English FA Shows UEFA, FIFA How To Deal With Racism On The Pitch
As some of you may know, Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has been slapped with an eight-game ban plus a GBP40,000 fine for remarks he made to Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a match between the two sides.
The ban will become effective when he either decides not to appeal, the appeal period expires or he fails an appeal.
We don’t think that Luis Suarez. We just think he was guilty of an indiscretion, a rush of blood to the head so to speak. Much the same way that someone who runs over someone in a vehicle accident and kills them cannot be called a murderer because it is not their nature. It doesn’t however mean he didn’t do it.
For the longest period, UEFA and FIFA have treated punishment for racist behaviour with kid gloves. Teams or players would get punishments of ridiculous amounts, sometimes as little as 1,500 Euros.
For a while I have been of the belief that the best way to punish players who may be taken to such indiscretions by hitting them where it hurts; suspending them from the game.
By giving this long ban out, the English FA has sent out a strong message. Racism will not be tolerated in football.
Liverpool fans may take a leaf out of the Andre Villas-Boas book and claim persecution but if a player from another club had been accused of the same thing, they would have been up in arms and calling for blood.
Some will say that for Luis Suarez, based on his background, the reference was not racist. Mind you, the Spanish and Italians do very little when monkey chants come from the stands targeted at players of colour, so I guess race-based references are normal there. However, claiming that would mean that we can all take our unsavoury characters and tell other people to deal with them. What happened to when in Rome, do as the Romans? The fact that he refuses to see that in his host country, that kind of behaviour is unacceptable is disappointing.
Then of course there is the Liverpool Football Club long and winding statement about how Mr Suarez is a great guy with one history or another. Look, we all have ancestors of different races and we pretty much all came from a single source. So that doesn’t mean that we will not engage on indiscretions from time to time. Heck, even the hardline racists had black blood in them bags of years ago.
There will be an appeal of course and I am sure that the ban will probably be brought to down to about 6 matches or so.
For me, the interesting story will the John Terry one.