Suarez, Evra and Reliable Witnesses

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The verdict in the Suarez case hung on the reliability of the witness testimony. In blunt summary, the FA decided that Evra was a more reliable witness and therefore found Suarez guilty. Here are the crucial parts of the testimony with some analysis…
Is the Word “Negro” Racially Offensive?
The panel of language experts used by the FA described the connotations of the word “negro” as follows:
 “It is important to grasp that the word “negro” is ambiguous in all countries and regions of Latin America. The word “negro” is by no means, however, always used offensively. The term can also be used as a friendly form of address to someone seen as somewhat brown-skinned or even just black-haired. It may be used affectionately between man and wife, or girlfriend/boyfriend, it may be used as a nickname in everyday speech, it may be used to identify in neutral and descriptive fashion someone of dark skin; several famous people in Uruguay are known as “el negro/la negra such-and-such”.
The experts concluded that if the panel believed Evra’s version of events, they could assume the word “negro” was used in a racially offensive way. However, they say of Suarez’s version of events:
“The experts concluded their observations on Mr Suarez’s account as follows. If Mr Suarez used the word “negro” as described by Mr Suarez, this would not be interpreted as either offensive or offensive in racial terms in Uruguay and Spanish-speaking America.”
The panel therefore needed to deem one of the accounts to be false in order to establish guilt, since Suarez’s defence was proved to be inoffensive in racial terms.
How Events Transpired
The conversation began with Evra saying “Concha de tu hermana” which translates as “your sister’s pussy”. Evra says he meant “fucking hell”. There is no dispute about who started the argument: it was Evra. There is no dispute about who threw the first insult: Evra. The dispute is whether Suarez’s reaction used racially offensive words. The FA ruled that it did.
So, how unreliable a witness was Suarez, and how reliable was Evra?
Immediately after Evra’s insult, the video evidence that can be lip-read shows Suarez saying “What did you say?” Suarez told the FA his words were “What did you say?” That is a reliable statement.
They both agree that Evra then said “Why did you kick me?” What they dispute is the answer. Evra claims Suarez said “Because you are black”. Suarez claims he said “it was just a normal foul” then shrugged his shoulders. The video evidence shows Suarez shrugging his shoulders, backing up his testimony. So far, the video evidence supports Suarez.
Next comes the crucial piece of Suarez evidence, the part the FA panel relied heavily on to find him guilty. Suarez said in his statement “I was trying to defuse the situation”. Under cross examination, Suarez more or less admitted that he was not trying to defuse the situation. The FA used this admission to discredit Suarez as a witness.
The really important thing he says comes just after this comment: “Under no circumstances was this action intended to be offensive and most certainly not racially offensive. It was not in any way a reference to the colour of PE’s skin.” This, the FA deemed, was also untrue.
The other evidence the FA panel relied on was the fact that Suarez’s story changes slightly. However, all of the changes can be fully explained by the fact that the situation happened very quickly and the fallibility of memory means that the exact sequences of events often merge into one. The FA acknowledge this as a possibility but do not accept it as an excuse.
There are inconsistencies in Evra’s testimony. In his evidence, Evra states that he told the players after the game that Suarez said he kicked him “porque tu eres negro” (“because I am black”). None of the four Spanish speaking Manchester United players recalled Evra saying this in their witness testimonies. In the FA’s report, they confirm this is the case but state that it is possible the players simply forgot he said it. They do not point to the other possibility: that he did not say it. Under this scenario, it could be used as evidence that Evra is an unreliable witness.
There were four pieces of evidence presented by Suarez’s lawyer to the FA that suggest Evra is an unreliable witness. The interesting one is the coin toss. Here is the transcript of that incident:
“Mr Marriner explained that he used a FIFA coin which is blue on one side and yellow on the other. He asked Mr Evra, as the visiting captain, to call the colour. Mr Marriner tossed the coin, it came down yellow, and he awarded it to Steven Gerrard who elected to stay in their current ends. Manchester United had kick off. Mr Evra remonstrated that he had called correctly but, Mr Marriner said, he had not. Mr Evra then spoke to Ryan Giggs about it, and Mr Marriner walked over to Mr Evra to assure him that he (Mr Marriner) had got it right. Mr Evra’s evidence was that when such a coin was used, he always called yellow given that the alternative, blue, is a Manchester City colour, which he would never call. The toss came down yellow and so Mr Evra knew that he had won it. He particularly wanted to change ends at the start, he explained to the referee that he had called yellow, and why he had done so. Mr Evra was angry but the referee did not change his mind.”
Evra either could not remember what colour he chose or lied about it afterwards. This at best questions his reliability as a witness and at worst suggests he is willing to lie to gain an advantage. Crucially, he reacted outwardly far more to the coin toss than he did in the goalmouth when he claimed that Suarez used the word “negro” five times. Had that really been the case, surely Evra’s reaction would have been much stronger?
Another inconsistency is Evra’s use of the term “ten times” to describe how many times Suarez allegedly said “negro”. Evra has retracted this claim and said it was a “figure of speech”. Really?
What about previous form? Suarez has no history of any form of racism and is an ambassador for racial equality. Evra, on the other hand, has been at the centre of a racism scandal in the recent past. It was alleged that ground staff at Chelsea racially abused Evra in 2008. The allegation was thrown out and here is how the panel described Evra’s testimony:“We find Mr Evra’s description exaggerated… There was no good reason for Mr Evra to have run over and barged Mr Griffin as he did. It was unnecessarily and gratuitously aggressive of Mr Evra… Mr Evra’s suggestion that he was concerned about Mr Strudwick’s safety is farfetched. They were two grown men having an apparently strong verbal disagreement but no more than that. The clear implication by Mr Evra that Mr Griffin’s pitchfork gave some reason for concern about Mr Strudwick’s safety is ridiculous…We find Mr Evra’s account exaggerated and unreliable. It is an attempt to justify a physical intervention by him which cannot reasonably be justified…”
Compare this to the conclusions drawn by the panel in the Suarez case:
“We considered it improbable that Mr Evra would act in such a dishonest way in order to damage the reputation of a fellow professional whose footballing skills he admires, with whom he had had no previous run-ins, and who he does not think is a racist.”
There is therefore evidence to suggest that both Suarez and Evra made statements that were not 100% true during this case, and that Evra has a history of doing this. By using Evra’s account as “the truth”, the FA have concluded that Suarez’s entire evidence can be completely discredited whilst the inconsistencies in Evra’s testimony, and past, can be ignored.
More Stories Evra Liverpool racism Suarez


