Date: 21st December 2011 at 5:13pm
Written by:

On Tuesday night we finally learned the outcome of the race row between Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez.

With the offence taking place in mid October, it took until December 20th for the FA to hand Suarez an eight match ban and a £40k fine.

Some people will feel the punishment isn’t severe enough, whilst Liverpool fans will undoubtedly feel hard done by but the FA’s decision is a huge step. Abusive language normally carries a punishment of a 2 game ban, so the fact that Suarez’s racial tinged abuse earned him an 8 game ban sends a clear message that it won’t be tolerated.

Yet despite this, I still feel disappointment when looking back on this whole episode?

Racism is still a massive problem in football, you only have to look at the reception black players get in various countries on the continent. Despite being Italian, Mario Balotelli is a favourite target for the boo boys in Serie A and he is still sung about despite no longer playing in that league.

When England visit these countries for internationals and you hear the monkey chants aimed at black players there is normally an uproar amongst English fans, but when it happened at club level the reaction from fans was most shocking.

Football is a very tribal game, it is always an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ thing. I’ll tell you now I’m one of the worst for that, in fact I enjoy that aspect of the game. But at some point you have to put it aside and look at what’s right and what’s wrong.

I saw all manner of claims in the immediate aftermath as Liverpool fans sought to not only defend Suarez, but to discredit Evra. On the day, LFC TV official columnist Kristian Walsh tweeted,

Patrice Evra has accused racism of three players before today. All three have been cleared.

Upon being pulled up on the factual inaccuracy of the tweet, he tried to back track before tweeting the next day,

The Evra tweet was a fallacy. I’m an idiot.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Gobbels once said and Walsh’s tweet had this effect.

Liverpool fans began using this as a defence despite it’s inaccuracy and eventually even neutrals began to spout this nonsense.

Nobody seemed to care if racism did or didn’t take place, instead I got the impression that it was just Liverpool vs United again, but this time off field. I can understand this may sound bias but I felt like some liverpool fans weren’t too bothered with the logistic of the case, instead it was simply Evra had previous so he must be lying again.

The matter wasn’t helped by the foolish ramblings of Sepp Blatter, who sat in the background at FIFA headquarters making silly claims like racially abused players should simply shake hands and forget it.

All in all the whole thing descended into a joke.

The rivalry between United and Liverpool is a huge one, but has been put aside at times for matters that have been deemed as important for both sets of fans. There was talk of a joint protest against both sets of US owners back when Hicks and Gillet were still in charge at Anfield, but despite both teams having black players I suppose this wasn’t an important enough matter.

If the comments made during the hearing were bad, what came after was infinitely worse. The reaction of fans following the verdict was damning and this applies to both sides.

In United’s case I got the impression that some fans didn’t care that Suarez was being brought to task over his comments, rather it was just another instance of getting one up on an enemy. Some United fans revelled in the problems Liverpool would face sans their talisman.

I saw people tweeting how the ban would effect the title race with talk of the him missing the game against us, but ruefully also missing the game against Man City.

It seemed they were happier that it would handicap Liverpool more than than the fact he was being punished.

And for Liverpool, they need to take a very good look at the people that support their club.

@MsBerbatov compiled these responses from Liverpool fans to the outcome of the case from various social network sites.

I warn some of the things expressed here are very offensive, and it appears some of them don’t see the irony in using racist language to express their anger that one of their players was punished for using racially abusive language.

For the image click here

Norwich recently banned a fan that had racially abused James Vaughan via Twitter, I wonder if LFC will take such steps with some of the people that appear in the picture above?

I understand defending a player but the stance their club has taken with Suarez leads me to believe they won’t.

For me this whole episode brought out an ugly side of football that so many have tried to cover up or  simply denied was a problem any longer.

There is no place for racism in society let alone sport and that’s not me speaking as a black man, rather it’s me speaking as a human being.

Had it been the other way around and a United player was being accused of racism, whether it was socially acceptable where he was from or not, I would find it hard to support that player.

So many fans are quick to point fingers at other countries when players suffer abuse over there but want to turn a blind eye when it happens here or make excuses, and for me that makes them as bad as the people making racist remarks.

Whether you agree with the punishment meted out or not, the FA’s attempt to show that this kind of thing won’t be tolerated is commendable.

