one is proud to be black or proud to be Negro, it will be a pleasure to be called that – not an insult?
    Amazed that prior to this not a single white footballer in 120 years of English football was ever dealt such a sentence for racism, but a footballer of mixed/black descent is victimised like this. I am sure that no white footballer ever uttered a racist remark towards black footballers!!!!!

  5. another utd fan that is brain washed as is the rest of the small mentality island.

    The f.a has links to utd and the whole conutry form the minute the verdict was heard was going for suarez’z blood, it stinks and thats clear.

    This country is so poor and so low with its mentality is just disgusting, they loved gus poyet before this happened vut now becaus ehe has gone and taken suarez’s side, sky sports and all the other dogshite media drivel companys are hagning him out to dry!!!

    Its so corrupted here and yet most english – british people cant even see what the government is doing with their own country never mind the shambolic league with is the premiership!!!

    Just look at the standard of reffs!!! what a joke that is.

    buttom line liverpool have been stiched up and i only hope suarez’s people and lfc and his home country step in and make this hell for this countrys f.a

    hate this country and its way it goes about saying we are the best and this and that – please tell me what great brtian is really great at -? nothing is the reply

  6. From Momo

    It is crystal clear that since day one Suarez has been mistreated by referees on the pitch and the yellow press off the pitch as well. Being an instant hit has cost him.

    But being mistreated by the FA that has found ground to charge him regardless of any due process of law meaning without hearing him first and then delivering a ban call after the hearing session by a so called independent regulatory commission 02 months after the alleged incident took place is a new low in UK that hasn’t been experienced since the bill of rights of 1688.

    As a matter of fact the ban decision is a daylight plot in which the strongholds of dirty business are trying to ban him from England once and for all just to undermine our progress since KD is at the helm. This is not a delirious claim based on resentment but on facts, only facts.

    Let me recall you that last year at the same period of time he got 07 games ban for biting an opponent from Eridivise; Shortly afterwards he left Netherlands for England before serving the punishment seeking a new start “elsewhere”. Unfortunately, today the ” smart boys” of the FA or shall I say the corrupt people in charge of the FA have intentionally delayed their call on purpose, to recreate the same situation as last year with a game more of ban this time, meaning they’re trying to get into Suarez’s mind to force his hand to leave.

    Of course he hasn’t been charged for racism but only for misconduct, which is quiet different, nonetheless at the popular level it won’t change anything and probably his own wife is already doomed. And if the pressure goes higher she’ll probably ask her hubby to leave this cold and chilly country for another one close to the sunny side of Europe.
    As for the statement itself it looks like a very ludicrous one from a standpoint of a law man ,no evidence at all has been shown, just a political gesture , nonetheless nothing is lost yet and Suarez can fight back vigorously with a support from all of us, don’t let him walk alone …and for those who are interested here is the full statement from the FA:

    An Independent Regulatory Commission has today [Tuesday 20 December 2011] found a charge of misconduct against Luis Suarez proven, and have issued a suspension for a period of eight matches as well as fining him £40,000, pending appeal.
    On 16 November 2011, The Football Association charged Luis Suarez with misconduct contrary to FA Rule E3 in relation to the Liverpool FC versus Manchester United FC fixture on 15 October 2011.

    A hearing took place from 14-20 December 2011 before an Independent Regulatory Commission of The FA to consider the charge.

    The Independent Regulatory Commission announced its decision on 20 December 2011, which is as follows:

    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 color within the meaning of Rule E3(2);
    Mr Suarez shall be warned as to his future conduct, be suspended for eight matches covering all first team competitive matches and fined the sum of £40,000;

    The [penalty] is suspended pending the outcome of any appeal lodged by Mr Suarez against this decision.
    The Independent Regulatory Commission will provide written reasons for its decision in due course setting out:

    (a) the findings of fact made by it;
    (b) the reasons for its decision finding the charge proved; and
    (c) the reasons for the penalty.

    Mr Suarez has the right to appeal the decision of the Independent Regulatory Commission to an Appeal Board. An appeal must be lodged within 14 days of the date of the written reasons for the decision.

    The penalty is suspended until after the outcome of any appeal, or the time for appealing expires, or should Mr Suarez decide not to appeal. 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.

    And here is LFC’s response (excerpts):

    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.

    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.

