Editorial: Our final word on the Suarez saga

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Last night we had made a decision not to comment further on the Suarez saga. We, like everyone, are tired of the whole saga and feel the amount of mis-information and lack of evidence on so many intricacies make it pointless to continue to debate.

However, we have decided to write the following final word to surmise our thoughts on the events. Herein we comment on all aspects of the case and explain why, although Luis Suarez must accept some blame in the saga, he should not be the only one being vilified or questioned.

The hypocrisy of the media

The British press claim they want to see Liverpool ‘draw a line’ on the saga and ‘move on’ – yet their coverage has been quite the opposite.

As has been well pointed out by the Anfield Road website, this is the same media who were quick to condemn Sepp Blatter’s comments when he said “We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands, and this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination.”

Yet now, the media, pundits and anybody seeking to get their name in the media, are lambasting Suarez and calling for him to be reprimanded, suspended and even deported. No, we are not joking, politican George Galloway – who has absolutely nothing to do with this – has claimed Suarez should be deported. Deported for not shaking the hands of a man he disagrees with and has no respect for consequently.

So, the media laughed at Blatter’s suggestion, but are now making such a huge controversy out of Suarez not shaking Evra’s hand? Which is it? The handshake cannot solve it, or the handshake can solve it? Or is it whichever suits the media’s agenda and sensationalism at the time? Make your own mind up.

We could write pages on the comparison’s between the media’s reaction to the Suarez case – where evidence has not been provided – and the John Terry case – where evidence has been provided and court proceedings brought about.

Suarez has served his punishment yet still the media, anti-racism campaigners and MP’s are calling for more action. Meanwhile they are happy for John Terry to represent their country in a major tournament this summer.

So when Dalglish implied media scrutiny played a part in the events he was correct.

Former Liverpool player John Barnes – the man who infamously was victim of bananas being thrown at him in the eighties – has also pointed at the media’s role in the whole saga. Barnes told ESPN “We’re making a mountain out of a molehill. We are not the custodians of moral value in the world, we think we are but we’re not. There’s worse things happening in the world, worse things happening in the country, everything should not be laid at footballers’ doors.”

The handshake

In the wake of the handshake incident on Saturday we posted a video suggesting Patrice Evra refused Luis Suarez’s hand. Since then Suarez, Liverpool FC and Kenny Dalglish have released statements apologising for the incident. This has led to many contacting us asking for our own rebuttal and apology.

We won’t be giving one. Watch the video. Evra does not offer his hand in the same manner as he does to other Liverpool FC players. That Suarez didn’t offer his hand either is not the point. Evra did not offer his hand either. Evra needs to share his proportion of the blame rather than lapping up the victim card with acting befitting of an Oscar winner.

Not to mention the lack of attention that has been paid to Evra’s full-time antics. According to the Man United manager, Suarez not shaking Evra’s hand could have incited a riot. Well what on earth could Evra’s actions have resulted in?

Dalglish and Suarez have hinted that ‘all is not as it appears’ and this evidenced by the change in protocol on Saturday. The FA’s role in the whole saga needs to be questioned as much as Liverpool FC’s has been in the media.

As one commenter on this wrote:

Evra hedged his bets and left his hand half in, half out. Suarez saw this as Evra not wanting to shake his hand. Suarez skipped it, Evra over reacted..end of story…yawn!

Nail on the head. The blame should not be placed solely on Suarez – and, after all, it was only a handshake – that can’t solve anything can it?

The ruling itself

Much has been made of the ruling itself. The fact remains that Suarez was found guilty despite any evidence or anybody corroborating Evra’s version of events. Evra’s evidence was contradictory – particularly regarding the amount of times the word ‘negro’ was used.

Again, the FA’s role here needs to be questioned. The day after the initial incident the FA were sending a lawyer to Switzerland to fight Wayne Rooney’s corner to appeal a blatant red card – and in doing so were proving their own hypocrisy as such an appeal to their own association would have resulted in the ‘frivolous’ appeal resulting in the ban being extended. The incident took place on October 15th, it was December 31st before the FA announced their decision. Priorities?

The FA Commission, in their report, said they “do not believe that Mr Suarez meant it when he said that he had kicked Mr Evra because he was black or that he did not speak with blacks. The comments were made in the heat of the moment. They were not said with the deliberate intention of getting Mr Evra sent off. When provoked, Mr Suarez overstepped the mark and responded in a way which is unacceptable.”

An award winning Uruguayan writer and professor with a PhD in Spanish told us “The examination and use of Spanish language they made was, in my opinion, lacking precision and linguistic rigour.”

There were huge holes in the FA report.

Ask yourself why this case was not reported to the crown prosecution service – where evidence would have been required to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubt.

There remains reasonable doubt.

Luis Suarez was not found guilty of racism

Our final words on the saga come from Evra himself, in his statement to the FA commission. Not that you would know this from the media’s reporting of events.

“I don’t think that Luis Suarez is racist”.

Now, back to the football…

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