Maybe that anger isn't a lack of respect

LUIS SUÁREZ has one game left of the eight-match suspension he got following on from the incident with Patrice Evra in October. By the time he returns the incident will have been in the headlines, or never far away, for the best part of four months.

For two and a half of those months the headlines sat above stories that were based on speculation and on anything that might be leaked from those in or around the two clubs and players. Since then, since the written reasons were published, the stories have been based on a mixture of that speculation and little more than a cursory glance at a handful of the 115 pages the FA panel produced to justify their decision.

There is no excuse for anyone who feels strongly about the incident to comment on it without having read the full report. Not now.

It came out on New Year’s Eve and in the urgency to get a reaction out it’s hardly a surprise the reaction was based on the summary spread out over the last few pages of the epic document. Four weeks on, why have those who keep talking in such strong terms about it still not bothered to read it?

Look at the facts before making the accusations

Freddie Kanouté told the BBC’s World Football Focus that it was possible Luis Suárez had a point, that cultural differences could mean the Uruguayan has been unfairly treated, but he made it clear that he was in no position to defend either player, for one simple reason. He hasn’t read the report, he hasn’t studied the case in any detail.

Kanouté, based in Spain with Sevilla since 2005, said: “Here, some people, they have a way to talk to each other. It’s true; when I arrived here I was a bit shocked because that’s their way to express themselves. But I’m not going to defend him, or the other player, because I haven’t studied the case.

“All the time I think we should study the cases more deeply to be sure we don’t accuse someone falsely.”

Kanouté played in England for a number of years for West Ham and Spurs, he was born in France and played for their under-21s before choosing the African nation of Mali as his country for full internationals.

As we waited over the Christmas holidays for the written reasons from that FA appointed panel it’s safe to say that most of us hoped the document would clarify the facts of what had really happened.  Armed with the facts we could all, whichever way our football or personal allegiances swayed our opinion, make our own judgement on the whole mess. We could find out why Liverpool’s defence of their player was so strong, we could find out why the panel were not only sure they had come to the right decision but why they were so strong in their punishment, we could finally air our opinions based on whatever evidence there was and not on the sensationalised hypothetical versions based on the opinions of those looking on from outside.


Liverpool fans who stood by Suárez as they waited for that written reasons report did so with a fear somewhere between the front and back of their minds that their opinion of the player and of those running their club could take a massive hit when its contents were revealed.

It’s fair to say that those who condemned Suárez from the first airing of Evra’s accusations also awaited the report with a fear that it might be hard to stand by its findings. Deep down they knew that there might be more to Liverpool’s stance than commercial, financial and team selection worries.

Nobody expected 115 pages. Nobody expected it just as they were about to get changed to go out for New Year’s Eve. Nobody, it seems, did anything more with it than they needed to in order to confirm their existing opinions.

Those who wanted to agree with the verdict didn’t need to read the full document. They got all they needed in a convenient summary at the end. But that summary didn’t really explain the assumptions that had been made in order to reach those conclusions. And those who continue to condemn Suárez, his club or his fans based on that summary have quite literally jumped to conclusions.

The Truth

If your interest stops short of wanting to know the truth and revolves around wanting to condemn Suárez, his club or his club’s fans then it’s a surprise you’re still reading this now. If you saw this as an ideal opportunity for some tribal point scoring the chances are you’re licking your wounds today anyway, avoiding football talk at all costs.

If that’s not you, if you do feel strongly about the issue itself, the accusations of racial abuse, it’s time you did read that report. The longer you avoid it the closer you become to those who celebrated the verdict for the harm it might do Liverpool more than the benefits it might bring to the fight against racism.

If you feel strongly about the issue you’ve had four weeks to read the 115 pages front to back a few times. If you haven’t even had the decency to do that then you should hold your hands up now and admit you’re not really in any position to comment either way.

Blagger’s guide

The nature of the report is such that if you haven’t read it, you can’t bluff your way into making it sound like you have. This is worse than watching the last game on Match of the Day and using the four minutes of action to help pretend you were there or that you saw the whole game live. It’s worse than supplementing that with the opinions of someone who only saw the match report on Teletext.

Much of what has been written – before and after the publication of that document – is way off beam in terms of the detail the report contained.

If you go around mentioning the word “negrito” you’ll stand out a mile to those who have bothered to read it all. “Negrito” got into the conversation about the case after “high level sources” at Old Trafford spoke to a sympathetic Manchester journalist. The word only appears in one place in that 115 page report, in a point discussing what Manchester United’s Hernandez had said about the word.

Have you looked at what Evra’s initial allegations were? Do you know the word he originally accused Suárez of using? When did he change his mind about the word? How many times did he change his mind about the word on the day itself? How many times did he claim Suárez had said the word – and how many times did he change his mind about that number?

If you only read the summary you won’t have a clue. Maybe it doesn’t matter how many times he changed his mind – but how can you say that without reading about it?


There are signs that some of those who condemned LFC and its fans without reading the report have actually started to realise that the anger isn’t a defence of racism, or about blindly putting their club ahead of the abhorrent subject of racism. In time they might actually have the guts to stand up and admit they jumped to conclusions and that they now understand the points being made, even if they still disagree with them. In time they might just see what the cause of the anger really is. Those who do this maybe deserve a bit of an amnesty – as long as they hold their hands up about how they reached their earlier conclusions.

The anger is, in many ways, that we still haven’t actually debated what really happened and that the condemnation is based on something other than what really happened.

Is it wrong that the anger should be directed at Patrice Evra? Maybe – but that’s a debate in itself. And debating the rights and wrongs of Liverpool fans calling him a liar is all part of that debate.

Some of those so quick to condemn that anger need to look at themselves before looking down at Liverpool supporters.


Time and again we hear condemnation of inconsistencies in football and many of those having a go at Liverpool now bang on repeatedly about introducing technology into football to cut down on the number of contentious decisions. They do this because they know what one person sees at first glance might differ from what someone else sees at first glance. They do this because they know the ability to spend ten seconds looking at something instead of a split second makes a big difference.

They do this, however, knowing full well that no amount of technology is going to bring an end to the controversies that surround the interpretation of the game’s laws.

And they do this whilst having spent the equivalent of a split second looking at the Suárez incident when basic technology, in the form of a PDF document, allows them to spend the equivalent of many minutes looking at it.

Why the reluctance from those who have been so outspoken to look again, properly, at the incident? The decision has now been made and it won’t be changed by those with the power to change it – but why not just look again anyway? Just for your own personal piece of mind, just for your own integrity?

You’d look stupid if you kept banging on about a penalty you thought was stonewall, demanding a belated 3-match ban for the player you think gave the penalty away, if you’d only seen it once, from one angle, at normal speed. Especially if you added weight to your claims based on the opinions of someone from the side that didn’t get the penalty, knowing that side had also not seen it more than once, from more than one angle. Unless you dropped lucky of course and by coincidence your opinion tied with the details the replays showed.

Without that bit of luck and coincidence you’d look stupid if you chose not to look at the replays, offered to you on a plate, yet continued to condemn the referee for getting it wrong. At times like that you’ve got to choose – take the time to check your facts or shut the hell up. If you genuinely cared, the way your constant references to the incident suggested you did, you’d check your facts.

Look again

This isn’t a penalty, this isn’t a sending-off, this is something far more serious. Yet people still won’t look at the replays. Are they scared it might make them look foolish, it might put them in a position where they have to own up to being wrong, even just a little bit wrong?

Are you one of those who wanted to see Liverpool suffer more than you wanted to kick racism out of football?

Someone amongst the Liverpool supporters looks to have made offensive gestures of a racist nature during the game yesterday and was widely condemned by Liverpool supporters for seemingly doing so. An arrest was made later in the day and that means it’s best not to comment on the incident in too much detail – but anyone doing what that man was accused of doing isn’t welcome at Anfield or entitled to call himself a supporter. And that’s putting it nicely.