  1. I am a Liverpool fan, I admire Suarez, I think Evra and Manchester United are despicable and would never support either of them. Furthermore, I do think the FA has been biased for Manchester United as well as against non-European players in the past, and I do not believe this attitude has changed much, but………

    If Suarez did indeed say the sentences it is claimed he said (“I don’t speak to blacks” and that he kicked Evra “Because you are black”), then there is no argument that we can come up with that could prove Suarez innocent. ***IF*** those were in fact the words Suarez uttered, then the ban is justified. The whole mess of a problem is that no one is sure whether or not those were the words, as the testimonies contradict each other (as would be expected) and the video footage is slim.

    We all know Suarez has a temper, we’ve known that for a long time. As for being a racist, I find it too far fetched to call someone a racist because of a spoken outburst in the heat of the moment. Racism is not saying the words “negro” or “coloured”. Racism is ACTING as though one “race” is superior to another. In a football match, players are over the edge at all times, and you cannot expect those players to talk like they were talking to their mothers. They will curse, they will insult each other, they will call each other names. Expecting that they would act politely in a heated situation is not only stupid, it is completely out of touch with reality.

    I still believe Suarez, and I do not see this case ending until the Court of Arbitration for Spot has a say in it (that is, if we can appeal to it). I do not see either Liverpool or Evra stepping down in this fight, and in all honesty, I am one who would like to see the CAS getting involved in this.

    I am 23 years old, I have been following football for longer than I care to remember, and I am yet to see a player acting in a truly racist way. I have seen fans acting that way (i.e. the abuse Eto’o would get in Spain, the banana thrown at Roberto Carlos in Russia, Lokomotiv fans “thanking” WBA for signing Odemwingie etc), and always the punishments were far too lenient. Why ‘make an example’ of Suarez and Suarez alone is beyond me.

    …I think I wrote too much. xD


    1. The position, therefore, is as follows. Mr Suarez spoke in Spanish to Mr Comolli soon after the game about this serious allegation. Mr Suarez also spoke in Dutch to Mr Kuyt. Both Mr Comolli and Mr Kuyt understood Mr Suarez to have told them that when he spoke to Mr Evra he said words which translate into English as, “Because you are black”. According to Mr Suarez, Mr Comolli misheard what Mr Suarez said in Spanish, and Mr Kuyt misheard what Mr Suarez said in Dutch.”

      Everybody according to Suarez misheard him?!? Give me a break other way around and you would already have planned marches or gone on strike blah blah blah accept the punishment for once and move on

      1. READ ON MORON!

        I think this is a valid (if long) perspective

        “90. Mr Evra’s evidence was that, in response to his question “Why did you kick me?”, Mr

        Suarez replied “Porque tu eres negro”. Mr Evra said that at the time Mr Suarez made that

        comment, he (Mr Evra) understood it to mean “Because you are a ******”. He now says

        that he believes the words used by Mr Suarez mean “Because you are black”.”

        End quote.

        I read the whole FA report. I am a Uruguayan born in Montevideo,
        currently a university Literature and Language professor in the US. It
        is clear to me that the Spanish language reported by Evra is
        inconsistent with Luis Suárez’s way of speaking Spanish. I am surprised
        nobody (and especially, the Liverpool lawyers) raised this point. The
        key is that Evra makes Suárez to appear using forms of Spanish Suárez
        just wouldn’t use. Suárez cannot speak as Evra reported him speaking.
        And that strongly suggests that Evra made the whole thing up.

