Luis Suarez is continuing to fulfil his role as a victim perfectly at Liverpool in his recent statements about his eight match ban for the racial abuse of Patrice Evra. A born and bred scouser would be proud of Suarez’s efforts to appear innocent and blameless.
“My conscience is clear [on Evra],” he said. “The suspension, I suppose, you could call strange and unbelievable. Without a single shred of proof, they suspended me. I accepted it without saying anything obviously because they could have made [the suspension] longer and it would have just made the whole thing continue, but my conscience is completely clear, and so is that of the club and my family. There was not a single convincing proof that I had done any of the things they accused me of doing. I am very calm about all of it. I have played all my childhood and everyone knows that in Uruguay there is a huge black population. I had team-mates and friends of both colours all the time in the national team, in Liverpool, in Holland, where the majority [of players] are from Surinam, and I never had any problem with them. Holland is one of the countries in the world where there is the highest number of black players and at no point was there an issue. Well, these are the things about football. It seems to me that they had to get rid of a Liverpool player and, well, they definitely were gratified by all of this.”
To quote our dear departed friend, Rafa Benitez, here are the facts from the FA report:
- Luis Suarez claimed he was calling Patrice Evra “negro” is a friendly way. The fact that they were in the middle of an argument during a game between two massive rivals makes this hard to believe. Suarez had kicked Evra in the knee moments before and then slapped him round the back of the head. Friendly.
- Dalglish claimed that Suarez had been “taunted” by Evra, suggesting that Suarez’s response of “you are black” was following Evra saying “you are South American.” If this was true, Suarez wasn’t using the word “negro” in a friendly way at all, rather as an insult. Regardless, Suarez confirmed that being called “South American” was not an insult.
- Suarez claimed that he did not call Evra a negro when they were in the goal mouth, rather after the referee had called them over to speak to them and he then touched Evra. However, his version of events contradicts the testimony of Evra and referee. Evra says that as soon as the referee called them over, Evra reported the racial abuse he had just received, and the referee confirmed this.
- The first time Suarez claimed that his use of the word “negro” was “conciliatory” was after the reports from the language experts were made available, where they claimed if the word “negro” was used in a “conciliatory” way, it wouldn’t be regarded as racist in Uruguay.
- Comoli stressed he knew how serious the allegations were so being fluent in Spanish wanted to make sure they had their story straight on what Suarez had said. After speaking to Suarez, he then went to tell Marriner and Dowd Suarez’s version. There was no mention of Suarez calling Evra “negro” in response to Evra telling him not to touch him though, which is what his defence later hinged on. They initially claimed Suarez said “you are black” then in the next set of interviews, Suarez claimed he said “why not, black?” after Evra told him not to touch him.
- Suarez initially claimed that he pinched Evra on the arm to “defuse the situation”. When he was cross examined, he admitted this was not true.
- Suarez’s defence claim that Evra made up Suarez saying he kicked him because he was black and that he didn’t talk to blacks. They claim that because Suarez had kicked Evra in the knee, Evra wanted revenge, so fabricated the whole story. This means they are suggesting that Evra feigned outrage after his exchange with Suarez and lied to the referee, that he lied to Giggs on the pitch when he asked him what was the matter, and that he lied to Valencia, Chichartio, Nani, Anderson and Sir Alex Ferguson in the dressing room immediately after the game. The commission rejected the defence’s suggestion that the accusations were just an elaborate plot for Evra to get revenge on Suarez for being kicked.
- Comolli claimed that after the game Evra went to Canal+ and demanded that he was allowed to report the racial abuse he had just received. The journalist who interviewed Evra confirmed this opposite of this was true, and that Evra knew the journalist well and he could tell that he was upset. Evra told the journalist off the record what had happened, but the journalist confirmed he asked the question when Evra was being filmed regardless.
- Dirk Kuyt falsely claimed that Evra was telling people he had only been booked by the referee because he was black. The commission found this to be a complete fabrication by Kuyt. His intention was obviously to claim that Evra was playing the race card, something which Dalglish also tried to do when asking the referee “hasn’t he done this before?” He hasn’t.
In conclusion, Suarez, Dalglish, Kuyt and Comolli lied throughout the proceedings. In contrast, Evra’s version of events never changed. An innocent person doesn’t need to keep changing their story in the fashion that Suarez did. Suarez provided the evidence himself. He admitted he called Evra “negro” and only an idiot would believe he was using it in a friendly way. Whilst “negro” can be used amongst friends in Uruguay, the independent language experts also acknowledged that this word can be used in a racist way too. If Suarez meant it in a friendly way and not a racist way, why didn’t he shake Evra’s hand and why has he never apologised for calling him it? Surely if a person innocently calls someone a name which they interpret to be racist, the first thing they would do is apologise wholeheartedly for any offence caused, no? Seven months have gone by and Suarez still hasn’t bothered to say sorry.
Always the victim, it’s never their fault.