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What Luis Suarez’s 8-match ban means to Liverpool, the player & anti-racism in football

December 21, 2011 By Angela Asante
Luis Suarez has been hit with one of the toughest bans in the history of the Premier League as English football chiefs claim to be at work against racism.
The Liverpool striker received an 8-match ban in addition to a £40,000 fine for being found guilty of racial abuse against Manchester United’s French defender Patrice Evra during a league match on October 15, 2011. According to reports, Suarez didn’t deny repeatedly using words which referred to Evra’s skin color and African origins.

The Liverpool forward, however, claimed that the word “negrito” he used is acceptable and not racist in Uruguay. But the Independent Regulatory Commission composed of three men, including Paul Goulding QC, would hear none of Luis Suarez’s explanations.

Football Against Racism in Europe’s Piara Powar insisted that “negrito” sounded “racially offensive” in any case. Devastated by the issue, Luis Suarez left the following notes on his Twitter account:

“Today is a very difficult and painful day for both me and my family. Thanks for all the support. I'll keep working!”

“I'm upset by accusations of racism. I can only say that I have always respected and respect everybody.”

“We are all the same. I go to the field with the maximum illusion of a little child who enjoys what he does, not to create conflicts.”

However, Suarez’s ban won’t start immediately. The player, who should be available for Liverpool throughout the winter period, has been given a maximum of two weeks to decide on appealing. Should he take the risk of contesting the 8-match ban verdict, an independent appeal board working under the FA will hear the case.

Suarez will serve his ban immediately, should he appeal without success. Otherwise, his sentence has been scheduled to begin in January 2012 after the 14-day period.

This will force Liverpool to affront the likes of Stoke, Bolton Wanderers, Wolves and Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League without their star striker. The Merseyside Reds will also have to deal with Suarez’s absence during their crunch two-legged semi-final tie against Manchester City in the Carling Cup and against Oldham in the FA Cup.

“We reserve our right to appeal or take any action we feel appropriate,” a Liverpool spokesman stated following the FA’s ruling.

“We find it extraordinary that Luis can be found guilty on the word of Patrice Evra alone when no one else on the field of play heard the alleged conversation.

“Patrice Evra himself in his written statement said, 'I don't think that Luis Suarez is racist'. The FA in their opening remarks accepted that Luis Suarez was not racist.”

For anti-racism campaigners around the world, Luis Suarez’s ban appears as a victory as Kick It Out chairman Lord Herman Ouseley proudly told reporters:

“The FA has shown leadership. It has demonstrated it will not stand for discrimination — something organizations such as FIFA and UEFA should take heed of.”

In July 2010, Luis Suarez infuriated African football fans by using his hand to punch what would have been Ghana’s extra-time winner against Uruguay in the semi-finals of the World Cup. He received a straight red card for this offense.

Suarez gathered more enemies in the aftermath of this dramatic incident when he told the press that he was greater than “Hand-of-God” maker Maradona besides revealing that his training as a goalkeeper had finally paid off on the big stage at the benefit of his beloved country, Uruguay.

In November 2010, the former Ajax goal poacher disgusted the public and received a 7-match ban for biting the ear of PSV's Otman Bakkal. He got branded as the "Cannibal of Ajax".

On December 7, 2011, Luis Suarez was charged with improper conduct by the English FA for reacting against Fulham supporters with the one-finger gesture.



