Liverpool Message Board
Wanted to add this to the "Suarez" thread, but with the new format its a complete mess and very hard to see who is responding to whom.
However on that thread there was much speculation on how the commission came up with 10 matches, and now the report has been published I'm wondering what peoples thoughts on it were. I'm not sure anyone justified the length of ban in quite the same way the commission did, but then again I'm not sure if the commission, based on what they wrote, actually justified it either.
Just to be clear I do believe Suarez did bite Ivonovic, it was a violent act, and does justify punishment beyond the standard 3 match ban. However I'm not sure it warrants more than 3 times the standard punishment.
The report for me does clearly show why this case was exceptional and therefore warranted more than a 3 match ban, which I agree with. But in determining sanction it basically said because its worse than tripping a ref, it must be 7 additional games. Now unless they took in consideration things they did not report (which would be prejudice against Suarez) I'm not sure how they came to that conclusion. I'm wondering if anyone can explain their conclusions, as for me the report fails in this area by using just one other, seemingly unrelated case, as a benchmark to show Suarez should get an even longer ban..
Personally I would have doubled it making it a 6 match ban, which would have imo sent a message this is an exceptional case, by stating its twice as bad. However by making this sanction longer than those applied recently for racial abuse, the FA is essentially saying that a single case of racial abuse is not nearly has bad as a single bite; and while multiple incidents of racial abuse is slightly worse than tripping a ref, it is still not as bad as a single bite!
My impression is that the ten match decision was somewhat arbitrary, but if you accept the argument leading up to it, it had to be.
A lot of the report was about justifying that this was an exceptional incident. It was, of course. Apart from the Defoe incident which we have to put aside because he wasn't punished (when everyone in retrospect thinks he should have been) and the dutch Suarez incident, there is no history of it in consideration. The commission then went on to say that they thought an exemplary punishment (my words, not theirs) was appropriate, to express disapproval in the strongest way and discourage any other offenders. If you then believe they didn't take Suarez's history into consideration, they then plucked a figure from the air. If they did take Suarez's history into consideration then ten matches seems very plausible - both from an increase on the Dutch ban and also him having done eight matches for something else last year and being warned about his future conduct. So really, ten matches covers both bases.
The question is what will happen if there is another biting incident. Having claimed this wasn't about Suarez, it would seem that they have now set a tarriff for the offence. If a new offence gets less than that then it will be fair to question Suarez's punishment. If not, then not.
Mind you, the person most likely to be up on a biting charge in the future is ............
- 1 Reply to Robert M
Robert first off I need to apologize, my previous post suggested you had not addressed the report, but that was before I saw this post, where obviously you have.
For me much of the report makes logical reading, and there is little I don't disagree with. The case of Violent Conduct was already proven, and yes the report spent most of its time addressing whether it was an exceptional incident or not, and I do think they showed that. In this area I think Suarez was wrong to try to justify the standard (3 match ban) was appropriate.
However where the thing breaks down for me is the sanction and where they try to justify it. In the report they clearly state they have not considered Suarez's history, so I assume we have to take them at their word. However they also state they did not pluck the 10 games out of the air, but looked for similar cases as a benchmark (despite also saying they could not always rely on past cases as things evolve - which to me sounds like a license to make it up as they go, but maybe that's just me). However the Suarez team provided 10 cases they felt were equivalent to justify keeping the punishment to 3 matches. We don't know what these cases were, other than the Defoe incident.
I can understand them wanting to ignore the Defoe case as its a bad precedent, although its the only precedent we have. Therefore rather than writing it off as dissimilar (which its obviously not as its one of the very few biting cases in the English game) they should have stated why it was a bad precedent. I assume they did not as this would have openly stated the ref on the day was wrong, which is something the FA finds it can rarely do.
Instead it comes up with two cases for comparison. First a player kicking a ball boy (one I'm sure your familiar with) and second a player from the Championship who tripped a ref. Now is it just me, or do neither of these seem even close to the Suarez case. But some how they decide the first is not extraordinary (although its the first case I've heard of a player attacking a boy boy) and the second is, but that Suarez's offense is markedly worse so deserves a higher sanction.
Surely they could of come up with at least one other case which was a bit more like what happened between Suarez and Ivonovic. Maybe one involving two players. Maybe one involving violent conduct. Maybe something like Gaston Rameriez elbowing out of frustration, resulting in a red card but no more, or any other case. Or maybe other cases would have been difficult to square with a 10 match ban as its unprecedented.
Sorry but 80% of the report for me makes perfect sense, however the other 20% looks like its been made up or crammed together so that the conclusion can be a 10 match ban.
The FA were in a mess over this because they wanted to be seen to be treating the incident harder. Remember he got a 7 game ban in Holland for the same offence and the FA did not want to be seen giving a lesser ban than they did. That to me makes sense.
Where it all falls down though is when you see some really nasty, potential career ending challenges and the like and they are either ignored or given a lesser punishment. I'd personally rather have a bite mark on my arm than being in hospital awaiting surgery on a some knee or ligament damage that may mean I never play again. Jim Beglin knows this all too well sadly.
Then there's the argument that whether the incident deserves more of a ban than the incident with Evra? That's where it gets tough. Of course we see that Defoe got away with it completely. Ok a yellow card I believe.
To me the guy needs some help, mentally and this was an opportunity for the FA to step in. A shorter ban with a some form of training / therapy and a suspended part of a further ban may have been more productive.
It also riles me that everyone is lauding Gareth Bale for winning the two PFA awards. Yes they were deserved but some of his theatrics seem to have been glossed over (He is the new golden boy) while others still have that noose around their neck.
Oh what games the media play with us....................
- 1 Reply to Colyn
The report is now on the FA website, and worth a read, although it might leave you scratching your head.
I hear what your saying about the previous case in Holland, however the report specifically stated they did not take into account any prior infringements and had the brief only to look at this case in isolation. That is why it really is fair to say the FA ranks a single case of Racism as less of an offense as tipping a ref, followed by multiple incidents or racial abuse, but worst of all is a single bite.
In deciding the actual sanction they disregarded the number of examples Suarez's representatives provided as examples of violent conduct because they stated "We were mindful that, in a game of football, the coming together of opposing players and physical bodily contacts in challenging for the ball is part of the game – albeit some of the challenges, regrettably, could lead to more serious
injuries" . So while I see where you coming from regarding those potentially career ending challenges (like the foot to the face from the Wigan player yesterday, which was not punished by the ref, so I assume will go to the FA?) it seems the FA does not agree with you, as that sort of violence is part of the game and therefore is okay.
On Bale I don't have an issue with him winning, and think either him or RVP would have been worthy, I do agree with you with the amnesia when it comes to the diving. Just a few days ago on here a number of people were including the diving of Suarez as a rational of why Liverpool supporters should not support their player, but it seems Bale is above this criticism. Bit like those who conveniently forget that Rooney had a very similar challenge with his red mist not so long ago, but as the hope of England I suppose he's above reproach.