It does not matter which football club you support. The Football Association should be applauded for making an example of Luis Suarez in their decisive action to kick racism out of football.
Many people will be surprised at the severity of an eight match ban and a £40,000 fine. But the FA have got it absolutely right after Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra.
Suarez denied using a Spanish word for negro in a verbal attack on Evra during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United that ended 1-1 two months ago. And the Uruguay striker who has 14 days to appeal against the decision tweeted: “Today is a very difficult and painful day for me and my family. Thanks for all the support.”
But the reality is that the six-day hearing, which concluded on Tuesday, concluded that Suarez was guilty of using “insulting words” and it is only right that a severe sentence was dished out.
For the Merseysiders to blindly stand by their man after the verdict and immediately attack the FA with a provocative 2-page statement is out of order. And I strongly urge Liverpool to accept the punishment and apologise for bringing the game into disrepute for failing to condemn their player’s racist abuse of the Frenchman.
It is time that racism was kicked out of football once and for all and it is to their great credit that the English FA has boldly gone where the game’s governing body FIFA has criminally failed to go in the past and taken decisive action to tackle this insidious problem.
How sad to read the Liverpool reaction that states: “We find it extraordinary that Luis can be found guilty on the word of Patrice Evra alone.
“No one else on the field of play – including Evra’s own Manchester United team-mates and all the match officials – heard the alleged conversation between the two players in a crowded Kop goalmouth.”
Refusing to accept that the FA gave their player a fair hearing despite taking six days to consider all the evidence, Liverpool added: “It appears to us that the FA were determined to bring charges against Luis Suarez, even before interviewing him at the beginning of November. Nothing we have heard in the course of the hearing has changed our view that Luis Suarez is innocent of the charges brought against him and we will provide Luis with whatever support he now needs to clear his name.”
The bottom line is that Suarez has been found guilty. That does not mean he should be kicked out of the club. There is no reason why he can not be educated that racist abuse is unacceptable in the modern world. If only he would apologise, accept his punishment and make a commitment not to re-offend we can all move on.