        This is, I believe, key for the case and, if acknowledged, it would
        destroy Evra’s credibility. The fact that the FA has not noted that
        Suárez would never say “porque tu eres negro” (that is just not a way of
        speaking in the Rio de la Plata area), much less “porque tu es negro”
        or “tues negro” (as Comolly apparently stated), which are gramatically
        incorrect or just do not exist in Spanish. You don’t use the verb “ser”
        (to be) in the Rio de la Plata area that way. Luis Suarez would have
        said “porque SOS negro”. There is no possible variation or alternative
        to this whatsoever in our use of Spanish. And we of course don’t say
        “por que tu es negro” (as supposedly Commoly reported) because this is
        no Spanish syntax. In that sentence “es” is being wrongly conjugated in
        the third person of singular while it should have been conjugated in the
        second, “sos” (and never, I repeat, “eres”). Hence, I don’t know what
        Comolly heard from Suarez after the match, but I am positive he got it
        wrong–unless we believe that Suarez cannot even speak Spanish…

        What follows to these is that Evra’s report on what Suarez said is
        unreliable, just because Evra depicts Suárez speaking in a form of
        Spanish Suárez just does not use.- Suárez cannot have said “porque tu
        eres negro”. He would have said–if at all he said anything– “porque
        sos negro”. And the problem is that this is not what Evra declared. Once
        again: Evra reports Suárez to have told him “porque tu eres negro”
        which just sound unplausible. People from Montevideo or Buenos Aires
        just do NOT USE that verb “ser” (to be) that way. In such a case we
        would say “porque sos negro”. How come Evra reports Suárez speaking as
        he does not speak, and the FA accepts his word? Looks like Evra is
        making this up.


        That said, let’s pay some attention to the incredibly sloppy way the FA has managed the Spanish language in their report.

        “138. Mr Comolli said in his witness statement that Mr Suarez told him nothing happened. He

        said that there was one incident where he said sorry to Mr Evra and Mr Evra told him

        “Don’t touch me, South American” to which Mr Comolli thought Mr Suarez said he had

        replied “Por que, tu eres negro?”. (…) Mr Comolli confirmed under cross-examination

        that he believed that what he was told by Mr Suarez in this meeting was that the words he

        had used to Mr Evra translated as “Why, because you are black”.” Endquote.

        “Por que, tu eres negro?”…. ??!! This makes no sense. It is no Spanish.
        “Por qué” means “why” (and not “because” in this case). It is
        incorrectly spelled by the FA in their official report (they don’t seem
        to give a damn about Spanish, since they treat Spanish in such a
        careless way all along the report). It cannot be translated in a way
        that makes sense. Literally, if I had to translate it, it would be
        something like this: “why, you are black?” I have no idea what that
        could mean.

        And Mr Comolli’s version is VERY different from Suarez’s own statement. Let’s see what Suarez himself reported:

        “141. Mr Suarez’s version of this conversation was as follows. He said that Mr Comolli

        explained to him that Sir Alex Ferguson and Mr Evra had complained to the referee that

        Mr Suarez had racially insulted Mr Evra five times during the game. Mr Comolli asked Mr

        Suarez to tell him what happened. Mr Suarez told him that Mr Evra had said to him

        “Don’t touch me, South American”. Mr Suarez had said “Por que negro?”. Mr Suarez told

        Mr Comolli that this was the only thing he had said.”

        What Suarez stated makes perfect sense in the Spanish we speak in the
        Rio de la Plata area –even though, again, it is ill transcripted by the
        FA. They should have written: “¿Por qué, negro?”. Then, I have no idea
        why, the FA believes in the incorrect Spanish of a non native speaker
        (Comolli), instead of crediting Suarez about his own words…

        The linguistic abilities of the FA are completely under question here,
        and they seem to have been key in their grounding of the case. Let’s see
        how lousy their understanding and use of Spanish language is, by
        looking in detail at just another part of the reasons alleged by the FA:

        “284 (…) Mr Comolli said to the referee that Mr Evra first said “you

        are South American” to Mr Suarez who responded with “Tues Negro” which translates as

        “you are black”.” Endquote.

        It is ridiculous that the FA, after careful consideration of everything,
        would even consider relevant whatever Mr Comolli might have understood
        from Suárez, when it is clear Mr Comolli can barely understands what he
        himself is trying to say in Spanish. I say this because “tues” is no
        Spanish word. And “tues negro” cannot be translated at all—let alone
        into what the FA says it means. It’s simply not a Spanish expression, so
        it cannot be “translated”. Comolli recollection from his chat with
        Suárez just after the match is unreliable. A pity since it arrived to
        the FA jury through a Liverpool official, but the language is so
        ridiculously wrong it makes me laugh.

        In sum: Suárez could not have even said “tu eres” negro, which would be
        gramatically correct in Madrid, because in the Rio de la Plata area we
        would never say “tu eres negro”, but “vos SOS negro”. And that is a
        fact, not a matter of the opinion of anyone, not even the language
        experts consulted by the FA, of course. I am a native speaker of
        Montevideo, a PhD in Spanish by Stanford, and currently a professor of
        Spanish at Brown University, and if I was called to court on this, I
        would categorically deny that Suarez, who lived his adult life in
        Montevideo—despite being born in Salto—could have said other than “vos
        sos negro”. There is no way in the world he could have said to Evra,
        spontaneously and as a reaction to Evra’s words and attitudes, “porque
        tu eres negro”—and much less “tues negro”, that doesn’t exist. Simply
        “tues” is no Spanish.