But they can only deal with footballers.

The problem now is how to deal with everyone else, and despite football’s massive influence in the world I think this is a problem that won’t abate any time soon.


25 responses to “The most damning thing about this Suarez/Evra affair”

  1. lfc_1978 says:

    I’ve just read all the pathetic comments that certain LFC ‘fans’ wrote on facebook/twitter/bebo etc and honestly, I genuinely do apologise on behalf of all genuine LFC fans (i.e. the ones who live to watch Lpool win and don’t take any consolation from the fact that Everton/MUFC have lost…)
    The Munich/Harold SHipman chants are sick. End of. The distaster surrounding Munich was of some (sorry – I don’t know the exact amount) players/staff etc who passed away and it should NEVER be referenced in the “we’re better than you at football” argument. Same goes for Harold Shipman.
    Sorry again


    A very embarrassed LFC fan, who just wants to concentrate on the footy on the pitch; not racism nor any other disaster whether it was 50 or 5 years ago..

  2. Guy says:

    Liverpool fan here – Whilst I am disappointed at the outcome, purely because there is a considerable lack of evidence in the public domain and Evra has had previous allegations proved unfounded, I also think that the collection you have of those tweets and Facebook are just a shallow minority of people who don’t know their left from their right and simply want to knee jerk show off their “clever” comments. Yes there is serious rilvary and there will more than likely be a seriously nasty affair at Old Trafford in Feb. But to give an 8 match ban off the lack of evidence is totally wrong – Plus Dennis Smith should never have been on the panel – he is a friend of your beloved Whiskey nose manager!

    • john says:

      Guy you say …..

      ….”and Evra has had previous allegations proved unfounded”

      Have you not read the article? Evra has never, ever, accused anybody of racism before.

      In the chelsea groundsman case it was Mike Phelan and another United coach who accused the groundsman of abuse. evra himself said he hadnt heard anything.

      The other case of racist abuse involving Evra was when a deaf fan claimed to have lip read Steven Finnan’s abuse of Evra. Evra didnt make a complaint himself or even back up the claim.

      The question is why are LFC sticking to this inaccurate description of events to try to discredit Evra…..even the Liverpool WebSite guy retracted his tweets when he was shown to be wrong.

      • Luis says:

        And you manure fans you don’t know when to retract?!!!

        Ok let’s talk seriously!!!

        1. Evra racially abused suarez, he stated it during the hearing.
        2. So if Suarez gets the ban and fine then why not Evra??
        3. Why wait until this tuesday to give a verdict for something that happened in october??
        4. Depending on the matches it applies and as one of you said that he will not be playing against manure as well that means the cup games are not being included!! He will be playing the cup games I suppose..

        Manchester City
        Manchester City
        Stoke City
        Manchester City

        thats including the cup games

        Manchester City
        Stoke City

        thats the games he will miss if he does not appeal and the ban is only for EPL games.

        In the second case, it could end liverpool’s goal of finishing in top four..

        in the first case, it could mean no silverware this season..

        So red nose is hiding FA to kill liverpool’s ambition of becoming a major force again well for the time being!!!

        If you are a true man, why hide behind people?? Lets play it the fair way..

        So that’s fungus is NOT, A TRUE MAN!!!!

        HE’S A P _ _ _ y hiding behind the FA!!!!

  3. swiller says:

    People should wait until the full details of the enquiry are released before commenting on this subject. The only thing Suarez has been found guilty of is using insulting language and refering to a players colour not of racially abuse.

  4. bill badger says:

    The facts of the case have yet to be made public and therefore your comments on it have no foundation.

    It also appears that the punishment meted out to Suarez may have been done so purely based on the word of Patrice Evra. If it is a case of one man’s word against another how is it possible to come to an indisputable conclusion?

    As for the attached image regarding the disgraceful comments made by some ‘individuals’ you certainly don’t have to look too hard to find equally offensive comments directed towards Liverpool supporters and ‘scousers’ in general made by ‘supporters’ of Man Utd.

    While it doesn’t make what has been said in your attached image right it certainly means that you are in no position to claim the moral high ground.