Meanwhile Manchester United fans sang, more than once, a song they have been singing for a number of years. They sang it in between chants that “the S*n was right” and far worse chants about Hillsborough. They sang it between chants where they compared Liverpool’s anger at this verdict to the anger felt about Hillsborough. They sang it between chants accusing Liverpool FC of being racist. The chant was about their South Korean player, Park Ji-Sung, and “eating dogs”. The song is considered highly offensive by the South Koreans it’s aimed at yet there is never a word heard condemning it by those who profess to care about discrimination and those who remind everyone about the importance of “zero tolerance”.

If you’re still reading this you probably do care about discrimination, you’ll probably realise that the song about Park shouldn’t be sung, you’ll probably see that Liverpool anger isn’t coming from “closet racists” (as one journalist claimed during a number of embarrassing exchanges on Twitter last night). So you’ll want to find out why Liverpool are angry, you’ll want to try and engage Liverpool fans and you’ll want to make sure the future reporting of this incident is not only more accurate but more helpful to the cause it is meant to all be about helping.

Liverpool fans might still be wrong. The player might still be wrong. But you’ll never persuade us that’s the case if you keep condemning us for what we’ve never said or done.

Think about what respect means before accusing others of lacking it.

Read the report; read it from front to back – it won’t be easy but if you care as much as you claim it’s not a lot to ask really. Imagine it’s a movie outline if that helps, see if you can spot any holes in the plot or see if you think it all makes sense. Just don’t judge the movie by its trailer.

In other words, shut up and focus on reading that report!

Sooner or later we’d like to move on.

* If you’ve not got a copy of the report yet, you can download a copy of it from here or here.


  • Edd

    Well written, calmly argues point, without much of the anger and over egged passion that often reduces the point that is trying to be made.

    Nice one as always Jim.

  • pretty much sums it up.

  • Dough

    Well put, I’ve read the “review” and some of it is uncomfortably embarrassing to read on the FA’s part…..

    Evra comes out worse than Suarez in my eyes but like you say…. The summary makes for great bullet points if you want to point fingers.

    One day it will be looked at with the care it deserves for such a sensitive matter…… But I feel it won’t be by anyone in the Fergie Association!.

  • ken

    another top article can u not post it on all the prem sites,we all no not one paper will print this,i cant believe that so many people who claim not to be racist havnt bothered reading it and are discriminating against suarez can hold there heads up if them people whatever nationality make comments they are as bad as a racist

  • gfergo

    i think people who have liverpool fc best interests at heart should stop writing articles about this incident, luis suarez has been dealt with by the f.a. in my opinion very harshly indeed and the more media attention that the incident gets just keeps the thing alive and raw you jim should know better than give it page space, its just what the mancs and every other anti liverpool person wants, im sure you are more than capable of writing an article about our great club, you dont need to go down this road, luis is one game short of a return to playing after 8 games and even our own are still making bullets for our enemies to shoot us with, to many depressing and negative articles still being wrote not only about this but even after a defeat calling for sackings ect i know its the modern age of mass media but we as SCOUSERS should always keep to our roots and age old principles, and thats what you are entrusted with writing for one of “our” websites jim you should embrace that and never forget the position of TRUST you are in, redtilldead fergo

    • gfergo

      i have calmed down now, your article is very well written and i agree with the basics of the article, BUT im sick of luis getting dragged through the mud over “words”, i know it is not POLITICALLY correct in this day and age but the only comment seb blatter has uttered that has sounded half intelligent got him castigated in the press, enough said

      • We’ve just got to try and engage with those who might listen and make sure our objections are reasoned and on the record. The truth will come out in the end, however long it takes.

    • ken

      its about the TRUTH coming out how long it takes doesnt matter do u thin k people are going to stop calling suarez a racist, if it was u or a family members would be saying the same,the answer is no but when it doesnt hit u on a personal level its easy to say drop it but most liverpool fans dont want it dropped till the truth is written for all to see.then people will look at suarez for his football talent and not as a racist.

  • Joe

    Great post Jim.

    The FA have a lot to answer for here.

    This morning, Jonathan Northcroft made the point that any black player who is racially abused in future might recall Evra’s “treatment” at Anfield yesterday and be reluctant to report it.

    He’s got a point.

    Anybody who has taken the time to read the report and then taken the time to read between the lines of the report, knows we are none the wiser. Neither Suarez or Evra are victims and neither are culprits.

    But the whole process from accusation to verdict, including the irresponsible press coverage, has, by design, polarised opinion and made them BOTH victims and culprits.

    • Well said Joe.

      It was partly down to what Jonathan was saying that I wrote this. The case opens the door for someone to make an accusation up completely as much as it does for someone to make offensive remarks and get away with it.

      In my view the FA, the panel and the media wanted one hero and one villain out of this, when maybe it wasn’t so cut and dried.

    • Russell Wareing

      You’re right.

      But, I would think the treatment of Anton Ferdinand in a pretty cut and dried case of racism is a lot worse than a couple of boo’s at Anfield.
      The FA are helping JT out though, England captain going to get a pardon probably.
      Well, according to the asshole Holt from the Mirror, what JT reportly said ‘black c*nt’ isn’t even racist.

      The gutter press have made this so much worse for everyone in order to get a story

  • Rob

    Excellent piece of work Jim.

    From the start, I told everyone very philosophically to all that Luis will have to pay a price if he really had a malicious intent in that incident. This is the wheel of karma. But if he’s being made to pay for a ‘crime’ that he never committed then the consequences will be double on those who persecuted him. Time will itself correct the mistakes and the real culprits will come out by themselves… .

    What happened yesterday? Who let his team down? Who gave Liverpool the win on a plate? This is why Fergie is so sick and cannot understand why and how he lost!!!

  • Russell Wareing

    Great article as always.
    The fact we still have to go on about this is due to other ignorance in condemning without knowing anything about it.
    They are starting to embarass themselves now.


  • Doug Smith

    Great article Jim,but I think we,re all p…… Against the wind.After reading most reports on the match there is more condemnation on the booing of Evra and Kenny,s regard to it ,than an actual report.
    The John Terry affair is being seen by the press in a completely different light,he,s” strong character,great leader,etc,etc., a great deal of spin on the fact mostQPR players were NOT going to shake Terry,s hand therefore FA had to step in and cancel it. ( It wouldn,t do if our illustrious skipper grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons)

  • lexxxa469

    Can one of you people please explain to me why an independent panel convened under the auspices of the FA would “have it in” for Liverpool Football Club?

    • “Lexa” – first things first, where does the article say the FA-appointed independent panel would “have it in” for Liverpool Football Club?

    • steve

      maybe they do not have it in for Liverpool but they certainly have it in for the truth.
      How else do you explain a prosecution success rate of 99%+
      This show’s no interest in justice only in being right, by any means.

      There is no court in the world apart from the FA with conviction like this, even Stalin’s famous trials did not prove so successful.
      So if you are not prepared to read the full report and try and see why as fans we are angry about this then surely that conviction rate should make you at least uneasy. After all a man’s reputation has been tarnished and the image of our club and its supporters dragged through the mud

      Or would you be happy to front up to a court knowing that you have virtually know chance of a verdict in your favour.

  • Flyingred

    Quite agree. If anything the situation’s worse – Daniel Taylor in today’s Observer implies that because the report was 115 pages long it provides overwhelming proof that Suarez was guilty.

    The whole judgement balances on the pre-commission coaching that Evra was given, which enabled him to appear certain, despite having changed his story several times, whereas Suarez was hammered for being inconsistent.

    It’s ironic that Evra claims he told the ref (twice) and Giggs that Suarez had abused him but they claim not to have heard or understood. Remarkable that with the same crowd noise to contend with that Evra was able to hear with clarity and certainty what Suarez said, even though he reported a linguistic construction that a Uraguayan would never use.

  • Grover

    Well done Jim. Great article with reasoned and intelligent points. I cannot believe the attitude that if a 115 page report was produced, then it must prove the right verdict. Nobody I’ve met who has an opinion on this has read the full report.

    The Park Ji-Sung song is as racist as it comes but is it not a problem because it’s sung by fans of his team? The hypocrisy of the media beggars belief.

