Liverpool, Suarez, and Why I Think Dalglish is King

By , January 4, 2012 5:19 pm

Please excuse my lengthy piece on the matter, as I realize the whole Suarez affair has been extremely upsetting and exhausting for everyone involved with Liverpool Football Club. And most of all, for Luis Suarez himself. One of the major issues with everything that has happened since that fateful day back in October is the way it has drawn whole sections of England and even Liverpool fans apart. You may agree with what I have to say, or not. Either way, I will respect your opinion even if I don’t believe it myself. This is much the case with the FA, but I am personally having a more difficult time than some accepting the way they’ve handled this case, dished out its punishment, and gave reasons for their decision based on the term ‘probably.’ I am also finding some of Liverpool’s handling of the case poor, in only so much as to how Suarez was represented. I firmly believe Liverpool’s players and Kenny Dalglish have done everything right in their support of Suarez, and I salute their bravery in the face of countless media articles, opposition fans, and even anti-racist organizations turning on them. This must be acknowledged, because as much as some people simply want Liverpool to just roll over and move on, like they would have done under the previous regime, it’s nice to know the team will stick by someone, believing 100% in their innocence whether others do or not.

I read the 115 page FA report, cutting into my New Year’s Eve festivities to do so. At first, I found the reading to be very uncomfortable with the allegations about what Suarez said. It wasn’t pretty, and I thought after the first few pages that Suarez may in fact be a truly awful person despite all obvious evidence to the contrary (mostly referring to his jovial nature, electric smile, and passion for the game. He may be snarky at times, but that is what makes him a great player, not necessarily a horrible human being.)

But as I continued to read, I began to feel puzzled, confused, then I started to laugh. I was laughing at the ridiculousness of the claims, the lack of corroborative evidence, and the pure lack of evidence at all. When I finished page 115, I kept scanning back thinking I had missed something. But no. The FA had no real evidence on which to base their judgements on. Simply that they somehow found Evra a more convincing and reliable witness than Suarez, even though Evra was not the one on trial, therefore Suarez is found guilty of racially abusing him, but is also not a racist. Confused yet? I was, and still am.

Who Do You Believe When So Much Is At Stake?

Before I go any further, I’d like to point to some other articles that have broken down and analyzed the report, as well as some other articles on the subject. I agree with their sentiments, and while I’d be happy to do the breakdown myself, I would just be repeating what others have already said very succinctly. A great piece by Stuart Gilhooly, the solicitor for the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland, can be read here. A few great pieces on the Anfield Wrap here, here, and here. This post by @joescouse_LFC is also a great read regarding the breakdown of the report’s numerous inconsistencies. Plus the excellent language dissection by Professor in Hispanic Studies at Brown University, Aldo Mazzucchelli here. (Also, while in the middle of writing this piece, Paul Tomkins has of course trumped me with his own excellent article here. A must read, and so much of it I agree with).

Any logical person who has read the report, Liverpool fan or otherwise, can see the glaring inconsistencies and bias that is there. And when I say bias, don’t misunderstand that I think the FA and all of the footballing world have it in for Liverpool. While it sometimes does appear that way, I simply mean bias in the FA’s strong correlation between Evra’s events and the truth, despite no evidence or witnesses to support it. And of course, because the FA published its reasoning, the media takes that as word on high that they must be right, no matter how flawed their reasoning is and no matter how many times they use the word ‘probably’ or some variation thereof.

There are two things that some have casually mentioned, but that I find astoundingly atrocious when reading that report. The first is the FA explaining that while they believe Suarez is categorically NOT a racist, they basically explain his comment to Evra simply as ‘heat-of-the-moment’ and ‘we’re all a bit racist sometimes.’ I am appalled at this comment and the logic with which it is brought about.

From the horse’s mouth:

Paragraph 342: We asked ourselves whether a player (Suarez) with this background would make the comments that Mr Evra alleged. We took all these points fully on board and thought long and hard about them before finding the Charge proved. We dealt with them in the following way.

Paragraph 343: Mr Suarez’s background as described by him in his statement raised doubts in our minds, in the first instance, as to whether he would ever make the alleged comments. We recognised that Mr Suarez’s background together with the seriousness of the Charge, meant that a greater burden of evidence was required to prove the Charge. We formed the view that, overall, the preponderance of the evidence favoured the FA’s case.

And here’s the kicker, Paragraph 344: We took into account the fact that it is a real albeit unattractive trait of human nature that we all act from time to time, to greater or lesser degrees, in ways which may be out of character. This is especially so when we feel under pressure, or challenged, or provoked, or pushed into a corner. We do and say things that we are not proud of and regret, and that we might try and deny, sometimes even to ourselves. We occasionally do or say things that we would be embarrassed to admit to family or friends. It is not inconsistent to have black colleagues and friends and relatives, and yet say things to strangers or acquaintances about race or colour that we would not say directly to those closer to us.

And their incomprehensible conclusion, Paragraph 345: Bearing these considerations in mind, whilst we were initially doubtful that Mr Suarez would make the comments alleged by Mr Evra, we proceeded on the basis that the factors relied on in relation to Mr Suarez’s background and experiences did not mean that he could not or would not act in this way. We weighed these considerations together with all the evidence when asking ourselves whose account was more probable.

Why am I appalled by this part of the report? Because the FA has basically said that people in a highly tense situation will of course say something racist, but would never say the same things to their best friends of another race because that would be too embarrassing. This is so insulting and bizarre to me, someone who despises racism and prejudice in all its forms. And the fact they can come up with the conclusion that despite Suarez having NO history of anything he was being accused of, having a grandfather that is black, playing with black players, and being involved in a charity that supports and encourages young black and white children to play together and stamp out racism, they STILL believed that he must have said what Evra alleged. If anything, with all their decisions based on ‘probabilities’ and ‘likelihood’s’ this would make Suarez LESS likely and ‘probably’ impossible to racially abuse someone in the way he is being accused of.

The second of the astounding atrocities is the confusing manner in which the FA on one hand defends Suarez, giving him some benefit of the doubt when it comes to his limited use of the English language and the way he may feel nervous at having to defend his good name in light of such serious charges. Yet, they neither seem to care or believe that those two things could be why there were some inconsistencies in what he said. And on the flip side, the way that he speaks his own language has somehow been summarily dismissed as wrong because Evra, someone with the ability to converse in Spanish, but by all means not fluent, especially in Suarez’s dialect, claims Suarez said something that Suarez refutes. Personally, I’m going to believe the person who grew up speaking that language and is fluent in it, but obviously the FA does not.

On that note, as many others have stated in the articles I linked to above, despite what you may believe, I am not defending a ‘racist’ in my defense of Luis Suarez. Accusations like this are beyond me. The club, manager, players, and many fans believe he is innocent of the allegations of being a racist and using racist language. The part where many people differ is their understanding and the importance they give to the idea that there may be – brace yourself – cultural and language differences between two different cultures and languages. I know this may be hard to grasp for some, especially it seems from the English speaking countries like England, but it’s true. I think we can all agree that Spanish and English are undeniably two different languages. There, I’ve said it. Get out your pitch forks and start lynching.

A great comment was made by Glynn on The Anfield Wrap’s article Suarez: Why the Guilty Verdict Was Correct stating, “That’s a fairly reasonable article, however, like the media at large, you also are taking the English literal meaning of the five letter word which Luis has admitted using (negro) and presenting it as proof of Luis’s guilt. There’s no attempt to explore the meaning in the cultural-linguistic context in which it was originally used – and that this is dismissed as not even being worthy of discussion smacks of xenophobic arrogance.” This is excellently stated, and concisely explains what I said above.

On this basis, I just cannot understand how people keep pointing to the fact that Suarez admitted using a word, which to him is completely harmless and not only not racist, but not insulting either, as clear evidence that he’s guilty of racially abusing Evra. Think about it for a second. If everything we said in one language was insulting to someone in another, we’d all be apologizing everyday for everything we say. Doesn’t the FA’s logic on this seem completely illogical?

Many also keep pointing out that: ‘ignorance is not an excuse.’ Really? It is a perfectly good one to me when Suarez, by his own admission of using the word, clearly had no intention of insulting or racially abusing Evra. Because if he did have those intentions, it would be much easier to lie and profess that he said nothing at all. And if what he admitted to saying was misconstrued by Evra as something racist, how is that Suarez’s fault? He was honest (perhaps too honest seeing how horribly he’s been treated over all this) in saying what he said because he felt he had nothing to hide. I, as I’m sure many others, have also done this in their lifetime; been honest in a situation where we had nothing to hide, but were found guilty of something anyway because of the way it was perceived by someone else.

If this was such a grievous mistake made by Suarez, then shouldn’t the powers-that-be have done the right thing in just explaining to Suarez that despite him speaking in his own language, they found it abusive and therefore unacceptable? Giving him a one-game ban and explaining to Liverpool and every other club that foreigners need to be given better lessons on understanding the culture they are now living in? Surely this kind of scenario should have been sufficient for anyone even if it does reek of xenophobia.

Perhaps if Evra had attempted to discuss what he thought he heard with Suarez, the ref, and the managers before making the accusations to a television channel, then Suarez would have easily been able to apology for any misunderstanding and clearly explain what he meant in saying what he did. People have told me I’m foolish for thinking of this and it could never be an option. And clearly a logical, sound, and rational approach to all this from the FA was also never an option after reading their report. I don’t know how I could be so silly as to think that they would be any of those things with such a serious charge being made.

To comment on current rumblings, in regard to those in the media, Man United corner, and any opposition or Liverpool fans that agree with the notion that Suarez should now apologize for what he’s done, let me say this. Saying he should apologize is an outrageous thing to ask when they are referring to an apology for making a racist remark, which he categorically denies he did. If anything, maybe an apology for the simple misunderstanding on the part of Evra, but never, NEVER should he be made to apologize for something he didn’t do which is racially abuse Evra. From my own negative experience of a similar situation to Suarez’s, where I was being accused of all kinds of outlandish things by people around me, none of which I was guilty of, did I ever think that apologizing was right. I knew in my heart of hearts that I did nothing wrong, and at the end of the day if someone else felt otherwise, that truly was their problem and not mine. I think Suarez feels much the same as he continues to deny doing anything malicious or racist in any way, shape, or form.

I’ll make two more comments about this whole sad and sorry affair.

First, I’m not excusing some of Liverpool’s misguided tactics in all this. It seems to become more and more clear that their handling of the situation as far as preparedness of Suarez and other witnesses, as well as the lawyers chosen were perhaps not the best. So many on various websites, forums, and twitter have been able to logically dispute so much of what was said it’s almost incomprehensible that an institution as big as Liverpool didn’t have the absolute best representation in their corner. They seemed to have screwed up royally in some ways that made it difficult for Suarez to truly defend himself.

But this is also not to say that I think what Dalglish and the team has done was ever wrong. Obviously the media see the support of Suarez’s manager, teammates, and fans as blind favoritism and in turn they are of course supporting a racist, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Dalglish, to his great credit, has stood by his player in the face of criticism from every corner. Read the transcription of his press conference after the Manchester City game here and you can see that he is defiant and still 100% believes in Suarez’s innocence, while also condemning the ‘blind’ favoritism the FA and media have for Evra. This is what makes Dalglish so brilliant, and why Liverpool fans will always see him as the king. While Suarez may be young, and relatively unknown to the British footballing world, Dalglish is not. Anyone that doubts his sincerity and integrity throughout his prominent career as a player and manager is sorely mistaken.

Which brings me to my second point. I want everyone to imagine being in this situation themselves. If your good name was sullied across the country in every national newspaper, blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, and forum, and you knew yourself to be completely innocent of what was being said, would you not try and fight for yourself? Would you not expect those closest to you, who know you better than everyone and who know the truth as you do to stand up for you in every way they can? Perhaps I find this more difficult than most as I’ve been in a similar personal situation where I had ONE person on my side, and no matter how hard I fought, how hard I tried to prove what was said about me was untrue, and how much I pointed to the past as an example of why those things would never be true, no one believed me. Sometimes it’s easier for people to believe one thing over another based on their own prejudices, biases, and mistakes they’ve made in the past by projecting their negative (and ill-informed judgements) onto others. I would hope that most would want the same support Suarez has received if they were in his shoes, and would also offer it to someone they truly believed was innocent. By all means let’s “Kick Out Racism” from the game, but not by slandering someone based on no evidence, who is most likely innocent if not completely misunderstood in this situation.

To conclude, I feel for Luis Suarez more than anything. Neither him, nor Liverpool, and even to a certain extent Evra and Man United, have come out of this smelling like roses. But Suarez is the one that has to live with these unfounded accusations the rest of his life and especially his footballing career.

Not only that, but say a scenario occurs in the near future, maybe next season, or two seasons down the road where an opposition player is having a torrid time against Suarez, much the way Evra was having on the day in question, or felt aggrieved at a decision that went in Suarez’s favor against him, and he felt in the heat of the moment to accuse Suarez of racial abuse after the match. Despite it not being at all true, and simply based on this player’s word, the FA will look to this current case and decision as an easy way to convict Suarez again and have him permanently suspended. Serve the ban, pay the fine, whatever. But this isn’t a case of a bad tackle where a player serves his suspension and it is easily forgotten and never brought up as evidence next time he makes a challenge, a challenge which can easily be proved on video evidence. This is the man’s career at stake on the word of someone else. A word with no evidence behind it. A word that has yet to be corroborated. By anyone.

And just as this incident was ‘proven’ based on one man’s word against another (despite the FA so cutely saying that this just wasn’t the case), what’s to say that won’t happen again? No one has believed Suarez thus far despite nothing against him holding water, so even less evidence is bound to find him guilty too. This is what I find most disturbing and worrying for Suarez’s future as a world-class player. So forgot how you feel about Suarez, forget he plays for Liverpool, or whether or not you deem him a racist, forget the ban and the fine. Simply think about how easily he was found guilty based on one other person’s word and how easily that could happen to you, your star player, your wife, brother, parents, or child. Then see if you’ll feel the same way Liverpool did in their defense of Luis Suarez.

111 Responses to “Liverpool, Suarez, and Why I Think Dalglish is King”

  1. David Aris-Sutton says:

    Fantastic, well written and intelligent piece. I need say no more

    • Thank you Paul and David. I appreciate your kind words.