        Despite of that, the FA makes it stand and transcribes it in their report, and substantiate their conviction on these words.


        Reading Evra’s statement, I understand it could happen that Evra
        misunderstood Suárez at some point. When Suárez said “¿por qué, negro?”,
        Evra might have assumed that as a racial insult, while Suárez—even in
        the heat of a discussion—could perfectly have said that as a way of
        normally expressing himself (not exactly to calm Evra down, but just
        because he normally would talk like that without thinking about it).
        This point is where the cultural clash seems more important, and it is
        working against Suárez because nobody in the jury (let alone the Daily
        Mail kind of media) seems to even start understanding the common way we
        use the term “negro” in the Rio de la Plata area. They heard their
        experts, and their experts explained the different options of our use of
        the word depending on different contexts and intentions. Then, the jury
        just decided that the whole thing was an equally aggressive clash by
        both sides, and because of that, they concluded Suárez could have not
        use the “negro” word to Evra in a descriptive way. Why? Their
        interpretation is not clear to me and doesn’t seem to be the only one
        possible. “¿Por qué, negro?” (after Evra said “Don’t touch me you South
        American”) is not offensive, but a question, and a very common one
        indeed, where “negro” is a DESCRIPTIVE noun, not an adjective loaded
        with a negative connotation. I completely understand why a British or an
        American might start not understanding the tone or the intention from
        Suárez. But I myself can clearly understand the account Suárez does and
        it seems consistent to me. I hear it more as a common (unmarked and
        uncharged) addressing to Evra.

        Finally, the whole verdict seems to be grounded on 3 elements:

        1) The FA tends to believe Evra is more reliable than Suarez (a purely subjective element)

        2) The FA does not seem to have understood the Spanish language
        allegedly used –even though they grounded they verdict on their own
        interpretation of that very Spanish language.

        3) They believe the word “negro” cannot be used just in a descriptive
        way in the context of a discussion–which means they don’t really
        understand how we do use it in the Rio de la Plata area. This made them
        feel Suarez was unreliable and probably aggravated them.

        A pity. The most important thing here has to do with proportion.
        Suárez’s name has been destroyed and now the FA has shown there is NO
        EVIDENCE whatsoever of Suarez saying any of the things Evra attributes
        to him, exception made of Evra’s own statement.

        Evra convinced the FA. And I wonder how much of racial prejudice
        (against the “wild animals” South Americans are supposed to be after Alf
        Ramsey’s famous remark) there is at play on the FA and media heads.

      2. You got lucky. United used anti-racism sensationalism as a method by which to make another club and player look very bad. Suarez isn’t innocent, granted, but the whole situation was merely a sad piece of opportunism by United and Evra, who wasn’t offended by the comments at all but chose to do what he did anyway.

        I personally feel that no one has come out of this looking well. United have helped to set the anti-racism campaign back years and Suarez’s comments have given the moronic general public the opportunity to cast the entire city of Liverpool in a bad light.

        The whole situation is a laughable farce and the fact that it highlighted how pious and dangerously influential the media can be should not be overlooked.

  2. this just stinks! The FA has lost all credibility in my eyes, its amazing that they can do this, I will be more disappointed however if LFC do not fight this! I do not see how the FA can pick and choose what they act on. It is they who are not credible.. If and it seems a big if Suarez said those things then rightly he should be punished, not made a scapegoat of. Equally important is that all instances should be punished, this no matter what will always feel unjust as John Terry walks around as if nothing matters. They were very quick to strip him of this captaincy for what are they saying, that infidelity is a crime worse than race crimes? The FA are not credible.

  3. “What about PREVIOUS FORM? Suarez has no history of any form of racism and is an ambassador for racial equality. Evra, ON THE OTHER HAND, HAS BEEN AT THE CENTRE OF A RACISM SCANDAL in the recent past. It was alleged that ground staff at Chelsea racially abused Evra in 2008. The allegation was thrown out and here is how the panel described Evra’s testimony:”

    – you were careful with your words but the implication is clear, evra has made allegations of racial abuse before (otherwise there would be no need to mention that the 2008 case involved an allegation of racial abuse, just as evra didn’t mention it at the time), however evra didn’t make the racism allegation in 2008, Mike Phelan did, Evra said he didn’t hear it. (also the finnan accusation was made by deaf fans, not evra, evra said he heard nothing)

    “They both agree that Evra then said “Why did you kick me?” What they dispute is the answer. Evra claims Suarez said “Because you are black”. Suarez claims he said “it was just a normal foul” then shrugged his shoulders. The video evidence shows Suarez shrugging his shoulders, backing up his testimony. So far, the video evidence supports Suarez.”