  • Joe

    To Lexxxa469,
    You would’nt think it was possible, would you, that the FA could have it in for LFC, or that the media in general have it in for LFC. But then again you could’nt believe that 96 people, mostly children & young men could have been manslaughtered in your country, slandered by the general media, by the countries politicians, and lied about by the very police put there to protect them and just because the happen to be called football fans and are from around the Liverpool area, 23 years later & that same institution of hate against this club & area are still getting away with it.

  • Michael Odongo

    Before I point out a few flaws in your article Jim, I would like to congratulate the entire Liverpool team for their had earned victory yesterday against Manchester United yesterday. This victory is a step ahead in the fight for the premiership title that has eluded as for a long time.

    First of all cultural reasoning does not give us room for stupidity. Suarez is a mature Adult above 18 years of age. Justifying his actions using his country’s standards undermines England’s efforts at fighting racism globally.

    Reading the report as you suggest is also not the issue. The English FA and Manchester United are not out to get Liverpool. The FA governs English football and had a responsibility to calm the tide. The panel that was chosen seemed satisfactory to everyone; Why didn’t the sceptics voice out their dissatisfaction earlier on. I assume, had Suarez been cleared by that report, you probably would be on the FA’s defence. Somebody reading this article would see this as a Manchester United-Liverpool dual. Telling us to look more intently at the facts is baseless because the very reason the panel was appointed was to save us time. Should we wait for the whole of England to read the report so-that a judgement can be made. The irregularities and inconsistencies of the English FA has nothing to do with the nature of the offence. You would have good grounds for argument if the accusation of racism had been directly labelled against them and they returned with a judgement favouring themselves. But this was a dilemma to do with two English teams who have consistently had an equal share of good and bad blood with the English FA. Their is no way you are going to convince the world with this foolish article. Even an average mind can analyse the inconsistencies behind it. I personally agree with gfergo that such articles should not be written to avoid keeping wounds fresh. Instead Liverpool Football club should be bridging the gap and mending fences. Clearly their is no smoke without fire. this tragedy has caused some damage to its fan base that will take time to heal. The onus is on Liverpool to begin.

    Unfortunately besides football, this tragedy generally shows that the English are no better than other countries that are known to openly discriminate! Uganda expelled Indians in the 1970s for a collapsed economy caused by the Amin regime. This showed a kind of racism that took a great deal off Uganda’s self image. What is the difference between England today and Uganda then.

    As an individual I am deeply heart by the fans and management of the club since I am a childhood supporter. I believe my feelings are equally shared by many Ugandans and even Africans as a whole. Liverpool’s stubborn pride is what has contributed to the collapse of their game! Their non accommodative stance is killing the healthy pride that we all have shared for this great club! Little do some of these fans know that LIVERPOOL IS AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND AND NOT JUST A DOMESTIC CLUB! The more they show racist tendencies, the more they chip at that legacy. If this continues, in 10 to 15 years we will have lost much of the Liverpool we once knew.

    • Another Joe


      In my opinion, the ‘tragedy’ (I used the word loosely) here is that good Liverpool supporters such as yourself have been led to believe that your club has acted improperly and displayed racist tendencies.

      Had the commission found that cultural difference was no defence, found Suarez guilty on those grounds and punished him on those grounds, we would be having a different debate.

      But they didn’t.

      Despite having called linguistic experts to examine the ‘cultural difference’ element, the commission deemed it irrelevant because they considered Suarez’s testimony to be unreliable.

      What they deemed relevant was the repeated and unambiguous racial abuse claimed in Evra’s testimony – which the commission deemed to be reliable.

      This is all right there in the report.

    • OllyB

      “..the more (lfc) show racist tendencies …” – what on earth are you talking about..?

    • Eric

      Michael Odongo – quick question, have you actually read the FA report?

    • Joe

      Only people with something to hide and cowards are afraid of dialog. Those who come on here defending the obvious lies on behalf of the accuser, his manager & club should at least have the balls to defend their case. People like you are setting race relations back years. Racism is discusting, as an Irish person I’ve suffered my fair share of it in the past, but you can’t carry a chip on your shoulder either. It is an even bigger crime to knowingly lie about, or exaggerate an accusation of what is essentially a criminal offence. Any half reasonable person, without agenda’s or chips on the shoulders can tell from reading this report, (the accusers report) that Patrick Evra’s evidence is extremely unreliable, at very best. I hope that, if the day ever comes when someone close to you is facing an allegation that could destroy their lives, that the jury they face will have a little more common sense and reason than you show here.

    • What do you mean a ‘kind of racism’? It was as genuine a case of racism as there could possibly be. How on earth can you possibly equate Uganda under Amin with England today? I find your comments deeply offensive and racist in the extreme. Perhaps you would like to let us all know when this country expelled thousands of Asians. The vast majority of those expelled from Uganda now live in this country along with their descendants, and as far as I am concerned they are very welcome, unlike some of the religious extremists that have infested this nation.
      What the hell has it got to do with Luis Suarez anyway?

    • Michael,

      That’s a rather lazy way of looking at an important issue. The panel was appointed to save us time! Oh well in that case why do we bother looking at any case anywhere?

      I was going to write a longer reply until I’d spotted that bit. The panel might have made a mistake, the rules they followed might have been flawed, the evidence they looked at could have been incomplete or inconsistent with other evidence that wasn’t put before them – but if we just leave it to them to get it right and don’t bother reading that report we’ll never know. If we care about it – and not everybody does – we can look at this report and see if this is the case. That applies to FA panels as it does to more serious cases around the world away from sport. To say we just leave it to the panel “to save us time” is ridiculous.

      People have been executed in England after the legal system decided they were guilty of crimes that later, when it was too late, it was found they hadn’t committed. The death penalty doesn’t apply now, but people have spent the majority of their lives behind bars only to be released 30 years later when it was discovered they’d not actually done the crime after all.

      Forget the cultural differences, the issues most people I know have with that report don’t get that far. Read the report and you’ll see why.

    • steve

      Good Lord, are you for real? have a look at this from amnesty international. If we followed your world view we wouldn’t have to bother as they would all be dead.

      One more thing don’t you dare try to associate the atrocities committed by your country with an argument here about whether or not somebody from Uruguay called a frenchmen black.

  • lexxxa469

    Well the whole gist of your article is that the panel’s findings are wrong, Suarez did nothing wrong and Evra is untrustworthy.

    You keep reiterating that people should, “read the report”. I’ve read it and come to the conclusion that Suarez was rightfully punished. I find LFC handling of the whole situation to be abhorrent and the actions of the club, in particular the manager, and the fans in recent weeks and yesterday have completely turned me off a club I previously had no animosity towards. I’m an Arsenal fan so I have no axe to grind with LFC but I’ve been on the receiving end of what your manager so nonchalantly dismisses as “banter” and I oppose it at every opportunity.

    • Another Joe

      Lexxxa, please clarify how you reached the conclusion that Suarez was rightfully punished.

      Many people I’ve spoken to believe Suarez was guilty of an offence but not the offence the commission found him guilty of.

      Perhaps you are one of them?

    • So, “Lexa”, you’ve made a false accusation of your own, essentially. Anyway, never mind.

      As far as I’m aware Kenny was referring to Evra being booed and as far as I’m aware he’s not the first person to get booed at a football match. I assume you don’t mean you’ve been booed so I’m guessing you’ve put two and two together and decided all those booing were doing it because they’re racist. Or have you been booed?

      I don’t think you’ve read the report, I think you’ve read the coverage of it elsewhere. I do think the panel’s findings were wrong and I’ve gone into why a few times on here so I’ll not repeat it now. If you’ve read the report yourself you’ll see why, even if you don’t agree with why, I and many others have problems with the way the panel reached their decision.

      On another note, Lexa, you’re hardly in a position to preach on what’s banter and what’s not anyway. I’ll come to that in a sec.