    • ste says:

      Put even better by Roberto Mancini:

      “Sometimes a situation like this can happen on the pitch but it is important to apologise for what you did. Sometimes, on the pitch, you can do something you don’t want to, because you are nervous, because you don’t think. Everything can happen because you don’t think, because you are tired, because you are stupid, you are young; for many reasons.

      “I don’t think Suárez is a racist. But I think he made a mistake, probably, yes. Everyone can make a mistake sometimes. It is impossible that we are always perfect and, after that, it is important to say: ‘I am sorry, I made a mistake, I apologise for this’ and accept the charge.”

  2. Paul Currey says:

    Well done, excellent piece, as somebody who delivers Diversity and Cultural Awareness courses I’m disgusted at the xenophobic and bigoted reaction to Luis Suarez from the media hacks as they pretend to be anti racist and PC.

  3. JohnH says:

    Abolutely superb blog and i have read all the others you reference and the FA’s disgraceful description of how they ruined the reputation of a young foreign footballer. Your xenophobic comments ring so true in this case. If i was Luis Suarez i would get out of England asap. But i will leave you this quote from Kiping that is appropriate to the tone of your blog, Liverpool FC fans, Liverpool FC and Luis Suarez:

    “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

    Rudyard Kipling

  4. Tintin says:

    Couple of points:

    “Suarez may in fact be a truly awful person despite all obvious evidence to the contrary” – Cheating and diving in most games, I wouldn’t call that evidence to the contrary, its actually helping the theory that he might be a truly awful person when you add 2 and 2 together

    “Perhaps if Evra had attempted to discuss what he thought he heard with Suarez, the ref, and the managers” – If someone calls me a term with racist connotations, several times, I might be more tempted to punch him in the face. Evra showed resolve by not doing that but asking him to “discuss things” is getting ridiculous

    Lastly, and most importantly, Do you and Kenny and others who are supporting Suarez, believe he said the N word without meaning it, or you think he didnt say it at all? You still havent made that clear after writing such a long piece.

    • Thanks Tintin. I don’t necessarily agree with your comments, but I appreciate you making them. And no, no one has denied Suarez said the SPANISH word Negro, pronounced Neh-grow, as opposed to the offensive western word Negro, pronounced Nee-grow. Sorry if that wasn’t clear, but my article is based on the fact that I don’t think in saying what he admitted to saying was wrong. It was in his language and in a cultural context that is harmless. I hope that comes across in the piece.

      • ras says:

        The thing that baffles me most about this whole thing is how apparent it is that the heads of the anglo-centric world are stuck up their backsides, yet noone seems to notice. It does take some nerve (or just plain arrogance?) to take a word from another language and treat it like a word from your own language that it just happened to resemble.

    • GrkStav says:

      What ‘n’ word are you speaking of? He said “Porque, Negro?” in Spanish. The word, in either its Spanish (most certainly) and its English pronunciation, does NOT have “racist connotations”.

      Furthermore, “cheating and diving in most games” is a figment of your imagination. It shows us how some take their fixed-ideas and stereotypes about a person, based on extremely thin, nay non-existent, evidence, as the objective truth about a person. They then proceed to interpret everything they hear and see about or of this person accordingly.

      • Tintin says:

        Well, he wasn’t in Uruguay when he spoke those words, was he, or Spain? And neither did he speak those words to a Uruguayan colleague.

        Excuses !!!

        • Dnmnc says:

          The place where it took place is irrelevant, it is the language used that is. The conversation was in Spanish and therefore the English language (and culture for that matter, since neither party is British) is irrelevant to the point. Unless you are an expert in Spanish, then you have no authority to judge whether the word is offensive or not.

    • Dave P says:

      I find it amazing your using your opinion on the way a man plays football, and twisting it into a direct character attack, aimed to add weight to a claim he is a racist. A claim from a man who called Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink a n****r on film back in 2003, a man who talked the French squad into going on strike during a world cup, who has made claims similar to this before and been proven to be lying and banned for it…third times a charm though Patrice and pals eh.

      • I think as things go forward, you will find more and more people and media questioning the outcome of all this, and especially Evra’s part in it which has thus far been pretty glanced over in most quarters. Probably because it’s easier to condemn Suarez when Evra is made to be the “reliable” one despite many things to the contrary, including what he said to Suarez to begin the argument, the flaws in his statements, his past behavior, and the video that has now surfaced of himself using the N-word quite freely despite saying he didn’t feel comfortable even repeating it. You can take a look at that here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2082325/Patrice-Evra-N-word-video-youtube.html

      • Tintin says:

        Yes, go on, blame Evra for imagining it. At least the author of the article tries to take a balanced view, but rest of the Liverpool trolls just don’t see sense.

        “The FA is against us”, “Evra is a bad person”, and so on – Well, the whole country can’t be in a conspiracy against Liverpool, can it? Open you eyes and try to understand the normal football person’s perspective too, which is that this stinks, and it’s not because of Evra

        • John Johnson says:

          insulting a whole.group of people because of where they come from, as you have just done, is racist surely.

        • BJ says:

          Have a look at videos of Evra’s reaction to Downing not being booked (though ref did make a mistake there) largely produced by MU supporters. This calm and lucid individual, brandishing cards and almost having a fit when it did not go his way. I think that action was a key moment that would be unleashed unfairly on Suarez

  5. Omar Yacub says:

    Am I the only one who noticed that Evra had used the phrase “Concha de tu hermana” which an insult in Spanish and indeed a worse insult in some cultures than the N word? Am I missing something here, because if it is true and apparently Evra admitted saying it in the FA report, then why is he not punished?

    • Omar, I didn’t mention it in the piece, but you are absolutely correct. I’m baffled that despite Evra admitting he said something so offensive, nothing has been done and he hasn’t received any punishment. I don’t understand why, but I don’t understand a lot of what was decided on this case.

  6. sargart78 says:

    Very well written. The FA are just making Suarez as a scrapegoat for what happened with FIFA and the dimwit FIFA call boss. I would hate for Suarez to leave LFC but if i was Luis i could never play in England ever again. This case is pathetic.

  7. GrkStav says:

    Excellent article, Danielle! I particularly appreciated your analogies: they brought the issue into relief and demolished the spurious and illogical argument that our support for Suarez is equivalent to blind tribalism and support of racism/racists.

  8. GrkStav says:

    On a different note, the word ‘negro’, pronounced in English (as in “knee-grow”) is not offensive (objectively). It may be archaic, but it is not offensive. This is particularly the case, if it’s used by a non-native speaker of the English language and a ‘foreigner’ in an English-speaking country. All that is, of course, immaterial as Suarez said “?Porque, negro?” in Spanish.

    • ras says:

      Then this whole business is even weirder. The charge is based on taking the regular Spanish word for “black” and treating it as if it was the English word. And if even the English word is not offensive, where’s the case here?
      BTW I just remembered there’s a cafe chain in Europe called Nero. It’s “black” in Italian, and linguistically a close relative of the Spanish word “negro”. Are these cafes considered to be racist?

  9. Nike Akiti says:

    Absolutely fab! People are so quick to jump on the bandwagon of media vilification without proper thought or due care! You have echoed so many things that I have thought about this issue! I agree that one should not e made to appologise for something they did not do! The paragraphs from the report make very uncomfortable reading! They (the FA & co) need serious diversity training!

  10. Svein egil says:

    Thank you for saying it for me…! Good work:)

  11. Neil Armstrong says:

    Wonderful article Danielle !The fabric of all society relies on innocent till proven guilty and a conviction only when the prosecution has proved a persons guilt beyond reasonable doubt if we don’t have this we are back to Germany mid 1930s.

  12. elisabeth pettersen says:

    There is noting more to say,very well written,Danielle…and Luis Suarez will never walk alone..because he IS no racist,I met him in Liverpool and he is great…;-)

    • Tintin says:

      This comment describes the Liverpool fans logic quite well – “I met him in Liverpool and he is great”, so he can’t be a racist – Wow, great deduction power, Sherlock

  13. James says:

    Great article! Thanks Danielle!

  14. Thank you for all the comments. I really appreciate the kind words and am glad everyone has enjoyed it!

  15. Phil says:

    A phenomenal article Danielle. Consolidates all of my frustrations with the FA, UK Press & social websites etc into a single, concise summary of the whole torrid affair.

    • Cheers Phil. I had a feeling what I said would resonate with a lot of people. Especially making it very clear at the end for people to imagine how they would feel in this situation if it was them on trial. You would hope that at least that would elicit some sympathy and understanding as to why the club and its fans have been adamant in their support. If this was the other way around, or it was any other club or player, people would be supporting the person they felt was innocent. That’s why I don’t understand the harsh criticism Dalglish and Liverpool have been receiving for simply standing up for what they think is right. But I suppose it’s simply because they are blind to anything but what they want to see.

      • Phil says:

        Dalglish, players & supporters have been slaughtered for their apparent impartiality in this, and I can understand this to some extent. For example I didn’t particularly agree with the t-shirt episode. However I find it mind blowingly infuriating when this is not passed onto members of the FA board (i.e. Gill), and now the apparent membership of Kick It Out’s Lord Ousley to the Man Utd Foundation board.

  16. Bob F says:

    Very clear article. The press, even those that should know better, have been lost in the hysteria of all this. This has shocked me. Their main argument seems to be that its a 115 page report. This is said as if the size of the document provides the proof. Lets just weigh it shall we – - oh its over a kilo – must be guilty. Very few of the broadsheet journalists would appear to have read or understood it. At worst this is appalling disciplinary procedure. At best this is a judgement based on the flip of a coin. Currently the aftermath represents disgusting vilification of a foreigner.

  17. Kirk says:

    Excellent article, share a lot of your feelings.

  18. aloysius says:

    A fine article and, it is to be hoped, another grain in the pan towards righting these
    wrongs.

    A comment on “Concha de tu hermana”: I see the treatment of this by the panel as
    one of the central examples of the double standards of the committee. While the literal
    translation is totally offensive, it is used in the vernacular to mean something a good
    deal less inflammatory, something like “f*cking hell”.

    The committee was apparently prepared to allow that Evra’s phrase wasn’t to be
    interpreted literally, while requiring that ?Porque, negro?” was.

    The behaviour of the press in this affair has been truly frightening.

  19. rono says:

    Well written piece, but I have a couple of questions. English is not my native language. I am sorry for my misspellings.
    1. There is a big difference between the two players stories. I think everyone will agree that if Evra´s story is true, the remarks are racist. This means that you think he is lying. Why?
    2. How do you explain that Comolli and Kuyt misunderstood Suarez, when he told them his story in two different languages?
    3. How can you blame Suarez inconsistensies on his poor English? There were two translator present (1 from FA and 1 from Liverpool FC).

    • I never said I thought Evra was lying. I think he misunderstood what was said and interpreted it in a way that was insulting when it never was. When it comes to the other things he said, since there has been no corroboration or evidence, it’s difficult to believe, he may be lying, he may not be. None of us except for Suarez and Evra really know.

      In my opinion, I think the inconsistencies in Kuyt/Comolli’s stories come from things lost in translation. While Comolli speaks Spanish, he most likely learned it in Europe, which is very different from South American/Uruguayan Spanish. And while Suarez speaks Dutch, I don’t think he is fluent. He may not have been able to communicate properly in anything other than Spanish, and the people that understand his particular dialect have backed everything he has said for the most part.

      I think a combination of Suarez’s English, the pressure he was under, the nervousness he must have felt, the fact that the FA didn’t allow him to give his testimony while watching the video replay (whereas Evra was given that opportunity), plus the fact that the two translators were local if I’m not mistaken. Again, learning and understanding their Spanish in a European context. He should have had translators from his region of Uruguay since the whole case rested on the linguistical nuances of the things he said that he and others claim are perfectly harmless in their part of the world.

      I hope this explains further and answers some of your questions. Remember, this is my opinion based on all the things I know about the case. And since no evidence otherwise has been brought about, to me these scenarios are much more likely than what was believed by the FA.

      • rono says:

        Let me start by complimenting you for allowing critical questions and thank you for taking the time to answer.

        However, I have to say I disagree with you. I think it is highly unlikely that this case is about Evra misunderstanding Suarez intentions. The stories are too far apart that it just dont seem like a plausible explanation. One of them have to be lying about what happened, if not both.

        I get that there is a difference in rioplata-spanish and european spanish. I also get that Suaerz is not fluent in dutch. But what are the odds that both misunderstood him and had the exact same opinion on what he said? It does not seem likely to me.

        As to the last question I think it is possible that things happened the way you describe. In that case Liverpool FC did a bad job taking care of their players interests.

        • Jonno says:

          rono I’d suggest reading the language analysis by Aldo Mazzucchelli referenced above to explain the inconsistency in what Kuyt/Comoli thought Suarez had said.
          It basically seems to come down to the fact that Por que can mean why or because depending on what follows. A very subtle difference that could be easily misheard. Also remember that Evra first claimed that Suarez had used the word n****r and later changed it to negro. A much less subtle difference I think you’d agree.

          • rono says:

            I dont speak spanish, but I am aware that the term “por que” has two different meanings depending on context. Thats a good explanation for the Comolli misunderstanding. But it does not explain the fact that Kuyt got the same opinion on what Suarez said, when he was told in dutch. I have read the transcript in dutch, and it can not be interpeted in the way Suarez changed his story to.

            Evras explanation is plausible in my opinion. He speaks some spanish and some italian. In Italian the word negro means nigger, and the word nero means black. In spanish there is no word for nigger, but the word negro means black. And Suarez has admitted to using the word negro.

          • BJ says:

            Why is it plausible to assume that someone who had heard a brief statement over seconds, who did not fully understand it, who then played the equivalent of 45 minutes squash and was then was exposed to a debate about the meaning would remember the exact wording or would not change the meaning. Maybe even Suarez did not fully remember for the same reason, he may have just known it had no racial connotations.

        • I think you’re right in the sense that Liverpool did a poor job of representing Suarez properly when it came to the legal/panel side of things. This is a shame because if done right, he may well have been exonerated and not charged. But who really knows.