    – small problem, in his initial testimony Suarez didn’t mention this part of the conversation, he added it after seeing the video of the altercation. The panel correctly said that shrugging the shoulders fits with both players version of events. But evra’s version of events didn’t change, suarez’s did, several times, and was inconsistent with both his previous versions and the testimony of Kuyt and Comolli.

    “None of the four Spanish speaking Manchester United players recalled Evra saying this in their witness testimonies. In the FA’s report, they confirm this is the case but state that it is possible the players simply forgot he said it. They do not point to the other possibility: that he did not say it.”

    Thats because suarez didn’t question their testimony and so accepted it as the truth (that being that evra had spoken to them after the game and claimed racial abuse), if suarez had disagreed with their testimony then he would have called them for cross examination. All this is in the report.

    Quoted from the report:

    Valencia recalls “I think the words Evra used
    were words similar to “Negro, no hablas conmigo””

    Hernandez recalls “Suarez said to him words similar to
    “No voy a platicar contigo porque eres negro”.
    I understood from what Evra said that Suarez had been racially abusive towards him and that he had told Evra that he would not speak to him because he was black”

    Nani recalls “He said that Suarez had said that he wouldn’t talk to him because he was black. When he said this in English I think he used the word “nigger” but in Spanish/Portuguese he used the word “negro” or “preto”, I
    cannot remember exactly which”

    Anderson recalls “he told us that Suarez had said
    to him on the pitch that he wouldn’t speak to Evra because he was black. I think he
    used words similar to “no hablo con negro””

    – All of which fit with Evra’s version of events where suarez first says he kicked him because he was black and then responds to evra’s next comment with “I don’t speak to blacks”. You only focus on united players not mentioning the use of negro that suarez admitted to, whereas they recall evra complaining about his second use of the word negro. Evra recalled telling them that suarez told him he kicked him because he was black. Both are in Evra’s version of events and so there is no inconsistency or change of story, just a different emphasis of events. As suarez didn’t contest the united players version of events we don’t know if evra said anything else to them, it is most probable that the united players recall that they found to be the most offensive part, that suarez wouldn’t speak to him because he was black, but evra told them everything suarez said.

    – “Evra either could not remember what colour he chose or lied about it afterwards.”

    Or the referee got it wrong, but that option doesn’t fit with your narrative and so you don’t mention it.

  4. Absolutely shocking!

    I am appalled at the way the incident has been handled.

    Justice will out.


  5. It certainly seems looking through all the notes that have been published that in the end it came down to who the FA wanted to believe. I am certain United presented their case perfectly with all the friends and board members on the FA giving them a helping hand. Whilst it would appear Liverpool’s case was presented in a haphazard manner with of course no FA influence at hand to guide them.
    Like in all disputes, court cases and tribunals whoever presents the better argument wins regardless of who is right or wrong. I think despite all of the top corporate expertise at LFC, United used all their contacts to ensure they presented the better case, thus won.

    1. Which makes it that Luis’s and the LFC’s side of the story is as genuine as it can be whilst that of Evra and ManU is cooked up to suit the somewhat pre-determined decision on the case.

  6. I think the panel does not know the meaning of the word ‘inconsistence’. if they do, how could they say Evra was when Evra talked of 5 times, 10 times and the panel talk of 7 times? sometimes you wonder if some of these people could be trusted.

  7. FA REPORT: How Dalglish, Comolli + Kuyt CONTRADICTED Suarez’s Evra story…

    The FA has released a lengthy (!) and detailed report into the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra affair, and in this new series, I will pick out the most important parts of the report in a bid to to clarify facts and/or debunk misconceptions.

    There are several issues I want to highlight in the report, and I will do so over several articles, but one of the most interesting revelations is the fact that Kenny Dalglish, Damien Comolli and Dirk Kuyt all contradicted Suarez’s version of events, and this inconsistency was undoubtedly fatal to Suarez’s case.

    EVRA’S Claim

    FA report. Section 90:

    “Mr Evra’s evidence was that, in response to his question “Why did you kick me?”, Mr Suarez replied ‘Porque tu eres negro’ ”

    SUAREZ’S Version of Events

    Section 104:

    “Mr Evra said to him “Don’t touch me, South American”. Mr Suarez said that he turned to Mr Evra and said “Por que, negro?

    POST-MATCH: Suarez explains himself to Dalglish and Comolli

    Section 283:

    “Mr Comolli spoke to Mr Suarez in Spanish to get his version of what had happened. Based on that conversation, first Mr Dalglish, then Mr Comolli reported to the referee what Mr Suarez had said.

    “Mr Dowd, the fourth official, made notes and Mr Marriner, the referee, wrote up his report of the incident later that day”

    COMOLLI Contradicts Suarez

    Section 284:

    “Mr Comolli said to the referee that Mr Evra first said ‘you are South American’ to Mr Suarez who responded with “Tues Negro” which translates as ‘you are black’

    Section 289:

    “In cross-examination on this point, Mr Comolli agreed that he told Mr Marriner that Mr Suarez had said “Porque tu es negro”.

    “Mr Dowd stated that he asked Mr Comolli to spell “Tues negro” and Mr Dowd then noted it down. Those words appear in Mr Marriner’s report.