      If Suarez had admitted to using the word initially claimed by Evra (see the written reasons for what went into the ref’s report but was later retracted by Evra) then there wouldn’t have been a 115 page report. The word Evra claimed Suarez had used (“n****rs”) was an insult in its own right and as far as I’m aware no context would excuse the use of it. The hearing would have lasted five minutes if it had got that far, with an 8 game ban at the very least I imagine and – as far as I’m concerned – the end of his Anfield career.

      But Suarez didn’t use that word, and Evra later admitted that to be the case. (He also initially went from telling the ref it was “black”, to telling him it was “n****rs”, to saying it was once, to saying it was more than ten times, to saying it was five times, and so on, as you’ll know if you’ve read the report.)

      The word Suarez did admit to using was “black”.

      Without going into it all, I think even you would accept that it is very hard to use the word “n***er” in English without it being abusive. I think you would also accept that using the word “black” in English, even when describing the colour of someone’s skin, might not be abusive. For example, “the first black president” or whatever. Even in English it’s possible to use the word without intending harm and without harm being inferred. In Spanish, in Uruguay, the experts point out (in that report) that it can be used in many more situations without harm being intended or taken than would apply in English in England.

      That doesn’t mean he did or didn’t intend harm. It means it is possible he did and it’s possible he didn’t. Without any reliable evidence we don’t actually know what he said, let alone what he meant.

      If some previously undiscovered video footage turned up the day before the hearing and corroborated Suarez’s recollection of events 100% (and showed Evra’s version to be wrong) we’d still be debating whether or not what he admitted to saying was right or wrong – as would the panel when they sat to discuss it. Chances are – if that version was proven to be 100% correct – we’d probably all agree that he meant no harm but shouldn’t use it again because it’s possible the other person might take it as offensive. Whether he would, or should, still get punished would be another couple of debates.

      Likewise if some footage came to light proving 100% that the version eventually decided on by the panel was spot on we’d not have a lot to debate. We (Liverpool fans) would be angry for different reasons and would probably be debating what punishment the club should impose on him over and above the FA’s punishment.

      But back to why I don’t think you’re qualified to comment on what’s banter and what isn’t, or to preach to me or anyone else on what Kenny said.

      The FA rule E3(2) is the second part of what Suarez was charged under. For that rule it says your punishment will be increased if you breach rule E3(1) but do it with the addition of “a reference to any one or more of a person’s ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation or disability.”

      You might have personal experience of abuse or insults with reference to one of those things included and I can only imagine how horrible that must feel.

      But what about this, from you:!/lexxxa469/status/78109124109402112

      I think you need to sort out your own prejudices before you start having a go at other people for prejudices you’ve still no proof they even have.

  • lexxxa469

    I’m sorry but those events are no justification for LFC’s attempts to defend the indefensible.

  • zac

    doing as you advised, and have so far read up to page 52.
    One interesting point stands out to me. on page 28 para.93-99 , Evra has quite clearly heard Suarez say ‘negro’ atleast 5 times.
    but if you fast forward to page 30 para.102 it is at this point that Evra apparently reacts to the term ‘negro’ which may or may not give creedance to Suarez’s version that this is in fact the only time he used the term…..

    • Another Joe

      It’s an interesting observation and one that others have picked up on.

      If Evra’s version of events is to be believed, he let the first five insults slide.

  • Dave

    The implication seems to be that if you condemn Suarez you mustn’t have read the report. What about the people who HAVE read the report and come to different conclusion from yourself? People with no allegiance to either club. Does it not tell you something that the only people defending Suarez are LFC supporters, whereas virtually every neutral sides against him.

    Far worse than Suarez’s actions however have been the actions of Liverpool Football Club. I think most can forgive Suarez for his moment of stupidity, but LFC has had time to consider their actions and craft their statements on the matter. The way they have handled the case is nothing short of embarrassing, and disgraces a proud institution. If reports are true, they may have privately admitted mistakes to the mother of a murdered black teenager. Respected ex-players like Didi Hamman also criticising the club’s response suggests that not everyone connected with the club is comfortable with what we’ve witnessed in the aftermath.

    The focus should no longer be on Suarez. He’s served his time for his mistake. The focus should now be on the club – they have a lot to answer for.

    • Another Joe

      Are you somebody who has read the report and agrees with it’s findings?

      If so, welcome to the debate. I, for one, would very much like to hear what points you have to make.

    • “Dave”, or whatever your name is,

      This isn’t aimed at anyone who has read the report, whatever their conclusions. Those who haven’t read it tend to stand out with their comments, as mentioned above. I’d also hope that anyone vocally supportive of Suarez who hasn’t read the report yet does so as well, because they also tend to stand out.

      Your prejudice against LFC jumps out – “the only people defending Suarez are LFC supporters” is wrong, by a long way.

      You’re also confusing people’s opinions on the case itself and people’s opinions on how “the club” (itself an ambiguous label) have handled it. I don’t know anyone who, having seen the full report and having had time to reflect, is fully supportive of how “the Club” (the people employed by it) handled the situation.

      Some wonder how on earth they managed to lose the case, others wonder if they should have ignored the pressure and taken it all the way through whatever appeal processes were available and outside into the real world’s legal system if needed. Others wonder why they even bothered to take on the FA, knowing full well how the FA is set up (with a lot of similarities to the much-criticised FIFA). Some wonder why anybody at the club admitted to anything at all.

      I doubt you’ve read the report either, but you’ve clearly read a lot of opinion on the issues and seem to have collected some that fit in with your own views. Maybe my suspicions of your comment are prejudiced too – not everyone who leaves a comment using fake details is automatically not to be trusted.

  • Stephen Quayle

    Quality read. I have stopped buying the written press a few years ago when they started on Rafa. With the Suarez case if have seemed to have made their minds up from the day is was reported and have not changed their stance. It was really apparent when the Mirror reported the Tom Adeyimi case and Anton Ferdinand receiving a bullet. Liverpool were castigated by the Mirror for this and Hardly a word was written about the Ferdinand case. Now the written press are starting to have a go a Dalglish. I fear it will end the same way in that they will force Dalglish out of LFC

    • steve

      I agree with you completely mate i read a lot of stuff every day due to my job but i never read so called newspapers anymore.
      Endless gossip and ranting for closed minds. One of the pieces on here sums up my feelings now ‘not arsed’ about their jaundiced views anymore their lies – Carroll swap for Tippex or topix or teves or whoever Not arsed.
      not arsed by morons like Lexxxxxxx or whoever.
      All the news you need is now available from other sources and is more intelligent and well researched than any shite form the national press although you will have to forego what soap star is shagging a politico this week.

  • Another Joe

    Those who object to Liverpool’s conduct before, during and after the case ought to bear the following in mind.

    Liverpool first became aware of the allegation after the kit man (or somebody) overheard Alex Ferguson discussing how “Suarez called Evra a n****r five times”.

    Either just before or just after this (it is unclear which) Evra had alleged to French TV that he had been racially abused ten times.

    Is it really surprising that Liverpool’s response was so defensive and belligerent?

    Can anybody who objects to Liverpool’s conduct please explain how they should have responded under those circumstances? I’ve repeatedly heard how Suarez could have diffused the situation early by apologising. But what was he supposed to apologise for? What he admitted to saying or what Evra was accusing him of?

  • Dave

    In regards to the club’s handling of the incident. Kenny Dalglish, who knew immediately that Suarez had called Evra negro (and unless he’s monumentally naive, he would know exactly why Evra would take offence to that), goes to speak to the referee and his first comment was to attack Evra with a lie – “He’s done this type of thing before, hasn’t he?”

    Instead of coming clean and explaining the situation, the club then went on the offensive, and knowing full well that Evra had been called negro, called for him to be banned. Not just that he’d been called negro though. If you’d studied the report, you would know about Comolli and Kuyt’s original evidence (before they changed it after advice from a lawyer) which stated that Suarez had told them he’d said “because you’re a black.”

    Isn’t it strange that both individuals, in separate conversations, in different languages, both understood Suarez to have said that phrase, a phrase which is racial abuse in no uncertain terms. And that the phrase corroborated the most damning part of Evra’s version of events.

