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And the FA speaks!

December 31, 2011

Finally! Check this link out for the FA’s written report with regards to the whole Suarez vs Evra saga. It’s a whopping 115 pages though! (Yes, I was rather shocked too).

According to the FA:

First, the starting-point is the natural and ordinary meaning of the words of Rule E3(1). Focusing on the words applicable to this case, Rule E3(1) states that a Participant shall not use abusive or insulting words or behaviour. The words are not complicated. The words of the Rule suggest to us that we should ask ourselves: do we consider the words or behaviour to be abusive or insulting? We have been entrusted with the task of answering that question. That the question may be difficult to answer in particular cases does not alter the fact that it is a straightforward question, uncomplicated by legal technicalities.” ( p 20)

So it was the FA who decided that what Suarez said was insulting and abusive.

We conclude these Reasons with the following comment. The Charge against Mr Suarez was that he used insulting words which included a reference to Mr Evra’s colour. We have found that Charge proved on the evidence and arguments put before us. The FA made clear that it did not contend that Mr Suarez acted as he did because he is a racist. Mr Evra said in his evidence that he did not think Mr Suarez is a racist. Mr Suarez said in evidence that he will not use the word “negro” on a football pitch in England in the future, and we believe that is his genuine and firm intention. (p 115)

Suarez did use the word ‘negro’ (or ‘negrito’ – I really don’t know anymore) to refer to Evra (he did admit this fact, by the way), but he never meant it in a racist manner. But because he did use the said word and that was the charge against him,the FA concluded that he is guilty, and therefore had to be punished. Moreover, according to the FA: “Mr Suarez’s words, which included a reference to Mr Evra’s colour, were insulting. The use of insulting words which include a reference to another person’s colour on a football pitch are wholly unacceptable.” (p 114)

Mr Evra was a credible witness. He gave his evidence in a calm, composed and clear way. (p 112)

Um. Okay. How was Evra a ‘reliable’ witness? How were they able to arrive at this conclusion?

Mr Suarez’s evidence was unreliable in relation to matters of critical importance. It was, in part, inconsistent with the contemporaneous evidence, especially the video footage. For example, Mr Suarez said that he pinched Mr Evra’s skin in an attempt to defuse the situation. He also said that his use of the word “negro” to address Mr Evra was conciliatory and friendly. We rejected that evidence. To describe his own behaviour in that way was unsustainable and simply incredible given that the players were engaged in an acrimonious argument.

There’s something about the line in bold above that I don’t really understand. So you mean to say that the FA didn’t believe that Suarez was using a particular word in such a way that he may have indeed been doing so just because they reckon that it was improbable?

This isn’t over, not by a long shot.


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