  5. Red Barron says:

    They said on the news today that Terry has been charged by the CPS with effectively similar things to Suarez. The FA claim that the difference here is that there is strong enough evidence in Terry’s case to get a conviction in a court of law but not in Suarez case. Sorry but that is ridiculous. They are depriving a man of his livelihood for two months on the basis of evidence that would not convict him in a court of law. If the evidence is not strong enough, he should be found not guilty. That is the basis of the law of this land and all democratic societies. Playing the ‘racial abuse must be stamped out’ card (dohhh, of course it should numbskulls!) does not wash when it is stringing one player up solely on the say so of another player. That is not helping the case against racial abuse, that is making a mockery of it because it is treating someone unjustly and unequally, which is part of what racial abuse is in the first place!

    If you can’t convict someone in a court of law then the FA have no right holding a kangaroo court of their own!

  6. bazza says:

    Unfortunately you are right all teams are infested with morons who write absolute disgusting tripe. You can be sure that Louis Suarez and John Terry will get loads of abuse in the coming games.
    I agree that the issue of racism has been lost by the fans in all of this and will be the same for the Terry issue.
    But I fear that the FA wanted and pushed for a guilty verdict as it gave them a chance to demonstrate to the world how great they are at dealing with racism. They don’t care how bad this could be for Suarez and even he wins an appeal it won’t be their fault and they can point to the original punishment.
    It will be interesting to see what they do if Terry loses his court case as they will have to apply an even more severe punishment.

    • Raj says:

      you know the smart thing FA did is they allowed the court to deal with Terry’s case. Unlike FA, Court will not punish Terry even if they have slightest doubt. Once the court says Terry is not guilty then FA would do the same under the pretext of ‘lack of evidence’. FA is just a joke. They and the skysports think they are the world of football… exactly the reason why England have been and will be a failure to win anything major at world stage.

  7. Innocent says:

    Good for suarez always controlverser

  8. JamesYNWA says:

    Your article isn’t deliberately inflammatory, so it’s worthy of a response, but don’t let your own bias get in the way of an important social issue that is being used as a political vehicle by a number of parties involved. It’s easy for you to trawl through Twitter and FaceBook and find a bunch of reprehensible comments from sociopathic Liverpool ‘fans’, but it would be easy for me to find some equally reprehensible comments from a bunch of sociopathic United ‘fans.’ To claim that those comments are representative of either club’s fanbase is in itself reprehensible.

    I don’t think that any real Liverpool fans are attempting to defend any racist actions here. We are merely speaking out against what appears to be a clear case of injustice and double standards. If Suarez had called Evra “nigger,” “darkie,” “blackie,” or “sambo,” I wouldn’t even waste my time with a reply, but he didn’t use the English vernacular. He spoke in Spanish in response to Evra’s initial comment, and everything that I have read about the use of the term “negrito” or “negro” is inconclusive at best and entirely dependent on the context in which it is spoken.

    The language used is of great importance in this instance. It has been acknowledged that Evra spoke in Spanish first, saying “Don’t touch me, you South American!” Now firstly, who believes that he actually used the term “South American?” Who would actually say that in real life? It’s far more likely that he used the derogatory term “Sudaca” to refer to Suarez’ ethnic origin, as has been widely reported, in which case his comment was intended to elicit a response, but nobody seems to be acknowledging that. And although you might claim – as some United fans have already done – that “Sudaca” isn’t technically racism since it doesn’t actually refer to the color of Suarez’ skin, try telling that to your average “Paki.”

    In any just court of law,, you could expect to see a different outcome – case dismissed on the basis of insufficient evidence. The FA could have taken the opportunity to warn Suarez *and* Evra that comments like this have no place in the game and fines for both players might even have been appropriate. However, this is a knee-jerk response at best – and a case of double-standards, corruption, etc., at worst.

    To me, this looks mostly like the FA attempting to make a political point to FIFA and UEFA about their strong stance on an issue of morality. It might be related to the Terry case in some way. Given Ferguson’s enthusiastic response to Evra’s dubious claims, it’s even possible that United orchestrated this whole episode. In any event, it looks very much like justice has been circumvented to the political ends of the various parties concerned and, mark my words, there will be a price to pay.

    Ask yourself the following: –

    * Why did Evra wait to bring these claims up at the end of the game?