    It’s up to you and your conscience if you want to wilfully believe that we had 3 separate misunderstandings/fabrications, on the part of Comolli, Kuyt and Evra. That each one of them all misunderstood Suarez to have said ‘because you’re a black’, Evra and Comolli in Spanish and Kuyt in Dutch.

    At the very least, Comolli and Kuyt’s original version of events should make all sound-minded LFC fans feel a degree of discomfort in their unwavering support for Suarez. It should put some serious doubt in their minds that the person they’re supporting perhaps doesn’t deserve such unequivocal support.

    But the problem is most LFC fans haven’t read the report. Most are completely unaware of what Kuyt and Comolli initially reported. They’re happy to take their lead from LFC writers who predictably skirt round the most damning parts of the report. It seems to be irrelevant that two of the club’s employees understood Suarez to have said “because you’re a black.”

    If the manager of the club wasn’t prepared to take the issue seriously (“he’s done this before, hasn’t he”) despite at the time understanding Suarez to have said ‘because you’re a black’ then how can we expect LFC fans to do the same. When the club took such an extreme position, there was simply no chance of the fans taking a moderate stance. Maybe if the manager was Hodgson and the player some fallguy like Poulsen, the fans would’ve felt more comfortable hanging them out to dry, but when the manager is the legend Dalglish, and the player the star striker, there was absolutely no chance of that.

    • Another Joe

      Dave, the first Kenny knew about the accusation was that Alex Ferguson had been overheard claiming “Suarez has called Evra a n****r five times”.

      This allegation was later retracted. It was a false, wasn’t it?

      Evra’s involvement in previous racial abuse cases has led to widespread misunderstanding about the nature of his involvement. Kenny was not alone in his belief that Evra had made false accusations in the past.

      Had Evra’s version of events married with Suarez’s; that he was referred to as “black” on one occasion, I expect we would have seen a different response from Liverpool. But both versions were totally different. Evra was the first to go on the offensive both with his false “n****r” accusation and his exaggeration of the number of times he was abused – in front of TV cameras.

      But Liverpool did come clean; Suarez admitted to using the word “negro” once in an inoffensive context (corroborated later by linguistic experts) and Liverpool reported it.

      Yes Liverpool then went on the offensive. Of course they did. Evra was accusing Suarez of something else.

      As for the Kuyt/Comolli discrepancy – yes, this is an inconsistency and as a Liverpool supporter, it made for uncomfortable reading. However, in the section of the report where this inconsistency is covered in great detail, the clear inconsistencies between Evra’s evidence and the evidence of Nani, Hernandez, Valencia and Anderson are notably absent. Why?

      I personally don’t argue that Suarez’s testimony is consistent, just that Evra’s testimony is at least equally as inconsistent.

      If you object to “the extreme position” Liverpool took, I suggest you look closer to home for an explanation. Let me remind you that Evra’s broadcast his initial, false allegation to the world. This is what Liverpool, Dalglish and Suarez had to react to.

    • Dave,

      “His first comment was to attack Evra with a lie.”

      Believe it or not a lot of people would have said the same about Evra. Not everyone realises which particular MUFC employee it was that made up an allegation of racism in that incident involving Evra. People just remember the highlights – Evra was involved in an altercation after the game, someone from MUFC made an allegation of racist abuse from a Chelsea staff member, that panel decided Evra’s evidence was unreliable, that panel went to town quite heavily on the credibility of different MUFC people. I only remember it vaguely, but there were a number of little offences in that incident and a lot of it was caught on video. What did Evra have to say about the MUFC employee who made that claim up? Presumably he condemned him for it and made it clear it was unacceptable to make such claims up?

      Not that it matters a great deal in this context – but your description of how Dalglish refers to it is another example of your interest in this debate. He didn’t lie. For one thing he asked a question (“he’s done this before, hasn’t he?”). For another thing there’s a huge difference between trying to recall an incident that involved clubs you’ve not exactly got much interest in (we don’t all have an unhealthy obsession with other clubs) and deliberately stating something you know to be untrue about that incident.

      What happens if you apply the same logic you applied to Kenny’s recollection of that incident to Evra’s various comments in his evidence. If you do that then he lied about the toss – or the ref lied. If you do that he lied about what Suarez said. If you do that he lied about how many times Suarez said it. He lied about a lot of things if we use your logic.

      If we don’t use your logic we can probably still say he lied. Kissing his badge with a defiant grin on his face in front of the Kop – when he was supposed to be upset about something else for example.

      Anyway, you’re not here to discuss the article above or to try and join in with the debate in a meaningful way, you’re here to troll behind fake and anonymous credentials. That’ll be your last comment on here until that changes, as far as I’m concerned.

    • One other point in response to Dave – read the report, you’ll see some of the other ways he’s twisted what it says.

      Nowhere in the report does it say anyone used the phrase “because you’re a black”.

      Nowhere in the evidence, including what he said to the referee immediately after, has Kenny stated he thought Suarez had said “because you’re a black” or indeed “because you’re black”.

      The referee’s evidence was: “Dalglish said to me that Suarez had told him that he had said to Evra “you are black”, having been taunted by Evra with the comment “you are South American”.”

      The referee’s evidence also included what he recalled Comolli saying to him: “Mr Suarez had told him that Mr Evra had said to Mr Suarez “you are
      South American” and that Mr Suarez had replied with “Tues negro” which Mr Comolli said translates to “you are black””

      The referee’s report, submitted the day after the incident, says:

      “He [Dalglish] said Suarez had responded with “you are black” having first been taunted with “you are South American” by Evra.

      “Liverpool Director of football Damien Comolli then entered the dressing room to confirm Suarez’ version of events as he speaks fluent Spanish.
      Evra first said “you are South American” to Suarez who responded with “Tues Negro” which translates “you are Black”.”

    • steve

      If you twist the case anymore you will get a job with the mirror…holy shit its dave maddox!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dave

    In the context of what LFC believed Suarez to have said – “because you’re a black” – it doesn’t matter if the black in the sentence is ‘black’ or ‘nigger.’ ‘Because you’re a black’ is as offensive and racially loaded as ‘because you’re a nigger’.

    That was accepted as a mistranslation on Evra’s part as ‘negro’ variants are used interchangeably or translate as nigger in a lot of other languages, such as French (negre) and Italian, and in English, negro is as racially loaded as nigger.

    And even if LFC believed Suarez didn’t intend it as ‘nigger’ they would be fully aware that the phrase is still hugely offensive, and that the term negro could easily be mistranslated as nigger by someone who is, for example, French, Italian or English when heard in that context.

    LFC may have doubted the frequency of Suarez’s usage of the term, but attacking Evra and calling for him to be banned was despicable, knowing what they knew. How about just coming out and saying, look we’ve spoken to Suarez, he’s said he said ‘because you’re a black’ to Evra. He didn’t mean this as nigger, and he says he only used it once. We’ve warned him this language is not acceptable and apologise for the offence caused.

    Instead we got an attack on Evra and once they’d spoken to lawyers, only then did they change everyone’s story to match one of ‘inoffensive context.’ There was no way that the ‘inoffensive context’ defence would fly if they didn’t completely alter their story and get Comolli and Kuyt to change their testimony. To everyone looking on, that stinks of arse-covering.

    The Man United players’ evidence was available to LFC and it was accepted. At no point did the players change or alter their evidence to support Evra, as Kuyt and Comolli did for Suarez. The main discrepancy in Evra’s evidence is when he said he’d been called it 10 times to French TV in an off the record interview. This was accepted as a figure of speech, similar to how we might say in England ‘he said it a couple of times.’ Literally a couple means two but I’m sure we’ve all used it when meaning a few, when we’re not quite sure of the exact figure. Comolli even accepted that ten times can be a figure of speech, but with the caveat that it wouldn’t be appropriate to use it like this in that context (he said he would use it when talking to his children). That is in his opinion as a well educated and presumably well-spoken French man, but we know that footballers aren’t all exactly eloquent and well spoken. Quite the opposite, their use of language is often uncouth and littered with inappropriacies. Remember, this was an off the record interview, not an official statement by Evra.