          It is hard to know who is telling the truth, but again I tend to believe Suarez. If you look at his past and him as a person, nothing points to him be racist or even being racially abusive. I just don’t see that in his character.

          I think the language misunderstandings are very possible and likely. Even if you understand a language well, that still doesn’t mean you will always understand it/speak it as a native does. As Maria commented, most South Americans and especially Uruguayans are on the side of Suarez because they inherently know the language and the way it is spoken in their countries. For example, I speak some French, and at one point lived in France where I was getting very comfortable and conversational. But there were still so many instances, in almost every conversation where I missed something or didn’t understand it completely and needed some help. I’d say that’s true of most when learning a second, third, or fourth language.

  20. Glen says:

    What an idiotic and one-sided article.
    The disgusting stubbornness of Suarez, Liverpool and their fans merits the harshness of the sentence on it’s own.

    • Hi Glen,
      What exactly is idiotic about it? I felt my points were made clearly and explained thoroughly. And if you think my piece is one-sided, try reading the mass media’s barrage of one-sided articles on the case, all except for a very few are bias towards Evra for no other reason than the FA liked his demeanor better. Don’t you think that’s a little one-sided? Not many have been speaking up for Liverpool and Suarez and I felt compelled to do so. Therefore my article would of course be one-sided. I am arguing for Suarez and his innocence while pointing out the inconsistencies and blind acceptance of the FA’s belief of one man’s word over another with no evidence to suggest that it’s true.

      • Glen says:

        Your points were not clearly made, they were lost in the rhetoric. What is idiotic?…

        1. I find it odd you criticise the FA for considering the demeanour of those giving evidence but you call Suarez’s jovial nature, electric smile, and passion for the game “obvious evidence”…

        2. Why is it one-sided to consider the demeanour of those giving evidence?

        3. Why can’t you make points on the side of Liverpool and Suarez as well as acknowledging valid points against them also? That discredits you in the same way as you claim such bias discredits certain newspaper articles.

        4. You’re speaking up for Suarez’s innocence and are happy in his team-mate’s “believing 100%” in his innocence without proof of innocence, but critisise the FA’s use of the flexible civil standard of the balance of probability. As well as that being hypocritical, you give no reason why you oppose the FA’s use of the flexible civil standard of the balance of probability.

        5. What % probability would you say represents the chance that Suarez said what Evra accused him of saying and why?

        6. Are you not at all embarrassed by the over-emoting of the club and the fans (“extremely upsetting and exhausting for everyone involved” apparently)? Do you not think this exaggeration and drama exacerbated situation and discouraged Suarez to be forthcoming and honest, rather than bringing it to a measured and dignified end?

        7. Why can’t there be any judgement in cases of one man’s word against another’s when one man’s word is considerably more consistent and reliable and the other is shown to be unsustainable and incredible?

        8. You may disagree with the standard of proof used, or that the report doesn’t show probably guilt. But what in the report glaringly shows the FA to be biased?

        9. Your interpretation of paragraph 344 is “bizarre” and not needed. It is there for everyone to read. So to say “the FA has basically said” and then change crucial elements of it is what you might call biased.

        10. The “some of my best friends are black” defence of a racist act is irrelevant. People can use race to provoke another person without having deep racist feelings. Furthermore, it’s not the FA’s job to decide how racist Suarez is. I’m sure you are certain he is 100% not racist. Maybe 110%

        11. Where is the “astounding atrocity” in the FA taking language difficulties and nervousness into consideration? They made reasonable and thorough judgements about the affects of both with appropriate experts. To suggest it’s an “astounding atrocity” they didn’t throw out all evidence against Suarez because of cultural and linguistic differences is hyperbolic and idiotic.

        12. You seem to be analysing the words Suarez told the report he said rather than the words he was found to have probably said, which are considerably more difficult to defend on linguistic and cultural grounds. Why don’t you ever specify what you’re actually discussing?

        13. “And if what he admitted to saying was misconstrued by Evra as something racist, how is that Suarez’s fault?” Putting someone down during an argument repeatedly and pointedly referring to their colour would be perceived by most people in most cultures as racist. What specifically do you disagree with as regards to culture/language from the report?

        14. You say the FA has blind favouritism for Evra, despite publishing a lengthy and detailed report that lawyers, including that of Liverpool, consider difficult to challenge. But why is Dalglish’s 100% belief in Suaraz, without giving any reasons not ‘blind loyalty’?

        15. Maybe the most idiotic part.. To think that the FA would, could or might SUPSPEND HIM FORVERRRRRR. If any further allegations were made there would need to be evidence showing he was guilty on the balance of probability, a thorough report and dramatic Liverpool fans being idiotic. “Simply think about how easily he was found guilty based on one other person’s word and how easily that could happen to you, your star player, your wife, brother, parents, or child…..” Dramatic much…??

        I will speak up for Suarez. He’s a bit thick and quite immature. What he said wasn’t acceptable, but the ban was harsh. But the denial and embarrassingly petulant reaction is disrespectful to everyone. If he hadn’t tried to weasel out of what was said and Liverpool didn’t act like mental cases he would have been judged more favourably and the world wouldn’t think Liverpool and their fans are uniquely and absurdly dramatic and idiotically one-sided.

        • I respect your comments which is why I have allowed them on here, but I don’t appreciate you continuing to say that I’m idiotic for sharing MY views. This piece is my opinion, based on what I have read and seen, and what I feel has been easily dismissed by others when it is clearly important to the whole case. You don’t have to agree, but at least show the same courtesy I’ve shown you and be respectful in what you’re saying. This might take a while, but here goes!

          1. You made my point here. I’m not sure what you’re saying. The FA clearly only looked at Evra’s demeanor, the person who wasn’t being charged and used that as part of their basis of believing his story over Suarez’s. But then completely dismiss Suarez’s kind nature, and most likely nervousness at the whole situation as not important to the outcome.

          2. I don’t think I said it was one-sided to consider someone’s demeanor. But on a side note, I think the FA using that is ridiculous. So Evra popped a couple of Xanax before his meetings, and was also more calm because he wasn’t the one being accused. That should be obvious to anyone that he would of course be more relaxed than the man trying to clear his name. I don’t see how their demeanors in the interviews were at all relevant, and the FA based almost their entire case on the fact that Evra was more ‘reliable.’ That’s ludicrous and bias in my opinion. Again, just believing his word over Suarez’s with no real evidence other than Evra being so ‘calm.’

          3. My intention was to point out the flaws in the case, while also trying to argue in the position for Suarez. I didn’t feel it was necessary to point out the other sides as they are obvious if you read the report. I did also say that I thought Liverpool’s preparation was poor in the end and probably hurt Suarez more than anything. I apologize if my piece was not covering both sides equally, but that was not my intention.

          4. The reason his teammates and Kenny Dalglish believe in him is because they know him better than anyone, interact with him on a daily basis, and are in a better position to judge his demeanor and character than any of us. And I don’t think the FA concluded anything on their balance of probabilities correctly, hence my arguments made here.

          5. Anything is possible, I’m not denying that. But from everything I have read and seen, it just doesn’t seem probable that Suarez said that. Not impossible, but not probable.

          6. I am not embarrassed, no. Are you at all embarrassed by the crass way in which the FA and media have decided to trample all over someone with NO proof of any wrong doing? I would be. And I’m not sure what you mean by saying “discouraged Suarez to be forthcoming and honest.” He was honest, in everything he’s said. Perhaps too honest because look at the nightmare he’s now in. I don’t think you’re taking the slandering of him and his character seriously when there is nothing to prove he is guilty. To quote Tomkins article “To suggest that you cannot support a man who has been found guilty by one single, partially-independent panel (clearly under pressure to make an example of someone, if you read many of the editorials on the subject) based on the balance of probabilities is insane.”

          7. How exactly is Evra’s word more credible, consistent, or reliable other than he was more calm in a situation where he was not being accused of anything? I’m sure you’ve read that as recently as 3 years ago he was found to be an “exaggerated and unreliable” witness in the eyes of the FA, yet suddenly he’s the most reliable witness around. After all, if you lied or misled in court, your testimony at subsequent trials should be worthless, don’t you think?

          8. So many things glaringly point to bias. I, as have many others, read the report as more of a way of justifying why they found Suarez guilty rather than an objective and unbiased explanation of the facts. Read it again, or read some of the other links I posted to that breakdown the report. I said that I wasn’t going into it myself because others have already done a great job of which you can go and read.

          9. It is there for all to see. I was merely pointing out in my explanation of the paragraph how horrible of a statement that is to make. Aren’t you insulted that the FA has deemed that everyone in a heated situation is bound to say something racial or abusive because they’ve been wound up, and that’s ok? I certainly don’t and find it incredible that they accept that as not only OK, but then don’t allow that that was the situation here. They said that’s very possible and lots do it, but it doesn’t matter anyway. Huh?

          10. I completely disagree. I would NEVER use a racist word or act to provoke someone. And I would hope that anyone with any kind of moral decency wouldn’t either. Of course it’s relevant. KKK members don’t tend to have black friends or family members. That’s usually the way it goes and makes a lot of sense.

          11. Again, you just tell me I’m idiotic. I don’t have anything in response to this one because I totally disagree with what you’ve said.

          12. There’s that word again, ‘probably.’ And since neither he, nor anyone else have any proof that he said what was alleged, I’m going to base my thinking on what he ADMITTED to saying and also explained very clearly is neither racist or abusive in any way. Maybe you missed the part where I also said that if he really had said all those things, he would never have admitted to saying anything, don’t you think? Would have been a lot easier if he just denied everything, but he was honest to a fault because he felt he had nothing to hide.

          13. Because I don’t believe that he said what Evra has alleged he said at all. That’s only what Evra said, and again there were no corroborating witnesses or evidence, despite being in a crowded goalmouth with a Spanish speaking keeper standing 5 feet away. In all those times that Suarez was alleged to have said what Evra thinks, NO ONE else heard him? How probable do you think that is? I think he clearly misunderstood Suarez, especially as he initially stated that Suarez called him ‘N*gger’, but then later said he called him black. He even talks about how in Italian all those words are very close, and he knows Italian as well. Seems very possible that in the moment he simply misunderstood.

          14. Just because a report is ‘lengthy and detailed’ bears no relevance to its findings being factual. I could write 500 pages of rubbish, but does it mean it’s true because it’s so long and thorough? And it wasn’t that it was difficult to challenge. The problem is that they could only appeal the ban, not appeal the whole trial, which goes completely against a criminal courts’ appellate system, where you have the right to appeal everything, not just the sentence. Again to quote Tomkins, “What kind of system allows for no appeal on a verdict, apart from witch trials where drowning is involved? Liverpool, and Suarez, were not in a position to appeal, due to the nature of the beast; and therefore the player was seen as ‘admitting’ to the charges, rather than simply seeing no way to overturn them.”

          15. You may see that as dramatic, but just ask yourself how you would feel in the same situation. Would you be happy to just accept what everyone said about you even when you knew that wasn’t the truth? I suppose if you do, then you must not have a very high regard of yourself. So no, I don’t see sticking up for someone that you think is innocent is ‘dramatic.’ He’s lucky that he has so many people behind him when so many others have so easily made him out to be a villain.

          I hope this answers your questions. And again, I respect your opinion, and while I don’t agree with most of what you said, I’m happy to debate it. Although I don’t think I have the time to go through another 15 questions!

          • Glen says:

            Thanks for replying. I admire that in a person. I did feel the need to reply though. I fear we’re both last-word freaks.

            1. You are wrong to assert they only looked at the demeanour of Evra. Paragraphs 235-236 are all on the subject of Suarez’s demeanour. There is a generous list of mitigating factors, paragraphs 436-440, covering his charity work and previous clean record. And paragraphs 338-345 covering his background, black grandfather, good relationships with black players in the past and so on.
            So to state a “complete dismissal” of his “kind nature, and most likely nervousness at the whole situation as not important to the outcome” is untrue.

            2. You complain they don’t take Suarez’s demeanour into account but think the FA is “ridiculous” for considering demeanour at all?
            You’re wrong. In any case of this sort a general idea of how a witness comes across giving evidence is normal.
            They mention the word ‘calm’ twice in relation to Evra, that “He gave his evidence to us in a calm, composed and clear manner” (referenced again in the conclusion) and that he was a “clear, calm, and consistent witness”
            How you come to the conclusion that there was “no real evidence other than Evra being so ‘calm.’” is perplexing.
            Also ‘calm’ is not the same as ‘reliable‘. There were many factors that made Evra’s evidence significantly more reliable than that of Suarez, which you know having read the report.
            So it is totally wrong and unfounded to suggest ‘demeanour’ had significant weight compared to the inconsistency, evasiveness and dishonestly of Suarez, for example.

            3. I’m not sure what flaws you pointed to in the report. I think as an examination, even a biased one, it was unclear.
            Being so inexact with your facts and analysis without any thought of balance of any kind whatsoever is pointless.
            In my humble opinion, an emotive, biased and inexplicably certain article is worthless beyond entrenching the narrow opinions of those similarly certain.

            4. So judging a person’s demeanour and character is enough to have 100% certainty about such a case?
            Not only is that ridiculous and wrong ,as far as such cases go, you totally contradict your own comments that it is “ludicrous” to give such weight to demeanour in such a case!
            People close to those accused of things FAR WORSE than being a bit of a knob playing football stick by them unconditionally. Not to mention I doubt Dalglish knows Suarez’s character “better than anyone”. He only coaches him… and they speak different languages.
            Also you never answered why you oppose the FA’s use of the flexible civil standard of the balance of probability. If you don’t it’s wrong to suggest so saying things such as, “I am personally having a more difficult time than some accepting the way they’ve handled this case, dished out its punishment, and gave reasons for their decision based on the term ‘probably.’”

            5. The manager and players are 100% sure. They’re not believing it’s possible. So to say you believe it could be possible, but also believe the manager and players are right for believing it’s impossible is contradictory.

            6. Why would I be embarrassed of the FA? The FA is nothing to do with me. There are a lot of cocks in the FA and, I’m not sure, but I think the FA is quite shit when it comes to a lot of things. But this report was tight and Liverpool know it. They know there is enough evidence on the balance of probability, otherwise they would appeal. I think the actions of the club from the beginning to the end has turned the case into black and white and fighting your corner, rather than stating your case with intelligence. Any other club, even in supporting their play, wouldn’t have made their own player back in a corner and try and lie his way out.