    Section 290:

    “At the end of his cross-examination, Mr Comolli agreed that he believed he was told by Mr Suarez that the words that he had used translated as “Why, because you are black”.

    DALGLISH Contradicts Suarez

    Section 304:

    “Mr Dalglish told the referee that Mr Suarez responded with “you are black” having first been taunted with ‘you are South American’ ”

    Section 284:

    “Mr Marriner’s report records that Mr Dalglish told him that Mr Suarez had responded with “you are black” having first been taunted with “you are South American” by Mr Evra”.

    KUYT Contradicts Suarez

    Section 297:

    “According to Mr Kuyt, Mr Suarez said to him that he had touched Mr Evra on the head and he (Mr Evra) said something along the lines of “get away from me South American”, to which Mr Suarez replied “because you’re black can’t…why can’t I touch you then”.

    “The Dutch words which Mr Kuyt recalled Mr Suarez using were “omdat je zwart bent mag…waarom mag ik je daarom niet aanraken”.

    “Mr Kuyt explained to us that the initial phrase in this passage means “because you are black”, i.e. omdat (because) je (you) zwart (black) bent (are).

    Suarez Claims Comolli Misunderstood Him

    Section 292: Suarez’s Witness Statement

    “There seems to have been a misunderstanding on Mr Comolli’s part because he interpreted what I said to him to mean that I said the equivalent of “Why can’t I touch you? Because you are black?”.

    “This was not, in fact, what I said but, even if I had said it, it would have made sense at the time and would not have been intended to be offensive or racially offensive. Nonetheless, I did not say it.”

    Suarez Claims Kuyt Misunderstood Him

    Section 299: Suarez Witness Statement

    “Dirk Kuyt also spoke to me after the match and I explained to him in Dutch what had happened. His Dutch version of what was said appears to have lost something in translation because he, too, is supposed to have heard from me that I said “Why can’t I touch you? Because you’re black?” but all I said was “Por que negro?”.

    Panel Response to Inconsistencies

    Section 291:

    “By the time witness statements were served, Mr Suarez and the Liverpool management had become aware of the apparent discrepancy between Mr Suarez’s present case on his use of the word “negro” on the one hand, and what Mr Comolli and Mr Dalglish had told the referee on the other”.

    Section 307:

    “The discrepancies between what Mr Dalglish and Mr Comolli reported to the referee on the one hand, and Mr Suarez’s evidence as to what he said on the other hand, have not been satisfactorily explained. At the very least, they demonstrate a confusion in Mr Suarez’s initial account of what he said, and an apparent inconsistency between that account and the case that he advanced before us”.



    I know it’s hard but please try and be objective when considering the above statements and the following questions:

    – Kuyt spoke with Suarez in Dutch; Comolli in Spanish. What is the likelihood that both misunderstood him in two separate languages?

    – Kuyt, Dalglish and Comolli ALL stated on the record that Suarez said ‘Tu es Negro’ (you are black) or a variation thereof. What is the likelihood that all three would get it wrong?

    – Kuyt, Dalglish and Comolli basically backed up Evra’s version of events, and made the FA’s case for them.

    – Objectively speaking, it could be argued that it looks like Suarez changed his story after learning that Kuyt, Dalglish and Comolli contradicted him.

    – It’s also entirely possibly that Kuyt, Dalglish and Comolli DID mishear/misunderstand Suarez. However, on the balance of probabilities (which is how the Panel assessed the evidence), you would have to say that it’s not very probable.

    The inconsistency between Suarez’s own statement and what he told Comolli, Dalglish and Kuyt after the game was clearly fatal to his case, and I just don’t see how three separate people could ‘misunderstand’ what Suarez told them.

    Just look at it from the Panel’s POV: The Liverpool Manager, Director of Football and a senior player – all credible and trustworthy witnesses – reported *on the record* that Suarez told them something different to his own personal statement.

    Such contradictions introduced significant doubt into the situation so it’s hardly surprising Suarez was deemed to be ‘unreliable’.

    Jaimie Kanwar



    DAILY POLL: What are the 3 most concerning aspects of the Spurs defeat?
    KENNY DALGLISH confirms: “LFC don’t need to buy anybody else…”
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    “I don’t think there’s another team in the country as good as Liverpool…”
    DANI PACHECO: More agenda-driven hypocrisy + unfairness from Liverpool fans
    Thankfully, this has only happened to Liverpool 9 times in the last 52 years…

    Read more:

  8. It is quite clear from the report that Evra’s statement is unreliable/exaggerated at best also and that Suarez is guilty of using racist terminology on the occasion he admits to.

    It is clear from the video footage that Evra reacts in a shocked manner to something Suarez says after the corner incident when called by the referee. By his own admission this is when Suarez uses the word ‘negro’, if this had been the 5th (or even ‘over 10th’) time Evra had been called this then why react so dramatically at that one point? Clearly this was the first time he had been called this particular word by Suarez and the rest, ‘in all probability’ is an exaggeration of the truth by Evra to justify his reaction and behaviour.