    • Dave: “The main discrepancy in Evra’s evidence is when he said he’d been called it 10 times to French TV in an off the record interview. Remember, this was an off the record interview, not an official statement by Evra.”
      Panel: “We were provided with a transcript of the item broadcast on Canal+… The transcript reads as follows: [Evra]: ‘You can even see clearly on his lips what he told me at least ten times.'” (P. 154)

      Dave: “attacking Evra and calling for him to be banned was despicable, knowing what they knew.”
      Panel: [Referee’s evidence + referee’s report refer to Suarez saying, according to Dalglish and Comolli, “you are black”. Same evidence and report refer to Evra accusing Suarez of saying “I don’t talk to you because you niggers”.]

      Dave: “once they’d spoken to lawyers, only then did they change everyone’s story to match one of ‘inoffensive context.’ There was no way that the ‘inoffensive context’ defence would fly if they didn’t completely alter their story and get Comolli and Kuyt to change their testimony.”
      Panel: [See above, the story that day was that Suarez had said “you are black”]

      Evra said things off the record – and then said some of them on the record (see above). Compare the two accounts of what was said to the referee and ask yourself if you’d apologise had you been in that position. Obviously you’re going to have to imagine for a moment that the version LFC gave to the ref was true, rather than the slightly different one you’ve created above. There’s a big difference between the two claims, especially when tied in with what Evra went public with in his on-record and broadcast interview with Canal+.

      Some of the claims Evra made were supplemented by a member of Canal+ staff on Twitter – none of those tweets were mentioned in the report. It was that broadcast interview and those tweets from a member of the broadcaster’s staff that made the story public and that meant the public story began with an allegation that was both untrue and exaggerated.

      Did Evra contact LFC or Suarez, directly or indirectly, to inform them that he had changed his mind about the word used and that he’d exaggerated the number of times it was used when he spoke on TV? He told the referee it had only happened once, according to the evidence in the report. If LFC had been made aware that Evra was retracting his claim of “ni***r” “at least ten times” and that he accepted that he’d only reported one instance, and that one instance was the use of the word “black”, might things have turned out differently? A public statement to that effect as soon as he realised/decided he was wrong about the word and frequncy of it would have at least toned down what was being said in the press about Suarez for the two and a half months prior to the written reasons being released.

      Perhaps Evra’s lawyers, or the FA’s lawyers, decided that was a bad idea as it might weaken their case. But in the interests of dealing with the issue of racism and punishing Suarez, if guilty, for what he actually did it would have been the right thing to do. Perhaps at that point an apology for what Suarez admitted to saying would have been forthcoming.

      That’s not to suggest a deal should have been done. Had Evra’s conscience been clear about his own “mistakes” in what he’d reported initially then he’d have been happy to put the record straight. “Suarez called me black, once not ten times, and I think what he said when I asked why he’d kicked me was ‘because you are black'” He could say this without demanding that an apology be forthcoming for doing so. He could say this because he wouldn’t want to make false allegations on an issue like this, however it was they’d come about.

      At that point Suarez could either say, “Ok, I did, I apologise and await the charge which I will accept” or he could say, “Ok, that’s a bit more like it but I insist I said something slightly different but with a quite different meaning.”

      The fact is that the two ‘sides’ would be much closer right from that early stage and the public condemnation building up against Suarez would not be based on false accusations.

      If Evra was being completely honest he would have added into that statement that Suarez’s comments came after he’d referred to Suarez with a phrase that translates as “your sister’s c***”, one which the linguistic experts say “If directed at someone in particular, it can also be understood as “[you] son of a bitch”.

      Then again, that in itself should have resulted in a charge for Evra under both E3(1) and E3(2), so perhaps it’s understandable why he chose, or was advised, not to mention this in public.

      What Evra said should have resulted in a charge, no doubt at all, but it wouldn’t excuse anything Suarez said afterwards even if he’d heard it. Why wasn’t Evra charged for what the phrase meant in English on an English football field? Why wasn’t he charged for saying what means, when directed at someone in particular, “you son of a bitch”?

      Had the FA shown any consistency they would have charged Evra at the same time as charging Suarez and the panel would have been looking at both charges.

  • Dave

    Hi Jim, if you don’t want my comments public that’s your choice. I’m debating the points raised, not abusing people or trolling. Dave is my real name actually, well David to be precise. I used a dummy email address as I’ve had problems with spam when giving my email address out to websites. If you prefer, I can use a normal email address, I didn’t realise it was so important – I thought it was just for notifications which I didn’t require. What’s the website’s policy on how these email addresses are used?

    Re your point, even if we assume that Dalglish wasn’t lying and he just erroneously believed Evra had made previous false accusations, it doesn’t excuse his statement, knowing what he knew. Having got Comolli to speak to Suarez and then having it reported back to him that Suarez said ‘because you’re a black’, he would have surely understood at that point that Evra had indeed been racially abused, or at least that it was obvious why he would feel he had been. So to then begin his statement to the referee with a reference to previous accusations demonstrated a contempt for Evra’s allegation, or suggests he simply didn’t care that Evra had been racially abused. He may not have been lying when bringing up the previous, but he was certainly dishonest in being so dismissive towards Evra, knowing what he knew at the time.

    • I don’t do anything with the email addresses other than on rare occasions contact the person leaving a comment to clarify something. They don’t get passed or sold on. I don’t check if the email addresses are valid, but some of them are obviously not valid and it’s obvious just by looking at them.

      On your second paragraph you’ve repeated the incorrect information from your earlier posts.

      Reading what was said, an LFC staff member said they’d heard Ferguson say in a way that was audible from outside the dressing room “I want to make a complaint because Suarez has called him a ni***r five times.” That staff member then told the LFC coaching staff, including Kenny Dalglish, what he’d heard.

      Suarez was spoken to and Dalglish was left under the impression that Suarez had said something that in his eyes was more or less equivalent of saying “You what ginge?” to Paul Scholes.

      Speculation here now, but with Kenny’s limited Spanish and him hearing this explanation from people with better Spanish than him perhaps it’s not that far-fetched that he’d expect Evra to know Suarez had said something that should be taken as the equivalent of something like saying “You’re Welsh” to Craig Bellamy.

      But whatever Kenny thought about the possibilities of “negro” being misheard or misunderstood one other point stood out. The message Kenny had got was that Ferguson was claiming that the word had been used five times, whilst Suarez’s explanation was of one exchange where that word (“negro”) was used.

      Evra had clearly, before any exchange with Suarez, been on a short fuse that day. He’d all but accused the referee of lying or being corrupt over the toss, he’d tried to get a Liverpool player booked and thus risked getting a booking himself and he’d generally been in a foul mood all game. And now he was – from what the LFC member of staff had overheard – making a claim that was a long way away from what Suarez had said had happened.

      At that point, had I been Kenny Dalglish, I think I’d be thinking that this was suspicious.

      And my sketchy memory would be reminding me of an event some time before where an MUFC employee was found to have invented a claim of racism against Evra as part of the defence for some misconduct that Evra himself was found guilty of, a case where Evra’s integrity was called into question because of his evidence. My memory, although it could be down to that sketchiness, would be struggling to recall any statement from Evra or Manchester United condemning their employee for making up claims of racism.

      On top of that, maybe I’d also have a vague memory of accusations made against Steve Finnan of racism towards Evra – maybe I’d be unsure who’d actually made the allegations but having no memory of Evra or his club going on record to condemn those who’d made the false allegations I’d assume it was something Evra and his club had no problem with.

      In fact two incidents, with Evra involved, where false allegations of racism were made. Now I was hearing allegations that were a long way away from what my own player, who I knew quite well and trusted implicitly, was telling me.

      I have to be honest with you Dave, I think I’d probably have done exactly the same. It’s only since the Suarez incident I’ve really looked the details of the allegations up and I doubt Kenny would have spent 10 minutes on his iPhone looking the stories up before going to the ref.

