Liverpool Message Board
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For me the FA feel that the case has no precedent. The Defoe incident belies that for us. Look guys the FA need to retrospectively review all violent challenges like Mcmanaman last week, their disciplinary process is about as inconsistent as our form has been this season! For me, they should have taken into account the fact that Suarez is slightly unhinged and needs help. Ban him yes, but give him a little carrot with some suspended sentence thrown in. Expecting some common sense out of them is too much to ask I'm afraid. Nothing has changed since that 'old fart' Bert Millichip ran the game.
One of the most telling line for me was paragraph 77:
"In this regard, we noted that there were no guidelines or precedence for this
type of incident. However, we were mindful that we need to be concentrating
on the circumstances of this incident and comparable violent conduct offences
as a guide and not be tempted to compare with other dissimilar cases. We were
also aware that the Rules, Regulations and practices have evolved and any
temptations to refer to historical cases and sanctions would be wrong."
To me saying they had to compare to similar cases, but then dismissing every example Suarez's council brought calling them dissimilar tells me they wanted to treat this as a one off and not be tied to any previous case (including the Defoe case). In addition saying the Rules, Regulations, and practices have "evolved" gives them full license to make it up as they go.
- 2 Replies to dsteer_lfc_68
I think it had to be more than his previous biting ban ( crazy to have to say that about a grown man ) , Paul Davis got 9 for punching, and a red, so as Suarez stayed on that is a ten ban. I understand the FAs inconsistency is frustrating, but i think they got it right here, no matter how they got to that point. Its effectively a 6 match ban anyway as this season is over anyway, his loss wont make any impact on this season. I hope all similar offences are treated the same, no matter who the player plays for.
Steve, I understand the desire to increase the ban over the previous biting case, however by their own rules the FA is not allowed to consider any cases outside its jurisdiction (the Dutch league obviously being separate from the Prem) and in fact the panel clearly stated in the report that it looked at this Suarez case in isolation from any other case.
As for comparing this case to others like Paul Davis, that is a fair point. However why that case and not the bite by Defoe, or any other case of violent conduct? Yes one more than Davis seems appropriate but you could find almost any case to justify whatever sanction you personally think is appropriate to apply to Suarez. For example why not look at the elbow from Gaston Ramirez over the weekend. Obviously a deliberate act, one that came from frustration, and both that and the bite while I'm sure painful at the time did not result in any real injury. The sanction was a red card with no further action by the FA.
Now I understand the desire to punish Suarez, for the act itself I agree with that sentiment (although I do think some, and maybe including the FA panel, also want to punish the man himself for perceived crimes beyond the biting). It was violent play, and in my mind goes beyond the normal sanction, which is why I think doubling the sanction would have been wise. Part of the rational the panel gave was that they wanted to send a clear message this was inappropriate behavior to ensure its not repeated (even though biting is currently very rare in football).
I get that and actually agree with it, but by setting the sanction so high are they saying biting is very serious, while deliberately elbowing an opponent while wrong, is not extraordinary so no need to send a clear message that it should not be tolerated. Or in other words are they saying they are okay in tolerating a certain amount of deliberate elbowing? For that matter looking at the length of sanction, a certain amount of racial abuse!
All this "suspended sentence" and "needs help" so lighter sentence stuff really doesn't wash. First off, no-one from Liverpool management, players or fans were saying before the bite "oh look, poor old Luis, he's slightly lost it, we need to give him a break, and get some rehabilitation in" so it's no good suddenly coming out with it afterwards as if a lighter sentence is a coincidence you hadn't thought of.
Second, if anyone deserves a suspended sentence for a bite, it ain't ******* Suarez! He's been convicted of it before, just a couple of seasons ago. Suspended sentences are appropriate when you have a first-time offender who has done something out of character, not when the biggest **** in the game has done yet another appalling thing.
If you really truly honestly genuinely think that Suarez needs help, and if Liverpool want to provide it, then instead of whingeing about the length of the sentence, you should welcome a long ban as giving him the space away from the limelight that he can use to concentrate on fixing his head.
But it just looks like a diversion tactic, blaming the FA.
- 3 Replies to Robert M
Robert, I'm glad you've engaged on this thread as you and I both had quite a bit of speculation on how the panel reached their discussion. However I am a little disappointed that now that report is available you are not actually commenting on the report, but rather just complaining about how some LFC supporters are reacting to the judgement.
But having said that, and hopefully we can actually discuss the report if you care to read it (I know how much you encouraged others to read other FA reports) I will address the points you've mad here.
First up on the needing help, in actuality this is not something new. As I understand it Suarez has been working with a renowned sports psychologist for a while, who is in fact the same person who worked with Craig Bellamy and we all know what kind of temper he used to have. Also it seems he was getting results. I'm not sure the actual numbers (sure someone can look them up) but there has been a marked decrease in the number of yellow cards Suarez has received since December (when he started the program) compared to the first part of the season. The Chelsea match was obviously a set back, however it seems that many at the club had felt he'd been making progress up until that point. This was all detailed on Sky's Sunday Supplement show. I can't remember the name of the journalist who did the reporting, but I'm sure you can find more details your side of the pond.
Additionally on this point however what's wrong with suspending part of the sanction? This seems to be something applied to other footballers and other systems designed not just to punish but also change future behavior. If the panels goal was to ensure this type of offence does not happen again, what is wrong with incentive's for a player to promote good behavior and at the same time hanging an additional punishment over him if he does not change his behavior? It seems to work well in the criminal justice systems around the world, so why not football. Or because it is often used in football, why not for Suarez?
On your second point, I'm sorry but this sounds like a desire to punish the man rather than address the actual crime. I fully understand you and many others don't really like Suarez, so want to punish him, but as you have had a keen interest in the FA process in the past don't you find it troubling that your justifying a hefty sanction by including transgressions specifically not considered (or at least that is what they stated) by the panel. Does this not suggest a bias, or a desire to punish the man rather than punish the crime?
it's a fair point and I think you're right that it shouldn't be for the FA to assist in the matter. But they obviously haven't helped someone who obviously has some instability upstairs. I think Liverpool have been or are using the same Sports phsycologist that has helped many of the Team GB cycling team including Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Wiggins. If they haven't they certainly should. The guy is always on a knife edge