The Football Association have released the Independent Regulatory Commission’s full reasons as to why they reached a decision to ban Liverpool’s Luis Suarez for 8 games for alleged racism towards Manchester Utd defender Patrice Evra in January.
Liverpool Football Club received the report yesterday and have until 13th January 2012 to reply to the report. Any appeal will delay Suarez’s suspension further.
The 115-page report can be downloaded here.
In short, Evra’s allegations are written as such in section 5:
The FA’s case, in short, was as follows. In the goalmouth, Mr Evra and Mr Suarez spoke to each other in Spanish. Mr Evra asked Mr Suarez why he had kicked him, referring to the foul five minutes previously. Mr Suarez replied “Porque tu eres negro”, meaning “Because you are black”. Mr Evra then said to Mr Suarez “say it to me again, I’m going to punch you”. Mr Suarez replied “No hablo con los negros”, meaning “I don’t speak to blacks”. Mr Evra continued by saying that he now thought he was going to punch Mr Suarez. Mr Suarez replied “Dale, negro, negro, negro”, which meant “okay, blackie, blackie, blackie”. As Mr Suarez said this, he reached out to touch Mr Evra’s arm, gesturing at his skin. Mr Kuyt then intervened. When the referee blew his whistle and called the players over to him shortly after the exchanges in the goalmouth, Mr Evra said to the referee “ref, ref, he just called me a fucking black”
This was denied by Suarez in section 6 – which outlines Suarez’s version of events:
Mr Suarez denied the Charge. His case, in short, was as follows. He agreed with Mr Evra that they spoke to each other in Spanish in the goalmouth. When Mr Evra asked why he had kicked him, Mr Suarez replied that it was a normal foul and shrugged his shoulders. Mr Evra then said that he was going to kick Mr Suarez, to which Mr Suarez told him to shut up. As Mr Kuyt was approaching, Mr Suarez touched Mr Evra’s left arm in a pinching style movement. According to Mr Suarez, at no point in the goalmouth did he use the word “negro”. When the referee blew his whistle to stop play, Mr Evra spoke to Mr Suarez and said (in English) “Don’t touch me, South American”. Mr Suarez replied “Por que, negro?”. He says that he used the word “negro” in a way with which he was familiar from his upbringing in Uruguay. In this sense, Mr Suarez claimed, it is used as a noun and as a friendly form of address to people seen as black or brown-skinned (or even just blackhaired). Thus, it meant “Why, black?” Mr Suarez maintained that when he said “Por que, negro?” to Mr Evra, it was intended in a conciliatory and friendly way. Mr Suarez said this 6 was the only time that he used the word “negro” in his exchanges with Mr Evra during the match.
Surprisingly that both accounts have Evra down as saying, “Don’t touch me, South American,” yet the FA has made no move to tackle this blatant xenophobia. Then again, maybe it’s not that surprising after all.
The ineptness of the whole case is summed up in section 382 when the report draws it’s conclusions.
We found that Mr Evra’s account is probably what happened.
Probably?! What is this, Judge Judy?
The report contains further findings and questions over reliability of evidence. Read it yourself, wait for the journos to come to their conclusions and the aftermath is sure soon to follow.
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