      So, you’ve accepted Kenny wasn’t lying about Evra’s previous history but you’re still saying he was dishonest in being so dismissive. I think it’s fairly obvious that Kenny wasn’t being dishonest – he was perhaps being too honest.

      In reality it was that honesty that let Liverpool down, in terms of winning or losing the case. Kenny could have gone to the referee and said “Suarez doesn’t remember saying anything of the sort, we’re denying those allegations and will be instructing lawyers before making any further statement. Suarez is not a fluent speaker of English so any statement from him will need to be made through an interpreter.” They could then deal internally with Suarez if they – as you imply – privately thought he had been racist. That might mean a fine or a decision to sell him on – if they did secretly think he had been racist. Whatever they secretly thought the FA would have had no evidence whatsoever that they could use. Their case hinged on Suarez admitting he used the word “negro” and then trying to prove in what context he’d used it. Liverpool could then, using those lawyers, demonstrate how Evra’s club had previously been involved in a case where false allegations of racism towards Evra were made.

      Like a lot of legal cases – although this was FA rules rather than laws of the land – it all got a bit tactical. It all came down to who had the best lawyers or whose legal people made the least blunders.

      Having read the report a number of times and weighed up everything in it I still feel that Kenny Dalglish’s conscience will be much clearer than Alex Ferguson, the same with Suarez and Evra, the same with LFC and MUFC come to think of it. Then again, and I know I’m biased, I’d have said the same about Dalglish and Ferguson or LFC and MUFC long before this case.

      But I know a lot of people who don’t support either club and would say the same.

  • lexxxa469

    First of all you do realise that lmao means “laughing my ass off” my tweet was a humorous exchange with a friend. As far as I’m aware Evra and Suarez were not laughing or exchanging humorous quips on the day in question so I’m unsure of the relevance?

    If you really understood the issue you would realise that in many cases it is not the words that are said but the way in which they are said that can be the difference between something being offensive or not.

    It appears to me and others that anyone who has read the report, like myself, and come to the conclusion that Suarez deserved some punishment and are also of the opinion that LFC acted despicably in the aftermath of these events and in the months since will forever be derided. And I understand your loyalty to your club, but this issue is so much bigger than football, which at the end of it all is just a game. It saddens me that some are so blinkered by football tribalism that they can’t see the bigger picture and implications.

    I will finish by saying as long as dogma exists there is no real debate. Until someone can convince me as to why it is necessary to make reference to some ones ethnicity or colour during an argument I will stand by my opinion.

  • Timbo216

    @lexxxa, if you’ve read the report and concluded LS deserved “some punishment”, why then wasn’t PE found guilty of, and punished under the same rules used to punish LS. He initiated the exchange by insulting LS, in terms considered to be far worse than what LS said.
    The FA have charged LS on the possibilty, that contextually he could have racially abused PE, yet the same application of context is dismissed when applied to how PE insulted LS. It’s not consistent and it’s deeply unfair, that’s why we’re angry.
    I just hope that no-one you know has this kind of “judicial” treatment.

  • Another Joe

    Lexxxa, you keep repeating how you’ve read the report and agree with it’s findings but can’t you be more specific?

    For example, Suarez was banned for 8 games for racially abusing Evra 7 times. Yet Evra himself, who was deemed a credible witness, only accused Suarez of racially abusing him 5 times.

    Do you agree with this?

  • kevin Roche

    @ another joe,

    The lady’s clearly not for turning. It’s pointless trying to debate with someone who clearly has their own agenda going on.

  • Dave

    Jim, thanks for the reply and for allowing the comment. This is the paragraph which I was referring to.
    302. 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.
    Without copying and pasting huge swathes of the report, the paragraphs that follow (please read 303-307) give us some more insight into what LFC understood at the time and how Kenny Dalglish somewhat distorted what Comolli had told him.
    Dalglish reported to the referee that Suarez had said ‘you are black’ which he said was a retaliatory comment to Evra saying ‘you are South American’. Every sound-minded person should know that saying ‘you are black’ in a retaliatory context is racial abuse, and certainly nowhere near comparable to phrases like ‘you are ginge.’ I think you’re being disingenious with that. I also would suspect that Kenny Dalglish would understand ‘you are black’ when said as a retaliatory comment to be racial abuse. I sincerely doubt he’s that naive.
    You’d be giving Dalglish a massive benefit of the doubt by saying he didn’t recognise that as racial abuse. It seems he was more concerned with trying to portray it was tit-for-tat for Evra’s comment (basically an admission that Suarez had racially abused him but it was under provocation from Evra), despite the fact Comolli had not reported it as so.
    That Kuyt too, also corroborated the ‘because you are black’ phrasing, having spoken to Suarez in Dutch, puts even more doubt on LFC’s jumbled version of events.
    Perhaps Evra should’ve been charged with insulting language, but then swearing is accepted as common between players. The implication is Suarez wasn’t insulted by the phrase (at least he didn’t make it clear he was did he?), the phrase was understood and accepted as ‘fucking hell.’ Though I guess it’s pretty difficult for him to be offended, even by the literal meaning, when he doesn’t even have a sister. We’d never be finished with cases if players were dragged before tribunals for swearing to eachother. Thankfully, racist language is in a completely different bracket, and has been marked as totally unacceptable. The reasons for that are obvious, I would have thought.
    Some of what you say is confusing. Why exactly would Ferguson’s conscience not be clear? What exactly has he done? Even if Evra had completely fabricated the entire thing (which seems hugely unlikely given the testimony of those at LFC that at least partially supports him) then Ferguson would only be guilty of believing his player. If LFC’s conscience is so clear why have they privately admitted to making mistakes to the mother of a murdered black teenager? I would think the club are probably starting to realise just how bad they’ve made themselves look to everyone on the outside, that the mother of a murdered black teenager felt the need to write to them and criticise their actions. If that was the moment when the penny dropped at Anfield, then the lady in question deserves credit for making them realise that, and LFC deserve credit for their contrition, albeit privately rather than publicly. It’s a move in the right direction and will help them regain a little respect when perceptions from the outside are at an all-time low.

    • Very quick reply Dave – you’re now referring to the paragraphs that are, essentially, the panel’s “version” of events based on a string of assumptions they made due to the two stories being so different. They do this after deciding Evra is reliable and honest but Suarez is unreliable and dishonest. Evra’s reliability – in their eyes – is part-based on him admitting he called Suarez “your sister’s c***” or “you son of a bitch”. Suarez admitted from the first moment he was spoken to about it by the referee that he’d used the word Evra (eventually) settled on as the word used. Evra was honest by admitting the insult (for which he was never charged by the FA) yet Suarez got no credit for admitting that he’d used that word. There are other inconsistencies in how the panel decided they preferred Evra’s version (Evra was sat down by the FA with all the videos they could get their hands on until he’d got his story straight, the panel implied it was wrong for Suarez to get see any videos before he was interviewed).

      That’s one of the main point of this article. Look at how the panel came to decide the reliability of Suarez and Evra, look at the inconsistencies in their reasons. Look at how they pick and choose whose opinion on use of language can or can’t be used as evidence (Comolli’s can for French, Hernandez’s can’t for Spanish). There are many more examples throughout the 115 pages.

      By the time they’re at the paragraphs you refer to the panel have decided that where there are any differences in the two stories they will take the version that suits the FA’s case as true unless other firm evidence corroborates the version that suit’s Suarez’s defence. As we all know, there is no evidence other than the accounts of those who it would be easy to say were likely to be biased towards one or other player. The only impartial evidence forthcoming is from the referee – and his evidence does not match what is in the paragraphs you refer to.

      This is why the article says, basically, that people who are commenting so strongly on the issue should (if they care about the issue and don’t just want to score points as part of some battle against one of the two clubs, the FA, FIFA or something else unrelated to the real issue) get hold of the report and read it from front to back a few times.