            7. What parts of paragraphs 203-284 do you specifically disagree with?? It is shown clearly and in detail why Evra is considerably more credible, consistent and reliable than Suarez. I think I’ve already covered your misleading obsession with the report using the word ‘calm’.
            “If you lied or misled in court, your testimony at subsequent trials should be worthless” I’m sorry, but that is pretty idiotic… hypocritical and ridiculous. Who told you that? Well obviously that is wrong.
            Being a reliable witness is not simply an assessment of your personality, but with all things considered, a measure of if your evidence rings true. So Evra got in trouble once and tried to wriggle of it unconvincingly but got charged. That case of fisticuffs was rightly not deemed relevant and in this case his evidence, testimony and consistency pointed to it being true and Suarez was the one trying to wriggle out of it. In the future if Suarez is involved in a new unrelated case it’s unlikely this charge will be considered as part of his overall reliability unless the case itself is deemed relevant.
            But you totally avoided the question of if you agree there can be judgement in cases of one man’s word against another’s when one man’s word is considerably more consistent and reliable and the other is shown to be unsustainable and incredible.

            8. Not one thing you can mention?

            9. I’m not sure if it’s idiocy or purposeful misrepresentation, but where do the FA say anything like “EVERYONE in a heated situation is BOUND TO say something racial or abusive because they’ve been wound up, and THAT‘S OK?” It doesn’t say anything of the sort. Re-writing it like that is as good as lying. How you write it, it is something I and most people would disagree with. If most people read 344 there would be not a sentence of it they would disagree with.
            You were not pointing out, you were dishonestly and grossly misrepresenting the words in the report.
            That paragraph was a mitigating factor. To be honest I couldn’t understand the last couple of sentences you wrote. Sorry.

            10. You disagree that people can use race to provoke another person without having deep racist feelings.. because… you wouldn’t… ? To think that no one ever says things they don’t mean shows you to have a very narrow understanding of people.
            The KKK? What decade are you in? I don’t think you’re likely to have black friends if you’re a racist… But my point is you can provoke someone intentionally without it being loaded with the same meaning for you as it is perceived as the person on the receiving end. You’re not simply either a racist or not a racist. And what you say is sometimes more to do with how it pisses the other person off than it is to do with any feelings you have on the subject.

            11. Not being able to be specific when you use such strong terms as “astounding atrocities” undermines everything else you say. I do think that’s an idiotic thing to do if you want to make legitimate argument. Sorry if that word offends you. I say it with humour. It’s not as offensive where I’m from. Some of my best friends are idiotic.

            12. You’re wrong. It’s often natural for someone in trouble to admit to a detail of a vehement accusation with a more favourable false account rather than deny everything. The fact you take him doing so as evidence that he didn’t say what was accused shows your biased naivety. Not to mention the case for what he purported to say is inconsistent and weak.
            Also, you mentioned ‘probably’ again, but have yet to give any reason why you oppose the FA’s use of the flexible civil standard of the balance of probability.

            13. Shame you give an answer to something other than what I asked. So I take it there is nothing in the report’s discussion of the role of language and culture to disagree with specifically?
            What difference does it make how Evra initially understood what was said when the meaning of the words were considered independent of Evra’s understanding?
            I think it’s quite probable that no one else heard what was said. Why do you think footballers would be concentrating on what other players were saying in the middle of a game in a full stadium?
            Shame you couldn’t point to anything in the report referring to this you disagree with.

            14. I asked what you based accusations of blind favouritism against the FA on and why Dalglish isn’t showing blind loyalty… Think you answered something else again..
            Something long and thorough isn’t necessarily true. You’re right. But something long and thorough with inaccuracies, errors and lies can have it’s specifics easily challenged. Which Suarez, Liverpool, Dalglish and yourself have chosen not to do.
            The FA, UEFA, FIFA, I’m sure they all have imperfect systems of appeal. But I do actually think in a serious case such as this, you could start legal proceedings against the FA itself if the report was on such weak grounds as you (unspecifically) say. Still not sure how appealing would be negative if they had a good case, even if it was only the ban. Can’t blame people seeing it as all talk, no action and hypocritical.

            15. What would Jesus do? Me though? I’d state my case. Be specific when I disagree with evidence against me. And be humble enough to move on the best way possible for everyone.
            If I was accused of something I didn’t do and my family/friends said they knew for sure I didn’t do it, just because they know me, I’d tell them stop making themselves sound like morons.
            I think he’s actually unlucky to have so many people “behind him” at such a club. Would have been better somewhere the management told him to be honest regardless and take what’s coming to him with dignity rather than the Liverpool way.

            okay. Suarez owes me another 15 minutes of my life now. I’m compiling a report. Thanks again for the reply though!

          • Again, I appreciate what you have to say, but do not have the time to repeat what I’ve already said in response to another 15 point comment. Regardless, it’s very obvious we disagree and you continually calling my statements ridiculous, hyperbolic, and idiotic aren’t helping you make your points. I haven’t resorted to calling you names simply because I don’t agree with what you’re saying. This should be clear by the fact that I wrote what I wrote, and have clearly indicated that it is MY opinion. You obviously have a lot to say, so perhaps you should write something elsewhere on a blog or website to get your point across. Although I’m not sure it’s necessary because the mainstream media has already done that, which is why people like myself and others that I linked to in the piece have tried to get another side across. That’s all. We feel that only one side of this case has been portrayed and that isn’t fair on Suarez. I’m not sure why you want to read what I’ve wrote and spend so much time commenting when you vehemently disagree. That’s fine, I respect that and thanks for your comments. I’m happy to agree to disagree because otherwise we will continue to go around in circles!

  21. Maria says:

    Really good article. I’m a south-american long-term Liverpool fan, short-term Suarez’s fan (since WC2010) and I lived in Liverpool for 8 years before coming back to my country, Venezuela.
    I think the matter rests on the defence of Luis Suarez. It seems most people commenting here and pretty much most of South Americans understand the differences in linguistics and the use of the term in both languages. How come LFC couldn’t find a suitable person to represent them in court? Why would they take Dirk Kuyt as a translator, having Maxi Rodriguez or Pepe Reina in the team?
    I’m very angry, because I was so happy when Suarez joined LFC. And only because of a few “technicalities” he may as well choose to leave.
    And also, Evra also said “Don’t touch me south american”. If he said it in Spanish, he wouldn’t have said “sudamericano” (south american in spanish) but very likely “sudaca”, which is actually a racist term. But I’m only speculating…

    • Thank you, Maria. I really appreciate your comments and it’s great to hear from someone such as yourself who has lived in South America as well as England. I’m sure more than most you can understand the cultural differences between the two.

      Your question is something a lot of people have been asking themselves. It appears that Liverpool didn’t prepare Suarez enough when it came down to it and that really is a shame. I think they needed to call upon a translator and linguistic expert from Suarez’s part of the country, if only to fairly balance the evidence against him.

  22. Terry Healy says:

    Great artical Daniella, has anyone taken a poll or collected any response from all of the non Caucasian Liverpool fans worldwide both male and female? I would like to know if they think the club has been tarnished in their eyes, do they think Suarez is indeed a racist and has it affected their love of Liverpool? As we all know and I have stood and sat beside all races at Liverpool and have never thought of them other than my Liverpool brothers and sisters.
    Would hate to think some fans would loose their love of the club

  23. Hari S says:

    Hi Danielle,
    A great piece of article (published in FB by my sister, another Liverpool fan) – needless to say, it is one sided. And btw, I am a United fan.

    Have you been on a receiving end? I guess not – but I have. I have had people calling me a ‘Paki’. Now funnily enough, I am not a Pakistani, so the word ‘Paki’ should be the least that bothers me but why did I feel so insulted? Why I thought the people who addressed me are racist? Its this country and its political views that have changed over a century of how things are addressed and the way it should be addressed. When I say this country, I mean someone like you, your neighbours, your colleagues, Parliament etc etc. So if anyone is to be blamed, it is you to be honest. It is so bad and poor that there would come a day where I could be branded as ‘fruitist’ for choosing apples over oranges!

    Another clear cut example – my neighbour who is a lecturer in Communications once bumped into me and told me, ‘Hey, I met a gentlemen from your flat. He is nice’ – and as I had my dad and my father in law staying with me, my question to him was “who would that be, the short and greyed hair man or the tall and round man?” and he went “hariiiii…I will never address them like that. He wears glasses”. As you can see from this conversation, it’s the context that matters the most. How we address people, how we name them, call them – but this was brought upon us by the British people/English people themselves.

    I have come to this country and adapted the way people are addressed to. When my parents came here recently (they are in 70s), we were travelling somewhere and my mum and dad, at both different occasions pointed to some random people and told me “look at that negro” (for whatever reason). Not only I hushed them, but I corrected them that we do not address people as Negro – now you may ask why, and give me a definition link to what negro means. But it doesn’t matter. It is what and how the nation and multi-cultural England has taken a view to it. Just as same as Paki. Paki is just a short form of Pakistani. Why would a Pakistani get offended being called Paki? Again, it’s you guys who made these words look racist over the years. (Now dont call me racist for refering English to ‘you guys’). :) -

    But thats the reality. The reality is that in a country we live in, where words such as Negro, Nigga, Paki, Chinky etc may look normal, its perception we have adapted here is that it is racist and not acceptable to be used in a professional environment.

    Do you think someone working in BT/Vodafone/House of Commons etc would get away by calling their fellow colleagues names in a friendly manner? If they don’t why should Suarez?
    Luis Suarez himself have admitted that the term he used ‘negrito’ on Evra is a friendly term in his country. You don’t need any more clear cut evidence than the confession itself. The difference is that, its just him, Liverpool fans, Daglish and Guys Poyet who felt that it is perfectly fine to use that. And if he admits that he uses that word daily on Glen Johnson, then I blame Liverpool FA and Glen Johnson for not educating him properly. If Glen Johnson can accept the word negrito used on him, then he better not complain if being chanted by the monkey boos by his opponent team fans. There is saying in my language, which translates to – you go to a cow’s herd, you moo like a cow and if you go to a sheep’s herd, you baa like a sheep – which means, you adapt and respect to the lifestyle, culture, mannerism and behaviour to the environment you live.

    It is exactly the same as the British couple who were holding hands and kissing or were having sex in some private beach in Dubai. Did anyone stand up for them when they were punished? They thought if its perfectly normal in England, it should be perfectly normal in Dubai? But what everyone thought was that it is foolish of what they did and that they should have known culture of another country, another religion – just like how Malaysia (where I am from) sends out death sentence to anyone carrying drugs into Malaysia.

    I work in a multi-cultural company. We have Africans, Arabs, Asians etc. My team itself consists of 7 different nationalities. When in a lively-joke environment, we tease each other with words like ‘camel’, ‘african’, ‘nigga’ etc but I cant see any of us using the same word or addressing in same manner to another person whom we completely don’t know.
    What I am disappointed with many is that the defence its taken to Luiz Suarez simply because he is a Liverpool player. Would you have said the same, had it been a England – Uruguay semi finals World Cup, Suarez aggravates Ashley Cole or Emile Heskey with the same word, getting them sent off and resulting England to lose out of the game? Doesn’t this too send a wrong message to younger generation? Are people saying its ok one to address a fellow African native by ‘negro’ as long as it is friendly?

    Taking one step back, going to my country – another multi-cultural country. Malaysia. I grew up in an environment where some of my friends addressed me as ‘keling’ at times. No Indians like to be called as Keling – it is taken as a racist word. But if you just look up at definition of keeling, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keling) it is not racist at all. Yet the same Indians are the people who thinks Suarez addressing Evra as Negro is nothing but innocent and friendly. Hypocrisy and I am astounded!

    Suarez is a great player. But my first dislike on him begun the day he denied Ghana their progression in World Cup. But if you tell me he did it for his country, then surely you can forgive Diego Maradona?

    If there is any sympathy from me towards him, its probably the length of the ban given to him, considering that this term ‘negro’ is friendly in his native country and that he wasn’t aware it could be offensive and insulting in this country. Let’s face it, everyone knows the history between Liverpool and United and if he says that he used it in a ‘friendly term’, he must be kidding himself! He could have been given a lesser ban and a warning for future conduct – but the harsh punishment sends out a clear message to everyone.
    You also have to remind yourself that this matter was dealt correctly by the FA. Otherwise what grounds would FA have when file complaints against other countries who chants monkey boos to their African-english born players? Wouldn’t it be called as double standards if they let this Suarez matter go?

    Regards
    Hari

    • Thank you for your viewpoint Hari. I really appreciate it and take what you’ve said to heart.

      I won’t repeat what I’ve already said in the article and in some comments here, but I’m sure you know that I don’t agree with what you’ve said. When you say “What I am disappointed with many is that the defence its taken to Luiz Suarez simply because he is a Liverpool player” that is completely untrue. The defense is not based solely on the fact that he plays for Liverpool, but because most in that corner believe he was extremely hard done by the FA and received a ludicrous ban, fine, and treatment for something that he was never found guilty of. The FA and Evra both make statements that he is not a racist, yet he was found guilty of racial abuse. That doesn’t make any sense although the FA try to justify it in the paragraphs I included from the report in my article. Just think of the example of a murder trial and someone convicted because they were found ‘probably’ guilty of murder. Do you think that’s fair? When there’s no evidence at all except for one other person’s word that he murdered someone? I don’t.

      And when you say, “You also have to remind yourself that this matter was dealt correctly by the FA.” I couldn’t disagree more and I thought that this was clear in the article. What Liverpool, Dalglish, Uruguay, and many of the fans are upset about is that Suarez clearly did NOT get a fair trial by the FA. That’s all we wanted, and it didn’t happen. The problem is that people look at what the FA said and despite its glaring inconsistencies and bias, they just say that they must be right. Myself and others are trying to point out why it isn’t and why a man shouldn’t be treated in such a way on ‘probabilities’ and because they felt he was a little less calm in the interviewing process.