    * Why hasn’t Evra himself been charged with racism or using derogatory language related to the ethnic origin of a fellow player?

    * Why hasn’t anybody from Manchester United commented about what Evra himself admitted to saying?

    * Who or what provides the authority upon which to accurately judge the intent of an ambiguous Spanish term?

    * Is it coincidental that this episode occurred right at the beginning of the “Kick it Out!” campaign? If so, was this a case of a solution waiting for a problem?

    * Where exactly is the FA’s evidence for any of this and if racism can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, why hasn’t that evidence been presented to the police?

    Finally, I realize that it’s possible that you or your fellow fans may choose to claim that my comments are somehow defending racist actions purely because it suits your ends to do so, but if this accusation was leveled against Rooney, I think you’d be singing a different tune. If at the very least you fail to acknowledge that there are two sides to this story, then your own duplicity is damning, my friend.

    You’ll Never Walk Alone.

    • jonathan says:

      Let’s try to answer your questions:
      Why did Evra wait to bring these claims up at the end of the game?
      -why does that matter or have any relevancy? he told the ref immediately after the game which is within an hour. Plenty of people who experience harassment and wait much longer to assess what happened; and that does not make them calculated liars or opportunists.

      * Why hasn’t Evra himself been charged with racism or using derogatory language related to the ethnic origin of a fellow player?
      -Let’s see what he’s admitted to first. But if it is regarding what continent he’s from that is no where near on par to a racial slur – especially when black people have been on the worst receiving end of it historically.

      * Why hasn’t anybody from Manchester United commented about what Evra himself admitted to saying?
      -see above

      * Who or what provides the authority upon which to accurately judge the intent of an ambiguous Spanish term?
      -so if it’s ambiguous then Suarez gets a free pass? It’s generally understood that “negrito” can be both friendly and pejoritive based on context. And in this context it’s plain to see that these two were not friendly towards each other during the game. If you wish to believe that Suarez was still being friendly when saying negrito about a dozen times then it’s your own daydream.

      * Is it coincidental that this episode occurred right at the beginning of the “Kick it Out!” campaign? If so, was this a case of a solution waiting for a problem?
      -Relying on conspiracy to back your claim? That only makes it look worse. If you think that racism is virtually non-existant and “Kick it Out” is simply in place to pull the race card and pay a few minorities’ salaries just waiting for any opportunity then it says a lot about yourself and your ignorance doesn’t it?

      * Where exactly is the FA’s evidence for any of this and if racism can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, why hasn’t that evidence been presented to the police?
      -Let’s wait to see what they say. And if it is founded and Suarez admitted to “negrito”, are you anxious about the thought of Suarez being criminally prosecuted?

      We’ll leave the conspiracy theories to you. You may think I’m biased; but I’m confident in the plain facts that it’s a deserved penalty for a player who integrated race several times when trash talking the other player.

      • JamesYNWA says:

        No, you’re clearly grasping for any straw that allows you to excuse the reprehensible actions of your own player. There are precious few ‘facts’ in play here, but that won’t stop you from making a few of your own up.

        So Evra delayed because he was trying to assess the situation? What??? I thought that he had been racially insulted at least ten times? Give me a break – you’re either a fool or an apologist. Likely both.

        So “sudaca” is fine, but “negrito” is not? Than that probably makes you a fat, ginger, paki fag, doesn’t it? After all, none of that is “officially racist” is it, so it must be okay. Suarez clearly crossed a line by using a term that is patently ambiguous, but thanks to you and the FA, we can say for sure that it was a racial slur. By the way, Jonathan, “sudaca” isn’t an ambiguous term.

        Your response essentially confirms my original point. Like the author of the original diatribe above, you are damned by your own duplicity. Again, if this was Rooney, you’d be up in arms. But now that you have the FA on your side, they suddenly become the ultimate moral authority in your eyes and you can clutch on the straw that affords you an opportunity to gloat at your most hated opposition.

        You cannot see that there is another side to this. Jonathan, you are officially a hypocrite, like the rest of your ilk.

        You’ll Never Walk Alone.

