Another Trial By The FA
Liverpool’s FA Cup 4th round clash at Anfield against Manchester United tomorrow puts Liverpool Football Club in the spotlight once again. With the rivalry of the two clubs it is always an explosive fixture, but this time it could be really nasty after the recent case involving Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez.
Suarez won’t be able to play in the match as he is currently serving an 8 match ban for making “racist” remarks to Evra, but Liverpool’s constant backing and defence of their star player has shown everyone that the club are not happy with the decision made by the FA. This is probably the last draw the FA could have hoped for when the draw was made.
Liverpool has accepted the FA’s decision without appeal against the 8 match ban, but by backing Suarez they are obviously accepting the decision through gritted teeth. The recent problem with a fan at the Oldham match has not helped Liverpool in their stance against racism, and the club will be under the spotlight against Manchester United.
I fear Liverpool could get into serious trouble if any player or fan steps out of line tomorrow by abusing Evra. It is such a volatile situation the club find themselves in and everyone I hear on the radio and in the papers seem to be blaming Liverpool and asking for Kenny or Liverpool Legends to come out and diffuse the situation.
OK it is a Liverpool player who has been judged to be guilty and Liverpool should have to deal with the situation. But this situation is such an awkward one for everyone involved, considering the rivalry between the two clubs and I think the FA should step in to advise Sir Alex not to play Evra in this match, because he has been the other player directly involved in this awkward, sensitive and unusual case. With Suarez already banned from the match, this leaves Evra as a prime target which I fear could get ugly.
Why should Manchester United suffer and be forced to leave one of their best players out of one of the most important matches of the season. Evra has been the victim so why should he suffer if he feels prepared to play.
The blame is with Liverpool Football Club so they have to get on with it and woe be tide anyone stepping out of line. So if there is a bloodbath tomorrow all the blame will lie with Liverpool and the book will be thrown at them, and the FA will feel no guilt, when they have the authority to prevent this happening by preventing Evra from playing.
Liverpool supporters are some of the best supporters in the world and I am not saying for a minute that trouble will happen, but there is big chance it could with feelings running very high. Every shout from a spectator and every tackle from a player on Evra is going to be scrutinised and Liverpool will be on trial by the World’s media as they will flock like vultures waiting for a piece of controversy.
If Sir Alex Ferguson had any sense and want the match to be concentrated on football, then he would leave Evra out. But Ferguson will love this situation and he knows Liverpool players, supporters and the whole club will be on trial and he will make it is as awkward as possible by playing Evra who could thrive on this and possibly cause more trouble. But Ferguson should have the decision to play Evra made for him by the FA.
I also think the FA should advise both clubs not to play Evra and Suarez in the League match that is coming up soon at Old Trafford, so that tensions can ease a little between the two clubs. I don’t expect the FA to step in as they put Liverpool on trial again. I just fear Liverpool could lose a lot more than just a Cup tie. But if things turn nasty don’t go blaming Liverpool or Manchester United, lay your blame with the FA, but you can be sure they won’t be found guilty.
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