    As for Suarez it is clear that his reaction to being approached, abused and threatened by Evra was to not diffuse the situation but to antagonise him to provoke a response. This clearly had the desired effect as it appears Evra lost control of himself for the rest of the game and afterwards with his fellow players and interviewers.

    As for the semantics of the use of the word ‘negro’ I think this is moot. Clearly Suarez is not racist but the word was used to further antagonise Evra and therefore was used as a racist term. Either way there is no place for it in the game and a punishment is clearly appropriate.

    The difficulty is obviously that although both players were guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, Suarez’s use of a racist term to gain maximum response from Evra threw up a smokescreen of racism (used to maximum impact by Evra) but was probably of no more relevance to the reality of the situation than was ‘Suarez’s sister’s pussy’.

    Also Suarez misguidedly trying to play down his part in being inflammatory in the events only served to make it look as if he had more to hide, as Evra was pinning high levels of racism on him, this is what has stuck.

  9. Well Evra is at last being shown to be a porky pie teller. What is the FA doing believing Evra. Do not forget Evra said the ref was told You are only booking me because I am black. Can not understand why all the deaf players never heard anything along with the ref and the linesmen. The FA are plonkers.

  10. NEGRO is not a racist word. The United States Census Bureau announced that “Negro” would be included on the 2010 United States Census alongside “Black” and “African-American” – does that mean the US government promotes and condones racism?

    The trouble here is the judgement has been made by 3 individuals who probably have never experienced a second of true racism in their lives. They are a joke and disgrace to the United Kingdom.


  11. Points succinctly made. Kenny will definitely feel there is an agenda against Suarez and Lfc. Surely such a decision could not possibly stand up in a court of law.

  12. your all badly biased, i cant believe you still back suarez at all. it wasnt just evras evidence that they went on. what about the video evidence which shows him saying it? why would you call someone a negro, if you didnt mean any offence by it? suarez is guilty, and any of you who defend him are just as bad as him.
    and for the record, i hpe terry gets the same punishment.

  13. You need to accept this judgement because your defence of Suarez is undermining the image of Liverpool Football Club. I don’t know if he’s racist but he clearly used racially abusive language. We also know from his past record of biting opponents and pulling hair that he thinks all things are acceptable on a pitch. I’m also sure we’ve all got opinions about whether his gamesmanship constitutes cheating or not. It’s one thing after another with Suarez and what happened in here is entirely in keeping with his character.

  14. “…We should not have expected complete detailed accuracy and consistency in witnesses’ recollections of a fast-moving disorderly series of events…”

    The above is a quote from the FAs findings of the case between Patrice Evra and the Chelsea Groundsman in 2008 (paragraph 40). In typical double standardness the FA are using this to destroy the reputation of luis suarez.

    If i was him i would take the matter outside the FAs hands and sue them for deformation in as civil court.

    The “balance of probability” legal mechanism is standard for UK civil law (i.e not criminal) however this was NOT a civil court case. Take the FA to a proper court on this issue. This farce mock trial has irreparably damaged the reputation of someone without any supporting evidence other than the word of suarez vs the FA. Everything else is hearsay (dalglish, comolli, giggs etc).

    1. Me thinks you are 111% correct. This whole thing should be determined by another independent institution and possibly bring in non-UK “cultural experts”. I don’t think UK experts alone are capable of getting to the bottom of this issue in all fairness. Let’s not forget that people’s reputations are at stake here. It would be a gross miscarriage of justice if the FA’s judgement alone is made to stand and carry the day.
      In my view, there are pertinent contextual elements to consider when assessing the verbal exchanges between LS and PE. It appears that the FA panel and everybody else quoted appeared to ignore the apparent change of the contextual meaning of “Because you are black?”. From the context in which those words were uttered, it appears Suarez was actually expressing surprise that Patrice Evra did not want Luis to touch him!!! rather than Luis stating a statement of racial abuse.

  15. Liverpool are in denial – the whole thing has been mishandled by Dalglish from the outset, they should have put their hands up, Suarez issuing an apology (saying it was just a “cultural” misunderstanding) and after a 2 to 4 match ban the whole thing would have been forgotten, but Dalglish has made it an issue for Liverpool FC to “not give an inch”. If you’re going to fight to the bitter end you’d better make sure you pick a fight you can win. Of course, given Dalglish’s status as a deity, Liverpool fans are now forced to keep backing Suarez in this unwinnable situation. I reckon it’s just a matter of when Liverpool FC accept the FA’s verdict now – and it won’t be up to Dalglish either, Henry and co. will call it.