      • Hari S says:

        In that case, can someone explain why Liverpool decided not to appeal? Surely your arguments, facts and detailed analysis is what Liverpool would have done and would have concluded that they have a good stance against this case?
        So taking your murder as an example, and if you are 100% that you are not guilty, are you going to let the matter rest, no matter who it exhausts to and how much it will cost you? Do you not want to take it to the highest court especially your reputation worlwide is in stake (though for the wrong reasons)? Yes. Do you not want to clear your name that you are not racist? I would want to! Why this matter is put to rest? So really, you should be questioning what sort of back up are Liverpool FA and their representative giving to Suarez? Thats what disappointing the most about Liverpool. They dont want to admit/agree to his charges yet they accept the punishment and when they strongly cited to media that they will fight till the end as soon as they get they report, they backed down? Surely there must be a very good reason if all the words they used was “probable” and “possible”..?

        Of course I would love to get my hands on the 115 page report, but all I can do is ask you since you have read it. I thought Suarez admitted that he used the word negro/negrito? Is this right or did FA made that as probable? If its one word against the other, then surely Suarez has a better chance of winning this case then Evra, dont you agree? Is it not dangerous for FA to do this, as any player can then claim he has been racially abused by an opponent?

        I understand the reasons you all are standing behind Suarez. If my brother was a charged guilty for a murder, I would stand right by him and would have not accepted any form of evidence or details against him. I will from day one will not accept he murdered someone (though he may well did).

        I have already admitted, the punishment maybe harsh for someone who lacks in culture of England (again thats for the benefit of doubt for Suarez though he has spent quite some time in Holland!) but other than that, I can only wait for your comment back to clarify if Suarez confessed using the word “negro”?

        Hari

        • I agree, Liverpool had a lot of ammunition to use in an appeal, and I also agree that Suarez didn’t seem to have the best representation in the end which is a shame. But while part of me wanted Liverpool to fight and appeal, I will refer to this quote from Paul Tomkins that I mentioned in another comment that I think sums up why they didn’t, “He could not appeal the guilty verdict; just the length of the ban. What kind of system allows for no appeal on a verdict, apart from witch trials where drowning is involved? Liverpool, and Suarez, were not in a position to appeal, due to the nature of the beast; and therefore the player was seen as ‘admitting’ to the charges, rather than simply seeing no way to overturn them. And appeal the length of a ban to the FA, and they’re likely to accuse you of being ‘frivolous’, even though they’ll take advantage of Uefa laws that don’t work in the same way.” I hope that makes sense. Right or wrong, Liverpool knew an appeal would only make things worse and that there was no way they could win. That doesn’t make them wrong or weak, it was just the lesser of two evils to choose.

          I think on everything said in the report, Suarez absolutely had a good possibility of being exonerated in this case. At the very least, it could have been deemed a draw in that it really could have gone either way and because there was no proof on either side, it simply cannot be ruled in one person’s favor over another. And I absolutely think the FA have set a dangerous precedent because they’ve basically said that someone can be accused, tried, and found guilty on no evidence except the word of someone else. My last few paragraphs discuss that.

          Yes, he admitted to using the SPANISH word negro, pronounced “neh-grow,” which he and other Uruguayans, South Americans, and those in the FA report conclude is used in a harmless and friendly manner. Suarez has made that clear in every statement he has made, which you can read here http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/latest-news/statement-from-luis-suarez.

          You can also read the FA report on their website if you wish for more clarity. I think it’s sad and unjust the way he’s been treated by the media and the FA which is why I attempted to discuss why that is here.

    • Roberto B. Garcia says:

      Hi Hari S:

      I am caucasian Uruguayan, writing from Montevideo. I am glad to paticipate in a forum where dissenting opinions are confronted in an atmosphere of mutual dignity. I agree with many of your comments, not all of them, and particularly about the need of any immigrant to adapt to the rules, codes and cultural uses of the land. But in the particular case of the Suarez/Evra incident let me remind you of these three facts:

      1) It was Evra the one who decided to start the verbal confrontation;
      2) It was Evra the one who decided to do it beginning with an insult (“your sister’s cunt” which does not means “fucking hell” as Evra said, and it is a gross naming of the genitalia of a member of your family). Remember that at this point Suarez did not speak any word at all; and
      3) It was Evra the one who decided to address Suarez, not in French, not in English, but in Spanish. So it is unfair to charge Suarez with the meaning of the word “negro” in british English when it can be only evaluated in its meaning of rioplatense Spanish. To make things worst, the original claim from Evra, the same one who decided to star the conversation in Spanish, was that the word used by Suarez was “nigger” for which there is no single-worded expression in Spanish.

      Having said that, let me tell you that I always will be on your side when condemning Racism. But that condemnation should be made whenever itis appropriate and not in a witch-hunt atmosphere.

      • Again Roberto, I completely agree with your comments. The three, simple points you make are so important to the whole argument. They were so easily dismissed by the FA that it’s no wonder the whole thing felt so unjust and very much like a witch hunt to Liverpool and Suarez.

      • Hari S says:

        Hi Roberto,

        Provocation is quite common in football. A typical incident of Zidane in World Cup against Italy which ultimately got sent off. Everyone tries it, its how you raise up to challenge that matters.
        I have no doubt Suarez is a great player (actually he lost his credibility to my eyes when he handballed in Ghana’s game) – so opponents are quite rightlys so will try to provocate them.
        You may not agree about adapting culture in another country but thats the reality. Of course, this doesnt mean I have to eat fish & chips or steak pie, my background is Asian and I stick to curry at home mostly. But for instance – back home in a cinema, we make noises, cheer and clap when our hero appears on the screen. In UK people dont do that. We dont queue when getting into bus. In UK people do, no matter how long the queue is. We can point out 101 things, and you know what I have to sacrifice that 101 to adapt to UK live style.
        Calling a person “your sister’s cunt” and “negro” is totally different. I know you call double standards. But thats how it is in here (i am sure you would agree if you are staying here?). The thing that many doesnt understand is, ethnic backgrounds from South America, the English, the white Americans etc etc are never the receiving side. Its always the blacks and the asians, thats why its taken more personal.
        Regardless and that like any other United fan, I would probably have felt “he desrves it!” but part of me does say for the a person who thinks Negro is perfectly ok to be addressed on a black person in his country could be given the benefit of the doubt and thus a lesser of a punishment (just like how the court charged not guilty of 5 muslim girls who beat up a white girl in view that they are not used to having alcohol!) – yes, this is England….

        • BJ says:

          Note how you make the same deliberate mistake as the British press. Either write in spanish and use ‘negro’ or write in English and use black. Do not mix the terms they are inflamatory when used this way.

  24. R. Anderson says:

    Extremely poor piece. The report details virtually every aspect of the case. This allows for a clear and specified critique. You make no such assessment relating to the report. If your ‘article’ is a rebuttal of the report then it is plainly deficient. If you chose not to adequately assess what you see as erroneous whilst still intended to insinuate the report’s invalidity then your writing is baseless.
    Your conviction is evidently not equalled by elucidation. But those representing Liverpool FC were also unable to produce anything pointing to the probable innocence of LS as convincing as the F.A.’s report.
    Holding a position that favours your alignments and judging evidence against the standard of proof required are contradistinct. Your obvious predilection negates any hope to inform those wishing to understand the case better. The incompetence of your deliberation leaves your article unavailing as an attempt to defend LS.
    A deplorable example of fair-mindedness. Extremely poor piece.

    • Thank you for your comment. Just to remind you when you say “You make no such assessment relating to the report,” I did clearly indicate that while I would have been happy to write an entire article on the inconsistencies in the report, I found that others had done so quite well and I linked to them. My purpose in this piece, which was already long enough, was to discuss what I did without having to already repeat what others have said so concisely. If you didn’t read them, then you should. I also said that I concur with their statements and agree with their sentiments.

      “But those representing Liverpool FC were also unable to produce anything pointing to the probable innocence of LS as convincing as the F.A.’s report.” I think the probable innocence was based on the fact that there was no evidence or corroborating witnesses, in a crowded goalmouth, with cameras and microphones, and in front of a stand that can hear almost anything from the pitch. That to me means that what was alleged to have been said ‘probably’ wasn’t, otherwise why did NO other person in the vicinity hear it?

      I’m sorry you think my piece is extremely poor, and you must really think so because you said it twice, as well as ‘incompetent’ and ‘a deplorable example of fair-mindedness.’ But I disagree, of course, and think that it does give many a better understanding of the case because they are getting to see more of the other side of it rather than what the FA and media have all given. You may disagree and I respect that, so thank you again for your comments.

      • R. Anderson says:

        I very much appreciate your reply. I still believe, if you are “happy to write an entire article on the inconsistencies in the report”, then you should do so. You give your reasons as “others had done so quite well” and that you “concur with their statements and agree with their sentiments.”

        As you suggested, I have now read each item you link to. I cannot conclude that they make the case against the report’s findings “quite well”. Far from it. Furthermore, it is impossible to “concur with their statements and agree with their sentiments” when they contradict the contents of your article.

        None of the pieces you link to can intelligently be described as “great” or “excellent”, unless you hold a firm bias. There is little mention of the details of the report in most and when mentioned is incorrect, unsubstantiated or lacking in basic understanding. Worse still, taken together they are contradictory. Considering the standard of the F.A.’s report, which you believe is astoundingly atrocious and biased, the assessment from yourself and fellow Liverpool supporters is totally deficient in comparison.

        Sadly, you seem to prefer an attitude of passively respecting disagreements rather than exploring them and that exacerbates your isolation from those with impartiality.

  25. Robt says:

    Fantastic article Danielle – sums up really well how I feel and I know (from TTT forum) many others to.

  26. Glen says:

    Thanks for allowing the posting of my comments. I believe I’ve shown flaws in a lot of your points, there for others to read. Scrutiny is at the heart of all this, so it’s a shame your “opinions” aren’t robust. I think referring to the ridiculous, hyperbolic, and idiotic do help to make a point. It’s not calling you names and I honestly would hate you to take it personally or as an insult. I respect you but not the things you say if they‘re shown to be wrong.
    However, rather hypocritically, you link to Rob Guttman’s “great” article in which he ends his first paragraph by calling those who point out what he considers obvious as “patronizing cunts”.
    I’m sure I’d like you. I do greatly admire your willingness to debate.
    Clear arguments and responses need not go round in circles but should get closer the to crux of issue. I hope you’re well and your fingers don’t ache too much and that you find time to reply to my previous comment at some point in the future.

  27. Roberto B. Garcia says:

    After reading your article and agreeing with it 100%, I would like to mention a couple a couple of paragraphs from the FA document which, at least to me, are both appalling despite I have not seen comments on them. Also, let me clarify that I am an Uruguayan physician and football fan writing from Montevideo.

    In paragraph 414 and when considering the ultimate possible origin of the Suarez/Evra incident, the FA says: “The FA submitted that the likelihood was that Mr Suarez was seeking to provoke Mr Evra, so as to cause him to be sent off, thereby gaining a competitive advantage in the game. It was submitted that such behaviour is to be deplored.” According to the same FA document, five minutes after after a common foul committted by Suarez on Evra (the referee just indicated a free kick and no yellow card was showed) Evra took the initiave to address Suarez about that incident. He did that choosing Suarez native language and starting the conversation with a plain insult. That insult was “La concha de tu hermana” meaning “Your sister’s cunt”. I would like to emphasize that this is not a general reference to somebody’s sister genitalia but to the specific one of the sister of the addressed person (by the way Suarez has a sister). No room to linguistic misunderstandings here, remember it was Evra and only him the one who decided to speak in Spanish. Therefore, it is incomprehensible to me how the exchange of words that follow such a beginning could reflect the intention of Suarez as “seeking to provoke Mr Evra” when was Evra himself who took the initiative to start the verbal exchange, took the initiative to begin that exchange with a gross insult and, to make it clear for Suarez, took the initiative to deliver that insult in Spanish (neither French nor English). How can anybody conclude that was Suarez the one looking to provoke Evra to get expelled from the game, when in all logic if there was any intention for something like that to happen it could only came from Evra. Immediatly after that Evra decides to take the word “negro” pronounced by Suarez as meaning “nigger”, which was not the case whatsoever. At the end of the game -not in the middle of the heat of the “fight”- the referee is approached by Evra and Sir Alex to confirm that Suarez used the word “nigger” many times. The entire accusation is initiated by that sudden shift in languages (from Spanish to English)again entirely decided by Evra alone. It seems to me that Evra was looking for an opportunity to fabricate an incident.

    Now, there was any other chance for the FA body to test if there was any chance for Evra to be in the mood to produce such a “fabrication”? In Paragraph 83 the FA document gives Evra’s version that when he was recovering from the foul committed by Suarez, he was approached by Kuyt who said to him “stand up, you fucking prick”. Kuyt’s version to the FA was that he only said “stand up, stand up”. Clearly one of these two players was lying and in one version a clear breach of Rule 3E(1)occurred. So, what is decided by the FA about this instance that offered the potential to assess the credibility of Evra about events on that game? Let me just do the transcript of the FA words at the end of that same Paragraph: “The dispute is about what Mr Kuyt said, not abouth wether he said anything to Mr Evra at that time. Very little attention was paid to this dispute during the hearing,and we did not find it necessary in reaching our decision to make a finding about what Mr Kuyt had said to Mr Evra.” Can anybody explain how the only other event in an investigation intending to clarify who said what to whom, which is in itself a situation of the type “who said what to whom” involving the person who is the accuser (and therefore could shed light on the credibility of that person) is just dismissed as unimportant?

    Finally, let me say that I am against racism in any form of it, but the way to combat it is not to answer former lynchings with other lynching. I had the privilege to visit England twice and I am an admirer of its many traditions. One of them has beeen what is called fair-play. Sincerely I am afraid in this particular case that tradition was not well served.

    • Thank you for your comments Roberto. It is great to hear from people from Suarez’s country who can better shed some light on the language and interpretation.

      The two incidents you brought up are also very interesting in the whole context of what happened. It’s bizarre that not only was Evra not charged
      for the very offensive “concha de tu hermana” comment, but that it seems to be ignored as the provocation for which the whole argument started. Surely it’s obvious that Evra was wound up long before he approached Suarez and was supposedly racially abused so many times out of nowhere. He was already wound up at the coin toss! And you are correct that if Evra decided to speak in Spanish then surely he would understand the lack of malice in the words Suarez used.

