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Posted 02 January 2012 - 06:52 AM
Posted 02 January 2012 - 10:11 AM
I think Liverpool have to worry about losing to lesser teams a lot this season, with or without their best player.
Posted 02 January 2012 - 05:49 PM
Posted 03 January 2012 - 02:00 PM
"It is our strongly held conviction that the Football Association and the panel it selected constructed a highly subjective case against Luis Suarez based on an accusation that was ultimately unsubstantiated.
The FA and the panel chose to consistently and methodically accept and embrace arguments leading to a set of conclusions that found Mr. Suarez to "probably" be guilty while in the same manner deciding to completely dismiss the testimony that countered their overall suppositions.
Mr. Evra was deemed to be credible in spite of admitting that he himself used insulting and threatening words towards Luis and that his initial charge as to the word used was somehow a mistake.
The facts in this case were that an accusation was made, a rebuttal was given and there was video of the match. The remaining facts came from testimony of people who did not corroborate any accusation made by Mr. Evra.
In its determination to prove its conclusions to the public through a clearly subjective 115-page document, the FA panel has damaged the reputation of one the Premier League's best players, deciding he should be punished and banned for perhaps a quarter of a season. This case has also provided a template in which a club's rival can bring about a significant ban for a top player without anything beyond an accusation.
Nevertheless, there are ultimately larger issues than whether or not Luis Suarez has been treated fairly by the Football Association in this matter. There are important points we want to make today that overshadow what has occurred during the past two months.
The issue of race in sports, as in other industries, has a very poor history. Far too often, and in far too many countries, the issues of racism and discrimination have been covered over or ignored.
In America, where Liverpool ownership resides, there was a shameful bigotry that prevented black athletes from competing at the highest levels for decades.
English football has led the world in welcoming all nationalities and creeds into its Premier League and its leagues below, and Liverpool Football Club itself has been a leader in taking a progressive stance on issues of race and inclusion. The Luis Suarez case has to end so that the Premier League, the Football Association and the Club can continue the progress that has been made and will continue to be made and not risk a perception, at least by some, that would diminish our commitment on these issues.
Liverpool Football Club have supported Luis Suarez because we fundamentally do not believe that Luis on that day - or frankly any other - did or would engage in a racist act. Notably, his actions on and off the pitch with his teammates and in the community have demonstrated his belief that all athletes can play together and that the colour of a person's skin is irrelevant.
Continuing a fight for justice in this particular case beyond today would only obscure the fact that the Club wholeheartedly supports the efforts of the Football Association, the Football League and the Premier League to put an end to any form of racism in English football.
It is time to put the Luis Suarez matter to rest and for all of us, going forward, to work together to stamp out racism in every form both inside and outside the sport.
It is for this reason that we will not appeal the eight-game suspension of Luis Suarez."
Suarez statement (on Facebook)
First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for all the support I've received these past few weeks. To my family, friends, mates of Uruguayan team and its staff and of course to the Liverpool F.C. (workers, coaches, managers, my teammates, and all who are part of the day-to-day life of this great club), and, of course, all the fans who never once allowed me to feel alone for even a single second throughout all of this. These past days, I have felt the meaning of that support more than ever: You never walk alone.
As many of you know, I was born into a humble family in a working-class neighborhood of a small country. But born and raised with the values of respect, politeness, and sacrifice. My family, from the very first club where I started playing up until my move to Europe, have instilled the values that have shaped the person I am today. Let me be absolutely clear: I've never -- ever -- had a single racial problem with any team mate, player, or person with a skin color or race different from my own. Never.
As a result, I am very upset about what has been said about me in recent weeks, all of which have been very far from the truth. This is further compounded by the helplessness I feel for not having done anything yet being accused of something I did not nor would ever do. In my country, the Spanish word for “black” is a term commonly used and does not symbolise any disrespect, let alone racism. Everything that has been said beyond that is completely and utterly false.
I will comply with the sanction, but with the acquiescence of someone who has not done anything and who feels extremely upset about what has transpired. I’m sorry for the fans and for the teammates who I will not be able to assist in this coming month. This will be very difficult for me.
My only wish is to get back to the stadium and do what I like most again, that is, to play football.
Thank you all very much,
Luis Alberto Suarez.
Posted 03 January 2012 - 02:30 PM
This case has also provided a template in which a club's rival can bring about a significant ban for a top player without anything beyond an accusation.
Are pretty strong words. They don't go about things quietly do they...
Posted 03 January 2012 - 05:07 PM
As many are, I am more disappointed in Evra facing zero discipline despite his admission of having responded to Suarez racially than I am in the FA's decision in the severity of Suarez's ban. Regardless of whether they dealt the punishments out properly, I can't find fault in an anti-racist stance, but it really does peeve me in the end that Evra gets out unscathed.
In any event, it is what it is. It may cost Liverpool a top 4 spot, but crying about it won't change the club's fate.
Posted 05 January 2012 - 06:43 PM
Powar urges FA to charge Liverpool
January 5, 2012
The head of European football's anti-racism group has urged the Football Association to charge Liverpool with bringing the game into disrepute over their response to Luis Suarez's eight-match ban.
Piara Powar, executive director of European football's anti-discrimination body FARE, said Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish's comments had been ''undignified'' and that their reaction had damaged the club's brand across the world.
Posted 05 January 2012 - 07:58 PM
Up to now, the strongest criticism that could be aimed at Fenway is that they allowed senior football executives at Anfield too much freedom to handle what was plainly an international affair with widening ramifications.
From here, however, Liverpool’s owners are culpable. What were they thinking? This has been a PR disaster, a legal disaster and a sporting disaster considering an eight-match ban may have been avoided with greater contrition from the start.
And Fenway knew all along. Their fingerprints were across yesterday’s pronouncement, which succeeded in slandering just about everybody involved in the procedure bar the player who referred to Evra’s skin colour seven times.
If Fenway remain oblivious to the harm here, they need telling, and quickly. Letting the football men run the football club is an admirable stance, but there comes a time when an issue lies beyond the manager’s call. Whoever was left to mastermind Liverpool’s stance over Suarez has been proven horribly inept in this arena.
It is surely no coincidence that Liverpool recently dispensed with Paul Tyrrell, their widely respected head of communications. In his absence, the club’s actions have drawn universal condemnation on a par with Carlos Tevez’s walk-out at Manchester City.
Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:11 PM
And Fenway knew all along. Their fingerprints were across yesterday’s pronouncement
I'm pretty sure that Martin Samuel knows less about Fenway's fingerprints than he does about declining seconds. Whatever you think of it, Liverpool's reaction is the exact opposite of how HWL do business.
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