  16. In my humble opinion i think the club had done ok so far in defending suarez but at the end of the day the football club isnt about a particular player.liverpool fc is a club that is rich in heritage,traditions,has a vast global fan base and had its image across the globe.However Suarez got himself into this mess and if the club fights tooth and nail to exonerate him what is the guarantee he wouldnt do somewhat worse than this??Going by urgly events he got himself involved during his spell with Ajax i am afraid Suarez needs a bit of check up from the neck up perharps allowing him to serve his suspension and that would serve him a deterrent in his future conduct otherwise Suarez might think even if he does something ridiculous the club will bail him out..This is reality check..Everyone could imagine he stupid he falls into opponents traps even at the middle of investigation he got himself in another trouble at Fulham by sticking up his finger thats ridiculous Suarez must realise that whatever that is done to him on the field of play to wind him up he must not react as he isnt just a role model but a representative of Liverpool football club

  17. Arsenal fan in peace –
    None of my business really, but just wanted to give my opinion as an impartial observer.
    It does appear that Suarez has used racially offensive language, therefore he must pay the penalty. If the expression he used is not offensive in Uruguay, then he is innocent of being an actual racist, but still guilty of using racist language.
    LFC were always a club with a bit of class about them, from your style of play to the administration aspect, but I must say I think LFC have handled this particular issue very badly. In the first place, no statement should have been made until the full report was released. Secondly, any statement released should have said that although in Uruguay the term is less racist by definition, in England its unacceptable and must be punished. Combine that with wearing “lets kick racism out of football” shirts instead of the other fiasco, and LFC may well have got the ban reduced on appeal.
    We are all football fans here, all loyal to our own players no matter what, and thats natural. But some things are bigger than any player, any club, even any sport.
    And this is one of them.
    The very best of luck for the rest of the season.

  18. Are all these comments for real?
    Do these people really believe what they have said, surely not?
    Has Man Utd more influence than Liverpool FC? Is it because thay are a bigger club?
    I think Liverpool FC should take the FA to court and also that the police charge Suarez, both court outcomes will clear it all up. If guilty, but unthinkable, Suarez will go to jail. If LFC lose to FA a massive fine, extension to Suarez ban etc .
    So yes please do go ahead – if you dare!!!!!!
    Not to do so would expose LFC as lying hypocrites and surely nobody would follow such a club unless they too are hyprocites.

  19. I’m baffled by it all. I could sit here and list counter claims from both parties and ultimately it seems to be a case of ‘tit for tat’.
    What does annoy me is that the FA are quick to dismiss Kuyt’s evidence as unreliable when he was the best placed person to comment, and then De Gea doesnt hear a thing. Kuyt is probably the most honest and hard working footballer i’ve ever seen so why should he lie?
    There is also the likes of Nani (renowned cheat), saying that he think he called PE ‘ni**er’ when it was the word ‘negro’ used. Anderson, Nani,Valencia and Hernandez have also given their accounts that all seem to be a bit different to each other’s stories, considering they were all talking in the same tongue. It’s also worth remembering that Hernandez uses similar phrase to Suarez too, as we are all well aware of.
    There are always going to be cross cultural issues in the world and stuff can get lost in translation. This player has now been branded ‘racist’ which seems very harsh, given the fact that it’s a case of ‘one word against anothers’. Kangaroo courts are quick to crucify too.
    As for some of the comments thrown about i/c one from Juan at 0740a.m.- if you want thuggery, stick to Man Utd where the crowd gets a kicking, or even the international opposition- and you get your ban shortened by FA appeal!

  20. I have just watched this video and report, and it shows the
    FA have obviously not done their home work properly

    Copy and paste this in to your browser.
    It shows the initial incident, and from this angle it shows Suarez did not kick Evra, so Evra really has no reason to ask why he was kicked.

    Has anyone else any other similar videos reports that conflict with the FA’s report.

    If you agree that this video shows the FA have missed a vital part of this saga, then
    please repost this video in as many places as possible to
    highlight why we rightly feel Suarez is being victimsed.

  21. As a matter of fact,all this mess started with our legal representative Mr McCormick who seemed to be Ok with the appointment of the three man-panel.

    But how many people do know that he was previously one of a two-man FA commission which ruled against Liverpool in deciding Manure had no legal obligation to sell Gabriel Heinze when the Argentine defender wanted to move to Anfield for £6.8 million in 2007.

    So this guy has our interests in charge,a guy who thinks that Heinze is a toy or a slave in the hands of his owners whilst 3 years later we all saw how Torres left us for Chelsea at his request.

    Therefore a legitimate question springs to mind,who hired Mr McCormick and on behalf of what? Who is at the helm at Liverpool? How many other trojans are still there waiting to slaughter us at the first opportunity? All these questions must be addressed and sooner the better.

    As for the case itself when a so called independent commission engineers a conviction for which the defendant would never find a room for an appeal because the conviction itself is not based on hard evidence which can constitute a proof beyond a reasonable doubt but only on a way lower standard fashioned by the commission called “balance of probabilities” between two narratives or storytellings,it is better to bring the whole case to the high courts,I’d say.We’ll see then who is right and who is wrong when everything will be put under scrutiny according to the due process of law.

    My advice to LFC owners,try to hire a bulldog lawyer this time and don’t forget to charge the FA for defamation and biased judgment.

    And believe me, if the PR do their job well and start a harsh campaign against the FA in mass-media and press,I don’t think the FA will resist our charge coz there’s a huge risk their brand will be damaged knowing the fact they will lose before the high courts if they are trialed and asked to show the ground they based on the conviction.

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