      The incident with Kuyt is also strange and so easily dismissed. The FA very much seemed to use what they wanted to justify their decision and anything that didn’t fit that was brushed aside as unimportant.

      I too abhor racism, but to me this is clearly not a case of racist abuse and Suarez has been vilified in the FA’s quest to be seen as tough on racism.

      • Roberto B. Garcia says:

        Hi Danielle:

        Thanks for your words about my comments. Briefly I would like to offer you some evidence of how the word “negro” could be taken as unharmful when expressed in rioplatense Spanish in general and among the football fans in particular. As it is well known, the Uruguayan team won the 1950 World Cup defeating Brazil 2:1 in Rio, in what is taken by us Uruguayans as the highest triumph ever in a football competition. The captain of that team was Obdulio Varela, a mulatto. That beloved player was always called in Uruguay by all his admirers “el Negro Jefe” (meaning the Chief Negro”). That way of callling him was used -and still is- in a coloquial way, in writen articles and even as titles printed in books. It was mentioned in front of him (you can say on his face) many times eliciting but good feelings. Therefore, there is no way that that the Uruguayan Suarez playing in an English field but answering to somebady that addressed him in Spanish could had had an intention to insult. Thanks again for allowing me to express myself in your blog.

  28. Karl Selby says:

    unless you agree with Danielle give up! Getting a diehard fan of any club to be reasonable is like banging ur head against a brick wall (although if it helps their club they will argue the wall is made of jelly and say ‘lets agree to disagree’ if you show them its not!)

  29. Glen says:

    Sad to see you haven’t found time to comment again. I’ll make it quick for you and stop it going round in circles due to someone doing a Suarez (being evasive). So just yes and no questions! :) Thanks!

    1. Did the report look at the demeanour of Suarez as well as Evra?
    2. Do you think cases should ignore demeanour?
    3. Do you think it was wrong for the report to note Evra was ‘calm’?
    4. Can you justify claiming the mention of the word ’calm’ significantly altered the outcome?
    5. Do you believe a judgement of Evra’s demeanour/character alone is enough basis for believing his account?
    6. Do you believe a judgement of Suarez’s demeanour/character alone is enough basis for believing his account?
    7. Do you still support Liverpool players and manager believing 100% in Suarez’s innocence on the basis of his character?
    8. Do you agree with Stuart Gilhooly that the flexible civil standard of the balance of probability was correct?
    9. What approximate % would you give to the probability Suarez said what Evra accused him of saying and why? [I realise this is a number :) ]
    10. Do you believe an article is poorer for only giving one side of an issue?
    11. Do you accept the question if Suarez is racist or not is not is not required to prove the charge?
    12. Do you accept that the intent of Suarez or interpretation of Evra is not required to prove the charge?
    14. Do you believe the F.A. showed blind favouritism?
    13. Do you believe the Liverpool players, fans or Manager ever demonstrate blind loyalty?
    15. Do you know of anything that shows the FA to be biased?
    16. Do you believe your article was not at all dramatic?
    17. Do you believe your article was thorough, specific and factually correct?
    18. Do you believe Suarez’s guilt is possible?
    19. Do you support the players’/manager’s stance not believing it is possible?
    20. Is there any of the actual words of the report you disagree with specifically?
    21. Do you believe you kept the same meaning of paragraph 344 when putting it in your words?
    22. Do you believe that no one ever says things they don’t mean?
    23. Do you think being a Liverpool supporter has any affect on your judgement?
    24. Do you think your article is flawless?
    25. Do you think I have been clear and succinct and not a cunt?

    Thanks again.

    • Phew, some yes and no questions. I can get behind that for brevity’s sake, but with some short caveats.

      1. Yes
      2. No – Not ignore demeanor, but not use it as almost sole basis of which to rule on.
      3. Do I think it was wrong? No, but they use his calmness as a justification for believing his statements. Most people are calm when they are not on trial.
      4.yes
      5. No
      6. No
      7. Yes, but it isn’t based solely on his character
      8. Not sure what you’re referring to
      9. 50%. Anything is possible, but I don’t think it’s probable. NO ONE knows what was said.
      10. No and the media have only given one side, so the other side needs to be addressed
      11. I don’t understand what you’re asking
      12. Again the wording is confusing, I don’t know what you’re asking.
      13. No
      14. Yes to an extent
      15. Their entire report!
      16. No, but you seem to.
      17. Yes
      18. Of course. Nothing has been PROVED. Anything is possible. I just don’t believe it’s very probable at all.
      19. I don’t think that’s their stance.
      20. Yes, I discussed them.
      21. Yes
      22. Of course not
      23. Possibly, if only because as a fan we have more interest in proving his innocence than someone else. But anyone reading that document has to see many holes and bias. It’s very obvious when you look at it objectively which I did when reading it.
      24. Not sure what you mean. It’s my opinion, opinions will always be flawed to other people because they have different opinions.
      25. All I can do is laugh at this one. You certainly have your opinions, but it seems you’re more intent on demeaning mine than anything else. And that’s fine, but I’m not sure what you’re trying to accomplish.

      Bottom line is that if you can’t at all see what I’ve put forward here, then I’m not sure what to say. I’ve expressed my opinion, and yes, discussed one side of the arguments simply because the mainstream media has failed to do so. And while you obviously disagree, I am fine with that. I don’t need to keep arguing with you and I take what you’re saying to heart, but I disagree with that in the same manner. So we can simply agree to disagree. And please, if you feel so strongly, then you should write a piece about the FA report yourself online somewhere. I would be happy to read it and comment as well.

  30. R. Anderson says:

    Hi Danielle,
    I realise I didn’t detail how the few points you made on the report were erroneous and thought you and others may be interested to read my analysis. To start, it may be helpful to make clear that everything put forward in relation to the events is referred to as ’evidence’. Then they judge how all the evidence corroborates each account and consider which account is more probable, then, being tested objectively that proves or disproves the charge.

    Your article reads, “they somehow found Evra a more convincing and reliable witness than Suarez…” Not “somehow”. The report clearly explains their tests of “demeanour, inconsistency, credit and probability” (paragraphs 209-213). The issue of reliability in covered in detail in paragraphs 321, 364, 369, 379 and summarized in 453(5). None of which you choose to disagree with.
    Furthermore I fail to understand your apparent distinction between Suarez and Evra when you continue “..even though Evra was not the one on trial”. You give no explanation for this.

    Your main criticism of the report is it’s “astoundingly atrocious” belief that “Suarez is categorically NOT a racist”. You quote paragraphs 342 to 345, which do not state any such belief. But the “kicker” as you may call it, is that the report clearly states “this case is not about whether Mr Suarez is in fact a racist” and “the question is not whether Mr Suarez is in fact a racist” (paragraph 223).

    You criticise paragraph 344 by stating you’re “appalled” and that it is “insulting and bizarre”. However, even though you quote the exact 132 words of paragraph 344, you then go on to produce a misleadingly reworded approximations of it.
    Paragraph 344 is reasonable and uncontroversial. No one you linked to thought otherwise and you only disagreed with your own dishonest representation and not the words of the report. Even though the issue of the reports believing Suarez is racist or not is totally unnecessary to charge, I will still correct your dishonest representations:

    Paragraph 344 DOES NOT say people “will of course” say things out of character in certain situations, but that they may sometimes do so.
    Paragraph 344 DOES NOT say people “would never” say such things to family or friends, but occasionally such things would be embarrassing to admit to them.
    Paragraph 344 DOES NOT state a belief that Suarez “must have” said such a thing but that “it is not inconsistent”.
    Paragraph 344 DOES NOT apply their reasoning to the issue of race until the final sentence, whereas you add specific references to racism throughout.
    Paragraph 344 DOES NOT say anything that can be taken to mean such behaviour “doesn’t matter anyway.”

    Another of your “astounding atrocities” is that the F.A. don’t “seem to care or believe that [Suarez’s limited use of the English language and the way he may feel nervous] could be why there were some inconsistencies in what he said.” It is dishonest to state they don’t “seem to care”. Not only do you make no case for this being true, you express no specific disagreements and ignore the many paragraphs both exploring and appraising this very issue (paragraphs 162 to 202). Paragraph 210 specifically discusses “evidence can be an unnerving experience…and these difficulties can be compounded when giving evidence in a foreign language or through an interpreter.”

    You state “the way that [Suarez] speaks his own language has somehow been summarily dismissed as wrong because Evra….claims Suarez said something that Suarez refutes.” It is not “summarily dismissed”, it is discussed at length (paragraphs 162 to 202), nor considered “wrong”. If you have read the report you will understand that the consideration is, all things considered, what would the meaning reasonably understood to be (paragraphs 162 to 202). Then the further test for words concluded to have been used by the accused of “whether the words or behaviour were abusive or insulting when used in a football match played in England (paragraph 389)” Furthermore, it is nonsensical to assert that Evra’s claim itself is the basis for this assessment.

    Finally, you preposterously infer the most reliable independent linguistic witness is the accused himself; “personally, I’m going to believe the person who grew up speaking that language and is fluent in it, but obviously the FA does not.”

    Please correct me if I am wrong or something from your article has been overlooked. If I have time tonight I will comment on the articles you link to.

  31. R. Anderson says:

    The “great piece” by Stuart Gilhooly goes into very little detail why he believes the report came to the wrong conclusion.
    Firstly, Mr.Gilhooly contradicts other articles you link to, and what it seems is your opinion, by agreeing with the burden of proof used. He clearly explains why be states “many commentators seem to believe that the “balance of probabilities” burden is too low. I don’t believe this is correct” and “I think it is fair to say that the test of high probability is what was applied and if so, I believe this was correct.”

    Secondly, only a couple of paragraphs briefly mention the reasoning behind the report’s findings. He suggests that “linguistic confusion” points to Suarez’s innocence without explaining why whatsoever or disagreeing with any of what the report actually said on the subject (paragraphs 162 to 202).

    Thirdly, he states that Suarez cannot be found guilty without “independent corroboration” and incredibly that there isn’t a “scintilla of independent evidence”. It may again be helpful to note everything put forward in relation to the events is referred to as ’evidence’. Then they judge how all the evidence corroborates each account and consider which account is more probable, then, being tested objectively that proves or disproves the charge. Despite stating there isn’t a “scintilla of independent evidence“, Mr.Gilhooly totally fails to explain on what grounds he is so certain of the extraordinary claim that the evidence of every single witnesses, official, video clip and expert was influenced to benefit one side over the other; not independent.

    Unfortunately there is no way to leave this comment on the page of article. Even though Stuart Gilhooly is apparently a solicitor he is more detectably a Liverpool supporter.

  32. R. Anderson says:

    Jim Boardman wrote over 2000 words in his “great piece”, but had only two specific points to make on the report, both of which are wrong.

    Firstly, the test of the words used is not and should not be simply if something is to be taken literally or not, but the broader test of, all things considered, what would it be understood to mean. This is the test applied to ALL alleged accounts in the report (paragraphs 162 to 202). The further test for words concluded to have been used by the accused is “whether the words or behaviour were abusive or insulting when used in a football match played in England (paragraph 389). To apply this test ONLY to the accused is NOT inconsistent because they are not testing any charge against Evra.

    This is illustrated by the two quotes Mr.Boardman compares. The quote pertaining to Evra’s alleged words is from part VI (The Main Factual Disputes) of the report which EQUALLY appraises Suarez’s words and to suggest it doesn‘t is dishonest. BUT the quote pertaining to Suarez’s alleged words is from part VII (The CHARGE).

    Secondly, Mr.Boardman suggests that a video of Evra using the word ‘nigger’ in jest in 2004 is relevant to the case and affects his reliability. He misunderstand that ‘reliability’ should not be taken simply as a judgement of someone’s character or past, but primarily of the content of the evidence they present in the case and that the report explains, “Mr Suarez’s evidence was unreliable in relation to matters of CRITICAL IMPORTANCE. It was, in part, inconsistent with the contemporaneous evidence (paragraph 453(5)).

    Furthermore, if Mr.Boardman had read the report, he would be aware that paragraph 212 considers “the relevance of…the credit of the witness in relation to matters unconnected with the present… is contentious”. And crucially, “that it has played no part in our consideration. This is because neither party suggested that it should. Mr McCormick [Suarez’s representative] DID NOT submit that Mr Evra’s evidence should be rejected because he had been shown to be unreliable in making accusations or giving evidence on any other occasion.”

    Mr.Boardman states, “At 115 pages, 454 sections and over 44,000 words there is much to look at in the report and a great deal to take in. These aren’t the only inconsistencies in it”. But neither he, nor Liverpool are willing or able to point these out. I have left these comments on Mr.Boardman’s blog, for him and fellow Liverpool supporters to read.

  33. R. Anderson says:

    In his “great piece”, Sam Jones only argues technical objections on the issues in law. Contradicting most of the other articles, including yours, he believes Suarez has NO BASIS TO APPEAL on the grounds the report didn’t come to a decision “to which no reasonable such body could have come” or that the sanction was inappropriate. The “most controversial issue” in his eyes is “the assertion that the FA rule E 3(1) should be tested objectively (paragraphs 57 to 71).

    He does not disagree with the report’s principle reason that “The starting-point is the natural and ordinary meaning of the words of Rule E3(1)” and that this is “a straightforward question, uncomplicated by legal technicalities” (Paragraph 58).

    He also does not disagree with the secondary reason that “it would be highly surprising if the subjective test applied to some of the other types of behaviour prohibited by Rule E3(1)” (paragraph 59) and that it “would be an odd conclusion to reach that the drafters of Rule E3(1) intended a different test to apply to different parts of the same Rule.” (paragraph 60).

    He also does not disagree with parts of the third reason. That “Similar wording to Rule E3(1) is now found in section 5(1) of the Public Order Act 1986” (paragraph 65) or that “Parliament would not have deemed it necessary expressly to provide for subjective intention via section 6(4) if that requirement was already inherent in section 5 (paragraph 67). His summary so far is “All well and good, you might say”.