        • jonathan says:

          So your whole reply is based on my disagreement that “sudaca” is on par with “negrito”? I never even said sudaca was fine. However we don’t even know if he said that. If he did it doesn’t take a genius to realize that insulting someones race as opposed to their continent (which is multiethnic) is not on par with each other. But perhaps all things are equal in your narrow world and you can’t cope with nuances such as historical context and precedent. I don’t even have a problem if they suspend Evra a couple games if it’s proven that he used “sudaca”. But please don’t pretend they’re level with each other and that a non-black South American can even come close to understanding the prejudice most black people who live as minorities face.

          Oh wait, and you’re still clinging to the hope that an accusation has no merit beyond a 30 second expiry limit. Your theories on prosecution and evidence could revolutionize our justice system. I should note since you’re seemlingly incapable of grasping subtlety, the previous sentence was sarcastic.

          Unlike your posts, I don’t have any blatant signs of racism unlike yourself. Your not so subtle accusations against the “kick it out” campaign and a hidden agenda reveal as much. You not only find several ways to accuse an individual,Evra, of pulling a ‘race card’; but you even doubt the authenticity of “Kick it Out” and suggest they have no use other than to lie in wait for an innocent non-black individual in some attempt to swing the racial-power pendulum in their direction. It frightens me to consider what racism lies deeper within you and how many others are out there like you pulling society apart.

          You know nothing about me and I’ve never defended a United player arbitrarily when they were clearly in the wrong. The admin of this blog can even attest to that. I have no problem if Robson was charged for what he was accused of a few months ago; Rooney deserved a ban for his elbow on Watson; Keane was in the wrong at the WC 2002 (and last week) and if a United player was ever proven guilty in the manner of Suarez I would have no problem if they received a ban and would certainly not embarass myself by finding excuses and conspiracies as you are.

          And I won’t be signing off with GGMU since I don’t allow my love of club to superceed my convictions of race and justice.


          P.S. “paki” is officially a racist term you fucking idiot.

        • Matias says:

          Jonathan, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried about Sudaca. I am actually Argentinian and I find it extremely offensive. It is used in Spain in a derogatory form for all south americans that come looking for a job. Try saying it to a south american and see how he reacts, I bet you’ll be surprised.

          So your argument that it is not as bad as negrito is laughable at best.

          If Evra did say this, then it invalidates Suarez reply because he was only attacking back, which means either both get the same ban or none of them gets banned.

          Please inform yourself better before speaking of things you know nothing of.

      • JamesYNWA says:

        Thank you Matias for your voice of reason. It’s refreshing to hear the facts occasionally on a forum like this.

        Jonathan is laughable in his ignorance, of course, especially when he accepts that “Paki” is “officially a racist term,” while “sudaca” is not (according to whom, by the way; is that on the list of insults officially banned by the FA?) Out here in the real world, “Paki” is used as a derogatory reference to somebody from Pakistan, just like “Sudaca” is used as a derogatory reference to somebody who comes from South America – not to the actual continent, as Jonathan slyly claims. Frankly, there is no meaningful difference between “Paki”, “Sudaca”, and “Nigger.” “Negrito”, on the other hand, is a different matter, as we know, but Jonathan won’t accept that because it doesn’t suit his ends.

        Speaking of Jonathan’s sly arguments, it’s pretty clear that slyness has played a big part in all of this. If the FA ever does reveal its evidence in full, it will be interesting to see whether Evra claims that he called Suarez “South American” or whether he actually admits to using the term “Sudaca.” With his history of making exaggerated claims of racism, we can guess what he told the FA panel. But if he actually admits to saying “Sudaca,” then the FA’s hypocrisy is exposed for all to see.

        Don’t worry about the prospects of Jonathan testing the boundaries of the term “sudaca”, by the way. He won’t see many South Americans that he can insult from his armchair in the Home Counties.

        Thanks Jonathan, you made my day! There’s nothing like a conversation with a bigoted hypocrite who takes the FA as his ultimate moral authority to make yourself feel good about yourself. Even Rupert Murdoch could benefit from speaking to you! 😉

        You’ll Never Walk Alone.

        • jonathan says:


          You can keep twisting over the facts on go on rabbit trails; but I said clearly that Evra should be suspended if Evra said “sudaca”. (that by the way has not emerged in any media report I’ve read, but we’ll see what develops). You on the other hand have no interest in any justice towards racial discrimination since rationalized that Suarez should be off the hook for saying “negrito” if (I repeat IF) Evra said “sudaca”.