      I’ll not go through all your comment now because I’d be here all night but look again at how the panel describe what “concha de tu hermana” might mean in their later paragraphs and how they completely drop the meaning that the experts gave them for the phrase when it is directed at someone (as Evra said it was in this instance). The “you son of a bitch” meaning, the one the experts seem to suggest is the closest match to the circumstances, is completely ignored.

      Although The FA had this information they chose not to charge him. When complaints were sent to the FA they also chose to ignore the “son of a bitch” definition and said it was just an exclamation and that this kind of language is all part of football these days. Not only did they, essentially, admit they ignore their own regulations but they ignored the word of those language experts they brought in to help prove their case against Suarez.

      If you read the report like it’s a novel you get to the end wondering why there are so many holes in the plot. Perhaps the biggest problem with it is the way it tries a little too hard to conclude that the whole incident was about good v evil and that it tries to put various characters into one category or other. Neither player was an angel that day but it seemed the panel needed Evra to look like one for their verdict to work.

    • Another Joe


      Suppose, for arguments sake, Dalglish did support Suarez despite suspecting he had made a single, racially offensive remark. What would you have had him do under the circumstances?

      Remember he had just received word that Ferguson was supporting Evra’s far worse, exaggerated and false allegation.

      Also remember that despite having to retract that allegation and despite discovery of video footage where Evra himself uses the word “n****r” quite openly, Ferguson is still quite happy – under no duress – to claim Evra “did nothing wrong”.

      So with respect, I think you’re barking up the wrong tree with this Dalglish smear. Both managers would happily help one of their players dispose of a body if it came to it.

      As for swearing – yes, obviously it is common. But it still breaches rule E3(1). At any point, a player can report an incident and have charges brought. The fact that Evra gave (apparently reliable) evidence in which he admitted to breaching rule E3(1) makes it bewildering that he hasn’t been charged. Suarez may not have heard it and may not have been offended if he had but that’s irrelevant. All that means is he wouldn’t have reported it.

      As for the “fucking hell” interpretation, this is one of many examples where the commission found arbitrarily in Evra’s favour. This interpretation meant that the remark wasn’t directed at anybody and therefore wasn’t insulting. What wasn’t explained was why then, did Evra made the remark in Spanish – a language in which he claims not to even know the meaning of the word “negro”?

      Furthermore, if Evra were to be charged with using insulting language, you could make a case that he also breached rule E3(2), which covers race, sex, gender etc… because the insult was sexually charged. So it isn’t in a different bracket to racial abuse at all.

      The problem I have is that, as per Liverpool’s statement, the commission’s report was highly subjective. After the verdict, I wanted to know exactly what Suarez was guilty of and exactly what he did to warrant the 8 game ban. But I still don’t know. After reading the report, I’m none the wiser. There’s no substance to it. It’s little more than the verbose opinion of three men in a room.

      That’s why I’m resigned to the futility of this whole argument. We could refute each other’s points until the end of time but we could only do so using the evidence submitted within a report that disintegrates under the slightest scrutiny.

      But I still encourage everybody to read it. If only to find out for themselves what a load of bollocks it is.

  • Jakob

    Evra claims Suarez said “Porque tu eres negro”, while Suarez claims to have said “Porque negro”

    The fact that in Rio Platenese Spanish (which is what Suarez speaks) you would never say ‘tu eres’ seems to have been ignored, despite the fact that the correct alternative ‘vos sos’ clearly has a very different sound. Given this information, is it then more likely ( and since this whole case was only judged on balance of probabilities, so what is ‘more likely’ is what mattered) that:

    1. What was said was Suarez’s version (which the panel agreed would not be interpreted as either offensive or offensive in racial terms in Uruguay and Spanish speaking America) and perhaps Evra heard ‘Porque negro’ and added ‘tu eres’ to his version of events.


    2. Alternatively Evra’s version is correct and Suarez suddenly speaks Spanish like someone from Madrid (equivalent to a Scouser suddenly speaking in a Cockney accent)?

    Make your own judgement on what is more likely.

    If Evra perhaps misheard what Suarez said at this point in time, (and I think other basic Spanish speakers might have made the same mistake not understanding the unprovocative, Rio Platenese context of ‘negro’) would this not suddenly put all of Evra’s evidence into serious question? Surely if someone does not remember something clearly, and instead of stating that they weren’t sure of what was said, purposefully inserts words to the statement changing the meaning into a serious racist allegation, their credibility would be put into serious question? In addition, if Evra seems to be adding racial context to his misrecollections, should his previous statements not be questioned further, especially given the inconsistencies related to how many supposed times the word used by Suarez had been said?

    And wasn’t this case won or lost purely by a decision on who was more credible?

    I guess with the FA’s 99%+ conviction rate, Suarez never really had a chance vs the FA. It was just a question of being the first to accuse….

  • Jakob

    Another inconsistency I found in Evra’s statements was when he suddenly decides to be speaking English to Suarez (after everything else transpired in Spanish) to say “Don’t touch me South American”

    This seems a very unnatural sentence to say in English referring to one’s continental heritage (never had someone call me ‘European’ in such a context), but perhaps the likelihood of this statement being in Spanish is more than likely: “no me toques, Sudaca”

    If this was the case it would be a strong racial insult, and in the opinion of any South American as serious as a racially loaded use of the word ‘black’. However stating that he said it in English diluted the strength of its meaning and probably got Evra off a potential ban himself.

  • Budgie69

    It beggars belief how people who claim to have no vested interest in this case (ie. have no connection or predisposition to either LFC or MUFC) can still fail to see the relatively simply point that is being made here and in many other articles by the author.

    Quite simply, the ‘evidence’ presented by either side amounted to nothing more than one players word against the other. Both sets of evidence showed inconsistencies and the only rightful outcome should have been that the evidence was insufficient to come to a conclusion – that would undoubtedly have been the case had this been tried in a criminal court as John Terry’s case will be.

    However, the FA appointed panel chose to ignore the inconsistencies in Evra’s evidence and focus intently on those in Suarez’ in order to arrive at the politically expedient conclusion.

    Furthermore, people that ask the question “why would the FA have it in for LFC?” are completely missing the point. The FA don’t have it in for LFC – had this been an accusation of a racist comment made by Glen Johnson against Hernandez I would anticipate a similar outcome. The key is that racism is such a political hot potato that the FA were on the side of the accuser irrespective of his club colours.

    Like other Liverpool fans I’m not convinced that Suarez version of events reflects 100% accurately exactly what went on and was said, but equally the 115 page report gives me no evidence to suggest that I should happily accept the version proposed by Evra either.

  • Another Joe

    What I find most exasperating is the lack of awareness of what Suarez was actually found guilty of.

    The perception is that this was an open-and-shut case. Evra accused Suarez of racial abuse. Suarez admitted to it and got an 8 game ban. Case closed.

    It’s a shame because this is a missed opportunity. The case could have set an important precedent that helped to define which terms are unacceptable and to what extent language and culture are mitigating factors.

    As worthless as the commission’s report was, I did find the evidence submitted by the linguistic experts to be interesting. As the commission found, the language Suarez admitted to using would not have been considered offensive in Uruguay. I’d be very interested to find out whether or not it would be considered offensive in England so it’s unfortunate we never got to find out.

    And it’s unfortunate the press and public are not willing to have this very important debate just because, as far as they’re concerned, there’s no debate to be had.

    Hopefully the DCMS will feel differently.

  • kevin Roche

    Well said another Joe.

    Essentially they Club were wrong, having defended Luis from the start, not to fight the allegations the whole way to the very end of the process & to the legal system afterwards.

    • Another Joe

      I’m not sure about that.

      So strong was the sense that Liverpool were condoning racism, a successful appeal would have been a pyrrhic victory.

      Better to continue the fight via another front such as the DCMS inquiry.

  • Jerry

    I think the answer to future problem of this type is to use the law of the land as opposed to the FA’s outdated rules and regulations. Example being how was the ‘independent’ panel selected. The outcomes need to be based on evidence not a hunch or guess.

    Its clear that the reason why JT is facing a court and Luis is not is becuase of evidence. i.e the police could not find any evidence on Luis case.