    His key suggestion is that 5(3) of the Public Order Act expressly provides for a subjective test. Even though this is untrue and contradicts what he seems to believe previous to that, it’s actually irrelevant because the words of 5(3) of the Public Order Act are not analogous to any of the words of rule E3, which is precisely why it is 5(1) of the act that is being used in the analogy NOT 5(3).

    Another example of him misunderstanding the use of analogous legal provisions in civil law is his criticism “the analogy they use in criminal law is the lesser of two almost identical offences. Incompetence, or again, mendacity?” He is correct that section 5(1) and section 4A(1) of the Public Order Act are “almost identical” and to state “The difference? Intent”. That is actually WHY section 5(1) was used rather than section 4A(1), because it has greater parity with the words of Rule E3(1) which likewise does not state intent.

    More examples of him misunderstanding the use of analogous legal provisions in civil law is his incorrect belief that guidance for criminal law applies to civil law and that the objective test being used equates it to a strict liability offence. This is not the case and paragraph 70 discusses why similar extrapolation is inapposite.

    Finally and horrifyingly, after all of Mr.Jones’ efforts, his entire article is rendered irrelevant by paragraph 399 stating, along with it‘s reasoning, “Had we decided that the test for a breach of Rule E3(1) included a subjective element, we would still have found the Charge proved”! Which he fails to mention!
    Mr.Jones believes himself to be superior to Suarez’s representative in matters of law. I would argue this is not the case but only concede he may be a superior Liverpool supporter. I have left this comment on his article.

  34. R. Anderson says:

    Rob Gutmann’s article, I’m sure you’ll agree, is not meant as a specific assessment of the report. Also, none of the 2,500 words of his “great piece” detail ANYTHING in the report he disagrees with. Maybe not surprising for an article entitled “WHY WE MUST STAND BY OUR MAN”. Because he is of course a Liverpool supporter. One that considers me a cunt.

  35. R. Anderson says:

    The blog by @joescouse_LFC is on the issue the reliability of Suarez and Evra and is particularly poor. Most of which is a rather non-analytic repetition of extracts from the report.

    Joe’s assertion that the video evidence of Suarez shrugging his shoulders supports Suarez’s testimony is irrelevant. He chose to omit the facts that Evra does not contradict this or that in paragraph 375 the report concludes “We think that the shrugging of the shoulders by Mr Suarez is consistent with both answers”.

    Joe also states “There were four pieces of evidence presented by Suarez’s lawyer to the FA that suggest Evra is an unreliable witness”. He details two: Evra being angry over a disputed coin toss and Evra’s use of the term “ten times” as a figure of speech.

    The coin toss was deemed insignificant by both parties. The F.A. felt no need to discuss it. Suarez’s representative also chose not to submit it, when asked “what factors we should take into account in assessing whether Mr Evra was likely to [be inventing the allegation]” (paragraph 326).

    BOTH sides accepted “that the phrase “ten times” was just a figure of speech in France” (paragraph 280). Joe claims Evra “retracted this claim”. This is a lie.

    The only doubt was from Suarez’s director of football at Liverpool, Mr.Comolli. Whilst NOT disagreeing “ten times” is a figure of speech in France, he thought the situation was “important” so Evra needed to be “precise”. The “situation” put forward Mr.Comolli was that Evra wanted to talk on TV and report his record (paragraph 155), but the journalist confirmed that was untrue, which Suarez‘s representative did not challenge (paragraph 279)

    Joe then produces an extremely misleadingly paragraph:
    “What about previous form? Suarez has no history of any form of racism and is an ambassador for racial equality. Evra, on the other hand, has been at the centre of a racism scandal in the recent past. It was alleged that ground staff at Chelsea racially abused Evra in 2008. The allegation was thrown out and here is how the panel described Evra’s testimony”.
    Evra never made any accusations of racism, nor where any made against him. It seems this point is made in a comment on the blog, which Joe has chosen to delete. Joe defended the accusation that the paragraph is grossly misleading, in a comment, on the simple grounds it isn’t “incorrect”.
    I would argue to use “on the other hand” is incorrect. Inherent in those words is that you are following it with a statement that suggests Evra “has a history of racism”. Any reasonable person would view wording it as such, whilst omitted a critical truth, as dishonest.
    I also consider it misleading to not make clear this was not one of the “four pieces of evidence presented by Suarez’s lawyer”.

    Even so, the report in 2008 boils down to finding Evra “barged” a man claiming he did so in concern for another man and they concluded Evra “barged” a man but didn’t believe he did so in concern for another man.
    As said on Jim Boardman’s piece: It is important to understand that ‘reliability’ should not be taken as a judgement of someone’s character or past but primarily of the content of the evidence they present in the case.
    “Mr Suarez’s evidence was unreliable in relation to matters of CRITICAL IMPORTANCE. It was, in part, inconsistent with the contemporaneous evidence (paragraph 453(5)).

    If Joe had read the report he would be aware that paragraph 212 considers “the relevance of… the credit of the witness in relation to matters unconnected with the present … is contentious”. And crucially, “that it has played no part in our consideration. This is because neither party suggested that it should. Mr McCormick [Suarez’s representative] did not submit that Mr Evra’s evidence should be rejected because he had been shown to be unreliable in making accusations or giving evidence on any other occasion.”
    That is also relevant to counter a comment on the article that brought up Ryan Giggs honesty in relation to sleeping with a women off Big Brother as relevant to the case.

    Joe ends by saying, the FA have concluded that Suarez’s “entire evidence can be completely discredited whilst the inconsistencies in Evra’s testimony, and past, can be ignored.”
    The report DOES consider Evra’s consistency and it is UNTRUE that it discredit Suarez’s entire evidence. Joe himself gives one example to contradict himself when he states the report AGREES that Suarez’s account of shrugging his shoulders is true.

    I have left my comments on his blog. It is quite incredible you consider this “a great read”. Although maybe you have to be a self-confessed “LFC Obsessed Scouser” like Joe to enjoy it.

  36. R. Anderson says:

    Firstly, Mr.Mazzucchelli wastes time, in his “excellent language dissection”, giving reasons why he believes “Evra misunderstood Suárez” and (whilst not disagreeing with the experts evidence surrounding the word “negro”) incorrectly states the report appraises the word on the basis that they “just decided that the whole thing was an equally aggressive clash by both sides”.
    In fact, it is not relevant to the charge what Evra understood or who was more aggressive. The report is only “concerned with whether the words or behaviour were abusive or insulting when used in a football match played in England” (paragraph 389).

    Secondly, the issue Mr.Mazzucchelli considers “KEY” is the verb usage in the term “Porque tu eres negro” that he states “Suárez would never say”. His belief that there is “no way in the world [Suarez] could have said” ’tu’. Although, in a comment less than an hour later he concedes his use of “NEVER”. Now saying the use of the “tu” form is only “very uncommon in Montevideo”, so he AGREES EXACTLY with the report’s practically identical assertion in paragraph 181.

    Furthermore, no reasonable person would disagree that Suarez, having lived in Europe since 2006, whilst playing a match in Europe, talking to a European could use a form of a verb that is more common in Europe or, as the report puts it “alter between Uruguayan and European contexts”. Because even though Mr.Mazzucchelli digressively quotes paragraphs 90, 138, 141 and 284, and whilst accusing the F.A. of “incredibly sloppy [management of] the Spanish language in their report” he dishonestly (for someone having “read the whole FA report”) avoids mentioning, let alone criticising, ANY of the 40 paragraphs of ’Expert Evidence’ (paragraphs 162 to 202). Including 181, the paragraph DEDICATED to this very matter. This includes, what you may call “the kicker”, that Suarez ACTUALLY “USES the “tu” form of the verb” during his interview.

    Therefore, as he partially concedes, it is not true to say there is “no way in the world he could have said” it or that he “could not” and “cannot” say it and his “KEY” point is rendered worthless. But I suggest the key reason for this is that he’s an ardent Uruguayan Liverpool and Suarez supporter.
    This is what you call “excellent language dissection”. This is just a fans comment on liverpoolfc.tv, on which I will be leaving this comment.

  37. R. Anderson says:

    Despite Paul Tomkins’s “excellent article” producing another 2000+ words, there is practically no reference to the details of the report. Instead he demonstrates very poor understanding and sometimes a total lack of logic. But he agrees Suarez isn’t “particularly reliable” and that is it “possible that Suarez is guilty as charged” and that he is “not saying that Evra was lying”.

    One repeated contradiction is his unexplained opposition to the standard of proof being the flexible civil standard of the balance of probability, mocking it and questioning it’s fairness. Not only does he choose not to detail his objection, he actually delegates that responsibility by linking to Liverpool supporting, apparent solicitor Stuart Gilhooly. The problem is Mr.Gilhooly DOES NOT AGREE with Mr.Tomkins, and yourself, on this issue. He explains clearly why he thinks, “many commentators seem to believe that the “balance of probabilities” burden is too low. I don’t believe this is correct” and “I think it is fair to say that the test of high probability is what was applied and if so, I believe this was correct.”

    Mr.Tomkins lacks understanding when he states, “The video evidence proved nothing as to what was said.” This is true but irrelevant as the video evidence is used as corroboration, not proof. Then Mr.Tomkins seems to mysteriously complain, “even what was claimed to have been said had to be deconstructed by linguistics experts”. He doesn’t say why he think it shouldn’t. Again he delegates responsibility to a familiar source. This time the Urugauyan Liverpool supporter Mr.Mazzucchelli!

    He wastes time on what Suarez intended and how Evra could have taken offence, when it is clear in the report the question to be asked is “do we consider the words or behaviour to be abusive or insulting?” (Paragraph 58) and that intent does not need to be proven as the test is objective. The use of the objective test, that is that intent does not need to be proven, also renders irrelevant the points that Suarez should have “admitted to the guilt of cultural ignorance at the start” and that he “no ill meaning was intended”.

    Mr.Tomkins states, “while Suarez was held to literal translations of what he said, Evra was not.” This is untrue as both individuals’ words in both accounts were subject to the same test of, all things considered, what would it be understood to mean (paragraphs 162 to 202). Then the further test for words concluded to have been used by the accused of “whether the words or behaviour were abusive or insulting when used in a football match played in England” (paragraph 389).

    Mr.Tomkins begins, what you may refer to as his “incomprehensible conclusion” by stating, to him, “it’s clearly probable that Luis Suarez did not say the word ‘negro’ more than once” and gives his 3 reasons why he believes this: Because Suarez’s account “admitted to a single use of the word [“negro”]”, because Suarez is “from a black background” and, most illogically, because “no-one heard what he is alleged to have said”.
    He gives no reason why any of his 3 “reasons” supports a clear probability that he did not say ’negro’ more than once and at no point references the what the report says about these things.
    Finally, and what you may call “the kicker”, he does not explain how there can be any logic behind his belief, and also yours, that no-one else hearing what was said supports Suarez’s version OVER that of Evra. This makes no sense whatsoever and, I’m afraid, is stupid.

    Perversely for such a blog, I cannot leave a comment without first sending him money!!!
    You say Mr.Tomkins’s “must read” “excellent article” has trumped you. I would suggest only in terms of being even worse. It is simply an extremely poorly written post, even for an ardent Liverpool supporter.

    • BJ says:

      I think the only problem with articles supporting Suarez, all the evidence, the videos, the valid questions, they have only been published by smaller sites. The mainstream press has failed to challenge any part of the commission report. Indeed it has only been the Independent recently that has made anything like a real enquiry that could be considered a question and that has been minimal pussyfooting because the same unanswered questions being raised are not going away.

  38. R. Anderson says:

    To conclude, I have now discussed, not only your article but all those you link to. I may also correct the comments made under your article. You have stated “Just because a report is ‘lengthy and detailed’ bears no relevance to its findings being factual.” I totally agree and this also applies in the case of the many thousand words in your article and those you link to.

    Your collection of Liverpool fans straining incompetently to support their side seem totally blind to everything that doesn‘t sit with their unmoveable predetermined position.
    Your twitter account shows the astounded amount of propaganda, and disregard for facts or reason, flying around unchecked in your bubble of obsessive and conspiratorial tribal bias. It’s only football. It’s supposed to be fun. But this behaviour, of simply fighting your corner regardless, only supports the stereotype of the scouse mentality.

    I hope you and the other “writers” will read what I have written and make clear any disagreements and point out anything I have overlooked. Considering you have all already read the entirety of a 44,000 word report, many articles of 1,000s of words and written lengthy articles and comments, I hope there is no opposition to doing so.

    • “It’s only football. It’s supposed to be fun. But this behaviour, of simply fighting your corner regardless, only supports the stereotype of the scouse mentality.”

      I agree, football is and should always be fun! But your comment misses the point entirely of what Liverpool fans have been trying to get across. People see the defense of Suarez as just blind fighting when it is nothing of the sort. We are arguing in his defense because we believe he was unfairly tried and condemned by the FA and justice has not been done. I’m not sure why that’s seen as blind tribalism as I’m sure most fans and clubs would also support players who they believed were innocent and unfairly tried. It’s really not that complicated. But the problem is people have this image of Liverpool as you point out as the “scouse mentality” stereotype. Typically stereotypes aren’t actually true, but exaggerations or generalizations, which is what has happened here.

      It’s just a shame that instead of looking at the case from all sides and seeing the holes in the FA’s report as well as the way in which the media has completely blasted Liverpool as a whole over this incident isn’t seen more clearly. People just chalk it up to blind loyalty, when as I said before, it is nothing of the sort.

      • R Anderson says:

        I agree that the penalty may be unfair and the handling poor. But facts are facts. There are dishonest claims in what you write and link to.
        I chalk it up to blind loyalty because I don’t see any other plausible reason.

  39. R Anderson says:

    Hi Danielle.
    Feel free to remove my comments if you wish.