    Now let’s take a look at the three-man panel, which gathered on last Wednesday afternoon, the commission was chaired by Paul Goulding QC, who comes from the same Blackstones chambers as Adam Lewis, the barrister employed by the FA in Wayne Rooney’s successful Uefa appealtwo weeks ago. Hummm…
    Goulding, is seen by those who have a political agenda against us as a qualified FA coach!!? He has allegedly appeared for Jean Tigana in his successful claim following his sacking as Fulham manager against an arab Tycoon and has seemingly advised Premier League clubs and players in the past. Which ones please? If only you know…

    Also involved as a second member of the panel is Brian Jones, the chairman of Sheffield and Hallamshire FA who wrote to all his county members on June 20, stressing the need to fight discrimination. (Seems to me the good guy above all contingencies?), So all his CV is reduced to a simple letter he wrote to hid county members and they want us to believe he’s an angel in white!? Furthermore they want us to believe he’s qualified to deal with such a sensitive issue dealing with foreign culture and involving THE MIGHTY Liverpool, a club that has always took stance against racism.

    The third member is Denis Smith, well respected within the game according to some people working the angle. Following his time as a defender at Stoke City and managing clubs such as Sunderland and Oxford United, it appears to me he’s the perfect manservant whose past as a player and manager can be put under scrutiny to outline his strong ties with people from the Elite having a political agenda in this sensitive issue…

    Two representatives from the FA secretariat were also present for legal matters. However, despite the fact only Goulding, Jones and Smith were the ones to rule on Suárez officially, the other two freaks from the FA have a interfered with the debate and directed spotlights on some areas at the expense of others as if Evra was the only one to be allegedly harmed here at the opposite point of what the fact findings have shown.

    Now I described the three man-panel, a legitimate question springs to mind, who picked them over other personalities more capable of dealing with big clubs and big issues and when did that happen? This is not an innocent question, knowing the process will speak volumes about the decision those people biased or not have made. Someone somewhere must address these questions…

    At the end of the day this is not an independent regulatory commission as stated by the FA freaks, if it were up to me an independent regulatory commission would’ve included two former big players from big clubs with one of them being black and the third member being a justice to moderate the debate with the due process of law without any freaks from the FA present at the meeting and trying to interfere with the debate (hearing sessions). I am stunned how the legal department at LFC has done nothing about that.

    The Fact findings;

    During the game opposing LFC to Man UTD, shortly after the corner (63′ ), referee Andre Marriner called the pair together for a lecture. Suárez apologized and attempted to pat the United full-back on the head. “Don’t touch me, you South American,’’ Evra is alleged to have said. To which, the Uruguayan replied: “Porque, Negro?’’

    Despite Marriner’s intervention, Evra remained furious. When he caught Kuyt two minutes later, Evra responded to Marriner’s caution by allegedly claiming: “You’re only booking me because I’m black.’’

    How come such a provocative reaction from Evra hasn’t been mentioned by the referee on his report until the hearings? Evra has evidently charged the referee of racist motivations for booking him which is tougher than Suarez’s allegedly misconduct.

    Moreover, given the FA’s several respect campaigns and that they recently decided to charge Liverpool with failing to control their players for arguing an official’s decision the other day against Fulham, there seems a case to be made for Evra facing disciplinary action for his words to Andre Marriner regardless of the outcome for Suarez.

    Besides of that, Evra’s use of “South American” as a pejorative term seems the far more loaded use of language in that exchange, at least as it is now being reported.

    There’s no doubt The KD-Suarez combo has revitalized
    Liverpool FC by making other major teams fear our comeback, bar the game vs Spurs we have dominated all the teams we faced but were a bit unlucky and then unable to convert our chances into goals.

    I sense all the hidden opposition at the government and parliamentary level, alongside their allies behind the walls of dirty financial strongholds have grown unhappy both with our progress on the field and with our hype and thirst for justice and truth about the Hillsborough dramatic events as well, hence this coalition that has its specific interest in maintaining the football industry under “control” has now fired back to destroy our brand once again the same way they did in the past, what is at stakes today is way beyond Football but we can fight back and we will give them a fearsome fight.

    Finally, this bunch of plotters are trying year after year to make negative publicity around us since 1985 just to make room for their friends in order to win respectability at our expense with the billionaires interested in seeking high profile in UK through footy business. And the recent developments of the events dealing with the Hillsborough dramatic events has really upset the current government more preoccupied by sparing Thatcher’s club and friends tranquility than seeking the truth…

    Hopefully with AL Jazeera Sports network breaking through for the new TV rights in 2013 we’ll see who will have the last laugh…

    Meanwhile be assured whoever you are that Liverpool house will stand against all its enemies any time all the time and Luis Suarez will never walk alone…he is one of ours. And we will fight side by side even if we have to storm the FA building… mark my words.

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