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Jun 14 11:00amMoscow
Russia 5 - 0 Saudi Arabia
Jun 15 8:00amYekaterinburg
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Jun 19 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
Russia 3 - 1 Egypt
Jun 20 11:00amRostov-on-Don
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Jun 25 10:00amVolgograd
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt
Jun 25 10:00amSamara
Uruguay vs Russia
Group B
Jun 15 11:00amSaint Petersburg
Morocco 0 - 1 Iran
Jun 15 2:00pmSochi
Portugal 3 - 3 Spain
Jun 20 8:00amMoscow
Portugal 1 - 0 Morocco
Jun 20 2:00pmKazan
Iran 0 - 1 Spain
Jun 25 2:00pmSaransk
Iran vs Portugal
Jun 25 2:00pmKaliningrad
Spain vs Morocco
Group C
Jun 16 6:00amKazan
France 2 - 1 Australia
Jun 16 12:00pmSaransk
Peru 0 - 1 Denmark
Jun 21 8:00amSamara
Denmark 1 - 1 Australia
Jun 21 11:00amYekaterinburg
France 1 - 0 Peru
Jun 26 10:00amSochi
Australia vs Peru
Jun 26 10:00amMoscow
Denmark vs France
Group D
Jun 16 9:00amMoscow
Argentina 1 - 1 Iceland
Jun 16 3:00pmKaliningrad
Croatia 2 - 0 Nigeria
Jun 21 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Argentina 0 - 3 Croatia
Jun 22 11:00amVolgograd
Nigeria vs Iceland
Jun 26 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Iceland vs Croatia
Jun 26 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
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Group E
Jun 17 8:00amSamara
Costa Rica 0 - 1 Serbia
Jun 17 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
Brazil 1 - 1 Switzerland
Jun 22 8:00amSaint Petersburg
Brazil vs Costa Rica
Jun 22 2:00pmKaliningrad
Serbia vs Switzerland
Jun 27 2:00pmMoscow
Serbia vs Brazil
Jun 27 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
Switzerland vs Costa Rica
Group F
Jun 17 11:00amMoscow
Germany 0 - 1 Mexico
Jun 18 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
Sweden 1 - 0 Korea Republic
Jun 23 11:00amRostov-on-Don
Korea Republic vs Mexico
Jun 23 2:00pmSochi
Germany vs Sweden
Jun 27 10:00amKazan
Korea Republic vs Germany
Jun 27 10:00amYekaterinburg
Mexico vs Sweden
Group G
Jun 18 11:00amSochi
Belgium 3 - 0 Panama
Jun 18 2:00pmVolgograd
Tunisia 1 - 2 England
Jun 23 8:00amMoscow
Belgium vs Tunisia
Jun 24 8:00amNizhny Novgorod
England vs Panama
Jun 28 2:00pmKaliningrad
England vs Belgium
Jun 28 2:00pmSaransk
Panama vs Tunisia
Group H
Jun 19 8:00amSaransk
Colombia 1 - 2 Japan
Jun 19 11:00amMoscow
Poland 1 - 2 Senegal
Jun 24 11:00amYekaterinburg
Japan vs Senegal
Jun 24 2:00pmKazan
Poland vs Colombia
Jun 28 10:00amVolgograd
Japan vs Poland
Jun 28 10:00amSamara
Senegal vs Colombia
Knockout Stage

Round of 16
Jun 30 10:00amKazan
[1C] vs [2D]
Jun 30 2:00pmSochi
[1A] vs [2B]
Jul 1 10:00amMoscow
[1B] vs [2A]
Jul 1 2:00pmNizhny Novgorod
[1D] vs [2C]
Round of 16
Jul 2 10:00amSamara
[1E] vs [2F]
Jul 2 2:00pmRostov-on-Don
[1G] vs [2H]
Jul 3 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[1F] vs [2E]
Jul 3 2:00pmMoscow
[1H] vs [2G]
Quarter Final
Jul 6 10:00amNizhny Novgorod
[W49] vs [W50]
Jul 6 2:00pmKazan
[W53] vs [W54]
Jul 7 10:00amSamara
[W55] vs [W56]
Jul 7 2:00pmSochi
[W51] vs [W52]
Jul 10 2:00pmSaint Petersburg
[W57] vs [W58]
Jul 11 2:00pmMoscow
[W59] vs [W60]
Third place match
Jul 14 10:00amSaint Petersburg
[L61] vs [L62]
Jul 15 11:00amMoscow
Final: FIFA World Cup 2018