  40. peter craven says:

    R. Anderson says: > Mr.Tomkins states, “while Suarez was held to literal translations of what he said, Evra was not.” This is untrue as both individuals’ words in both accounts were subject to the same test of, all things considered, what would it be understood to mean (paragraphs 162 to 202). Then the further test for words concluded to have been used by the accused of “whether the words or behaviour were abusive or insulting when used in a football match played in England”

    actually R. Anderson that is a bare faced lie. tompkins does not say anything of the sort. what he takes issue with is the fact that the panel listen to the linguistic experts testimony that what evra says to suarez literally translates as ‘your sisters c***’ but afford him the benefit of him simply intending the colloquial meaning of ‘f*****g hell’ whereas on the other hand suarez claiming ‘porque negro’ means ‘why mate’ or ‘pal’ and has no derogatory meaning at all in his dialect of spanish is dismissed and the english translation which refers to the colour of evras skin is suarez’ intention. simply mate if evra meant f******g hell then suarez meant mate. if evra meant your sisters c*** then suarez racially abused evra. cant have it both ways.

    • R Anderson says:

      The analysis of both was consistent. The only time the word ‘literal’ was used in the report was when it was making clear that nothing should be taken so.

      If Evra was actually discussing the actual genitals of Suarez’s actual sister, then that would not be considered an insult towards Suarez himself. But of course, would be quite strange.

      The experts clearly do not dismiss the friendly uses of ‘negro’ (paragraphs 172 & 173). The report agrees it is not abusive in the context Suarez claims it’s used: “is in line with the use set out by Mr Suarez”. Suarez himself agreed ‘negro’ can be used in an abusive way. Considering the context in which it was used the experts’ view was that ‘porque negro’ does not mean “pal”, when used in such an argument. Even so, the account in which this occurred was unreliable and inconsistent.

  41. My apologies to everyone commenting for not responding or approving sooner. I was very sick over the last 2 weeks since writing this.

  42. I wanted to share with everyone this very good article about the Suarez/Evra case and report, written by a Manchester United fan. So is he just bias and saying things out of blind loyalty? http://thetroublewithfootball.blogspot.com/2012/01/commissions-new-clothes.html

    • R Anderson says:

      That article is written by James Beadle of Cornwall. I know this because he’s seemingly been emailing everyone he can with it, including myself. No one knows who he is. That blog published it without knowing anything about him whatsoever or even where he was from. Furthermore, the article is nonsense.

      • josiewales says:

        R Anderson is a known wum, I had to block him on twitter, the lad that wrote the article has been harrassed via email by him, and he’s a determined Suarez basher.
        The blog that Danielle quoted is my blog.
        The guy concerned is a Manchester United supporter and he’s not from Cornwall. I think it’s despicable that this guy here has released his name when he had not got permission to – the piece was signed with his first name only. RA Anderson, you’re a rude menace. I will be reporting this back to the author.

        I’ve conversed extensively with the author of the post. He’s a great guy and a true Manchester United supporter. The piece would stand as a fine example of writing if he were a Liverpool supporter or a Brighton supporter so this endless debate about that is missing the real issue, which is probably what people like R Anderson want.

        We posted another article on there yesterday.
        It’s based around a letter we received from the Dept for Culture, Media and Sport and it’s very interesting reading.
        I wrote that myself, with another lad, and we’re both Liverpool supporters – just so you know……

        Here’s the link.
        http://thetroublewithfootball.blogspot.com/2012/01/existing-process-isnt-fair-process.html

        Keep up the good work, Danielle.

  43. peter craven says:

    why is it nonsense?

    • josiewales says:

      Mate, the guy is a bit of a weirdo. His only argument against the piece, via a wide variety of media, has been to try to make out that the person that wrote it is not Mancunian.
      He spammed the Liverpool official forums under a similar username, and then harassed myself and the writer of that piece via email and on in the case of myself, on twitter too, before I blocked him.

      I think everyone welcomes reasoned debate on the subject. Especially with regard to the questions that it raises about an FA system that has a 99.5% conviction rate and obviously needs reform. I think that most thinking Liverpool supporters know that the verdict will never be overturned, but see that there may end up being some benefit for the whole of the domestic game if the failings in the hearing are highlighted. Although the main aim for myself is to try to bring attention to the fact that there was good reason behind the support that the club and the manager showed for the player in the wake of the verdict.
      I’m still working on more pieces for the blog, there’s a lot of questionable stuff in the detail of the way the FA acted during the hearing.

      I think it’s relevant now to all supporters of football, and it just disappoints when the idiots get involved, because it disrupts any process that might ultimately benefit the game.

  44. peter craven says:

    josiewales says: Although the main aim for myself is to try to bring attention to the fact that there was good reason behind the support that the club and the manager showed for the player in the wake of the verdict.

    well im fully behind you and anybody else that can put that firmly in the public eye. i hate the way that our club has been portrayed in the media because of their support of suarez and the their reaction to the verdict and the report.

    josiewales says: I think that most thinking Liverpool supporters know that the verdict will never be overturned

    why in your opinion do you think that the club decided against appealing, at least the length of the ban or indeed going further and taking the case to an arbitrator. someone other than the agenda riddled f.a. given the strongly worded statement the club made in support of suarez in the aftermath of the verdict and then the statement after deciding not to appeal that clearly implied that the club felt that the findings were flawed, did they choose not to seek to clear suarez’ name. by choosing not to take the matter further they have in my opinion consigned suarez to the reputation of being a racist, at least in the eyes of the general public.

  45. R Anderson says:

    Even though I disagree with Danielle, I respect how she conducts herself and that she allows all respectful comments on her blog. Unlike Josie Wales. It’s a shame he isn’t man enough to deal with comments on his own blog rather than delete the ones that have valid contrary points.
    There are a lot of lies in his comments unfortunately, but I’m glad he made them here because that means they’ll stay online.

    James will likely be unhappy you’re saying he’s not from Cornwall. As you know from the email he sent both of us, he said, “I live in Cornwall, and I pity anyone who doesn’t. If you choose not to believe that, then it’s probably time to invest in a tin-foil hat and a copy of ‘Conspiracy Theories for Dummies’”. His IP confirms he’s from Cornwall.

    It’s an absolute lie that I have harassed anyone. Jim’s email is not online as far as I know, I only replied to his emails to ME and we only had friendly exchanges. I only emailed Josie once, in reply to both him and James following James emailing Josie and I together. So I have not harassed anyone by email. Josie is lying.

    In that email James states how he was sending his “piece” to everyone he thought would put it online because “if I’m really honest with myself because I kind of felt that no-one was paying any attention, and I wanted someone to read the fucking piece I’d spent two fucking days on”.

    Josie did NOT know James well. When I tweeted him after he published the piece he admitted he didn’t know who James was or where he was from. It is unlikely they conversed extensively. Josie published the piece within a day or two at most of James emailing him with it.

    I am not rude. I have never insulted Josie despite him insulting me on the forum. I did not spam the LFC forum. It is there for all to see, how I was respectful and stuck to issues of fact. I have also never bashed Suarez. Josie cannot possibly find anything to support his lies.

    My problem with James’s piece is not who wrote it, but that it has no substance. I would leave a comment on it (and also on the generic letter from the DCMS) but Josie deletes comments that show his blog to be misleading. If Josie believed it had substance without it being about it’s source as a supposed Manchester United fan, why not just post it and let it stand alone rather than blasting dozens of tweets to everyone he knew whilst proclaiming this is a piece by a Manchester United fan.

    Josie calls me an idiot disrupting a noble campaign, but in fact I’ve only ever corrected errors and lies. Unfortunately, Josie, as he has shown in these comments, is a liar.
    I’m afraid I wouldn’t trust him if he was my electrician.

    • josiewales says:

      Wow.
      You’re a weirdo.
      James isn’t from Cornwall. And you’d have no right to IP check people – even if you possessed the means, on which I can’t comment.
      Your constant harassment via email, the official forum of Liverpool FC and the comments section of the blog, which I’ve had to close now, are legendary.

      Your spamming of links to your website on the official forum, was I believe curtailed when moderators deleted the offending post(s).

      And all of this because you refuse to believe, or indeed accept that Jim is a supporter of Manchester United.

      I notice you’ve now taken to posting on here that I’m an electrician. A statement you’d only be able to make had you done some more of your completely insane, stalker-worthy investigations. Which I find offensive and worrying with regard to your personal mental health. If you continue to act in such a manner, being the parent of three children, I’ll act legally against you, without hesitation and to the greatest extent of my power within the law.

      I’m busy writing the next piece for the blog, but will be taking up your constant insistence on publishing personal information on the internet about people that haven’t freely offered it, with my local police force and the moderators of every site on which you do so, as soon as the piece is complete and posted.

      There’s no way you could know my name without some form of illicit means, and there’s no way you could know my profession without knowing my name and address.
      Believe me, if your actions haven’t been completely legal and above board, you’re in serious trouble. And if they have, and you continue to act upon those actions in a way that I perceive endangers my family, you’ll have me to deal with, and that’s not something you want to do.

      Will be looking into the above further, this evening.

      • R Anderson says:

        Josie is a liar. I have never harassed anyone. He can not produce any emails.
        I recall leaving 2 brief comments, a sentence long, on his blog, neither of which were insulting, he deleted them anyway. I posted on the forum respectfully, which is there for all to see. I did end my posting on there with a link to my blog. I did so once.

        Josie stated himself he was an electrician on the Liverpool forums!! But obviously had forgotten he had done so. Maybe he should report himself for giving out personal information.
        Not that I care, but Jim told us both he is from Cornwall. I emailed him to tell him of Josie’s lies and he replied:

        “Hi,
        I don’t know where that’s come from, but it hasn’t come from me. As far as I’m concerned, we disagreed (fairly strongly), but since last week, I haven’t heard anything from you. That’s not my definition of harrassment, or anywhere close to it. If you could point me in the direction of the blog(s) concerned, I’ll take a look and see if it seems like sticking my oar in would be helpful. There’s a good chance that jumping in two-footed might just make things worse, so I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll do anything you might consider useful, but I’ll certainly take a look.

        Cheers,
        Jim”

        Josie has my email address if he has a problem with me. I haven’t heard from him. It’s ridiculous he chooses to talk about things on this blog. It doesn’t belong here.

        The police?? Protecting your children….?? Get a grip….

        • josiewales says:

          The guy isn’t from Cornwall, unless he lied to me. It’s a lie on your part to say that he told me he was from Cornwall.
          I don’t recall discussing with you on any forum what my profession is.
          The claims you make about the emails you sent to me are lies, and further emails aren’t welcome, which is why I haven’t sent you any emails back whatsoever, never mind engaged in any communication on the back of what you’ve said here, or indeed opened the dodgy attachment you included in one of them. For many reasons, but not least because I don’t want to be “IPed” by you.
          Again, I’d ask you to refrain from disclosing my personal information via any medium that I haven’t authorised, and where it concerns stuff I’ve never had conversations with you about.
          I’d ask you also to desist in making any more attempts to compromise mine, or anyone else’s privacy.
          This is the last time I’ll respond, and I’ll leave it up to everyone else reading this to make up their own minds as to your motives and methods of communication.

  46. Glen says:

    So you thought there was a 50% chance Suarez was lying about the original incident….
    Modify that because you’re a LFC supporter, because you already think Evra is a twat and considering Liverpool themselves have admitted today that Suarez is a liar…
    You now have to concede the report finding he probably lied was more than 50% don’t you think?

    • Hmmm. I haven’t seen anyone, anywhere say anything about admitting Suarez lied about anything. Not sure where you got that from. And no, I still believe Evra lied. But as we all know, nothing has been proven either way. It is still one man’s word against another. You choose to believe Evra, I choose to believe Suarez. And that’s that.

      • Glen says:

        Ian Ayre: “We are extremely disappointed Suárez did not shake hands with Evra before yesterday’s game. The player had told us beforehand that he would, but then chose not to do so.”

        And, the charge was proven…

        Also, you said you thought it was 50-50….. now you say you believe Suarez over Evra…

        hmmmm indeed…

        • Where do you see the statement “Suarez lied” in that quote, because I still don’t. He changed his mind, which I believe he is entitled to do.

          What charge was proven? Nothing was ever proven because there was no PROOF, evidence, or corroborating witnesses. Because the FA decided to believe Evra’s word over Suarez’s doesn’t mean anything was proven.

          I have always said I believe Suarez. The reason I say it’s 50-50 is because anything is possible since NO ONE but those two men actually know what happened.

          • Glen says:

            You may think he initially intended to carry out what he promised his employers he would do. Even if that is the case, which is highly questionable, it shows Suarez’s word is worth very little, consistent with his dishonesty giving evidence.

            The charge was clearly proven using the standard of proof required.

            It is contradictory to state you strongly believe one account over another whilst also calling it 50-50.

          • You got me. 50-50 is misleading. I should have said I believe Suarez 99.9% to believing Evra 0.01%. Anything is possible!

  47. Glen says:

    Notice you don’t disagree that Suarez’s word is worthless, that he gave dishonest evidence or with the standard of proof required by the commission.

    Not sure if you think both players’ accounts are equally likely or not. Not sure you do either!

    But there’s a lot you don’t know. Which is unfortunate considering the stuff you and your friends spread.

  48. Harry says:

    Danielle. Paul Tomkins and you are mistaken. Liverpool could have appealed the verdict as well as the penalty.

    The FA regulations on appeals say:

    1.4 The grounds of appeal, available to Participants and The Association, shall be that the body whose decision is appealed against:
    (1) misinterpreted or failed to comply with the rules or regulations relevant to its decision; and/or
    (2) came to a decision to which no reasonable such body could have come.

    1.5 In addition:
    (1) Participants only, may appeal on the grounds that the penalty, award, order or sanction imposed is excessive;
    (2) The Association only, may appeal on the grounds that the penalty, award, order or sanction imposed was so unduly lenient as to be unreasonable.

    I think the people saying Liverpool could only appeal the penalty must have only read regulation 1.5 and overlooked 1.4. I cannot believe that the club made that basic error – surely not? I presume they received legal advice not to appeal the verdict because it would be unsuccessful (given the detailed evidence presented in the FA report).

  49. T H says:

    Wow, a lot of comments! A lot of errors pointed out too. Why do so many have to choose a side and propagate unfairly.
    The report is excellent. Evra obviously didn’t invent the allegation, he just took too much offence initially. Suarez didn’t out and out lie, but he didn’t try and wriggle out of it with half-truths.
    Misinformed supporters mistakenly picking holes in the report don’t help anyone…..

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