          Please show me once sentence where I condoned the use of ‘sudaca’?

          I expressed my opinion that ‘sudaca’ is pejoritive, but not to the extent as ‘negrito’ when it is (and in this case it was) used in a derogative manner. You may perceive that as “sly” but with anyone who has any sense of reason or understanding would understand punishment is according to the severity of a crime. For example: if two individuals are engaged in a bar fight (assault) and then one of them brings out a knife would you think it’s fair if both them received the same sentence simply because both of their crimes fall under assault?

          So yes, ‘sudaca’ is pejoritive and should be punished if that is substantiated. I hope that is clear to you and Matias. I never have to worry about using ‘sudaca’, though I know several South Americans, because it will never cross my mind whether to use it even if I were hypothetically provoked. But you I’m not so sure about since you’ve simply argued Suarez is justified since it was in retaliation and you’ve yet to give account for your reasoning on “kick it out” though you’ve already replied twice. Perhaps you would like to clarify your opinion unless you stand behind it.

  9. graeme says:

    You say era has never racially abused anyone…
    Yet he has admitted making an abusive comment about him being a south american
    That is racial abuse is it not ?? It’s not only about colour is it?? It’s abuse of race creed or colour, also many people may not agree but context and intent play a huge part in this offence I have both black and Asian friends and its not unusual to hear on say to the other what’s happening my nigger? Is that racist? One of my best friends amal calls his cousin a dumb Paki to his face….racist ? Or not you decide…….back to the evra incident he made the first abusive comment about being south American and suares replied with his comment, so I ask where does the blame lay ……personally if you punish one you have to punish the other….and if evras remark about only being booked because he’s black is true then that opens a completely new can of worms……..I am a Liverpool fan and in my opinion evra has over reacted to a bad challenge on him by suares and has blown a remark out of proportion, whether by accident or with malice I don’t know. But I do know its not going to end here , and many more cases like this are going to happen and if all it takes is one man’s word against another mayhem will ensue……..let the games commence

  10. Billy says:

    As a lifelong Liverpool fan it really disappoints me to read the comments of the so called supporters who attach themselves to my club. You really have to worry that these people are out and about amongst us.

    The bile that people like these, ( from both sides ) spit out about Munich, Heysel and Hilsborough is truly sickening and is harmful to the reputation to both clubs and their supporters

    I have witnessed football violence at close quarters, I know just how easy it is for people like this to stir up hatred. Other idiots associate themselves with the cause and wIth the help of the social networks displayed, organize themselves into a large enough group to cause mayhem on match days. I hope that I am wrong, but I can visualise knuckle dragging idiots from both sides in Manchester next February looking for “justice”, and a return to match days that I hoped we had left behind years ago.

    I also think that there is enough information on display to easily trace these fools and bring them to book so that the harm that they can manufacture is minimised, although I feel that the comments have already severely offended those of us who are right thinking.

    As to the hearing, I honestly believe that both Suarez and Evra have come out of the process damaged. Given that Evra would appear in his statement to have stated that he believed that Suarez not to be a racist, I just wonder if he now regrets his part in the process.

    I do also believe that Suarez has been pre-judged by the FA and the outcome of the case was never in doubt, as it has been steered in that direction in a cheap effort at political point scoring. However I believe that in such cases the accusation is so serious that the burden of proof should be as if it was a criminal trial and that the accusation should be proved beyond all reasonable doubt, not just on one persons word against another. It will be interesting to read the FA’s thought process behind this decision and see what, if any, corroborative evidence was used in the case.

    Don’t get me wrong, if Suarez is truly guilty then he has received a punishment that I expected and he should accept it.
    If however an appeal is sought and the decision successfully questioned then let’s hope that the circus surrounding this one is not repeated.

    Good, healthy, light hearted banter between supporters groups is not a bad thing and I do enjoy rubbing it in when we beat United, likewise when we lose I switch my phone off.

    Some of the comments above are just evil and sickening, but unlike some of the comments from fellow Liverpool supporters, I don’t feel the need to apologise. It is not my fault or that of Liverpool Football club and it’s family that these people truly believe what they have published. I just wish that they would not associate themselves with us.