How dare we? Suarez, Rodgers and the surreal Planet Liverpool

Jake suspects a fondness for making mischief
Jake suspects a fondness for making mischief

Another bit of impudent posturing in our occasional series of daring to intrude on the private grief of others …

No Liverpool supporter
or official has yet, so far as I am aware, suggested that Luis Suarez’s strange habits with his teeth confirm not a weakness for all manner of foul play, or an interest in cannibalism, but a misunderstood soul whose culture is lost on Europeans.

In other words, we are not being asked to accept that Uruguayans would see being bitten as a gesture of affection in exactly the same way they would, if black, being called a negro.

But which planet does the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers inhabit?

Attacking the 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, not himself the most agreeable of characters on a football field, Rodgers tells LFC TV: “The punishment is against the man, rather than the incident. We have a punishment with no intention of helping [his] rehabilitation.

“We are shocked and bitterly disappointed. It is the severity of the ban which has hurt most. That is something we are bitterly disappointed with.”

As quoted by the BBC’s report, Rodgers talks of comparison with other incidents we have seen, including Jermain Defoe escaping FA sanction after allegedly biting Javier Mascherano. Well, Craig Gordon might well sympathise with the view that Defoe lives a charmed life but that hardly excuses Suarez.

The Liverpool boss is not paid to be rational. However, he must be aware of Suarez’s previous. Hardly a case of once biting, twice shy. Rodgers does say: “The standard set by the club – he fell way below that at the weekend.”

But when he adds that the player does not deserve to be “thrown to the garbage”, he is not only factually incorrect in suggesting that this is the consequence of the FA’s penalty but advancing an absurd proposition. How could the punishment be less than the seven-match ban imposed in the Netherlands for his last offence of biting?

I like to watch Suarez as a supremely gifted player, provided he isn’t falling over when untouched or engineering contact, racially insulting someone or indulging in a spot of biting.

I liked even more this tweet, helpfully located by the Bleacher Report, from @surrealfootball …

Suarez clearly getting persecuted on the basis of his history of violence, racism and cheating

29 thoughts on “How dare we? Suarez, Rodgers and the surreal Planet Liverpool”

  1. “But which planet does the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers inhabit?”

    Planet Cash……this is being defended because of the scale of the money involved,nothing else.I long ago lost respect for football and the authorities after Cantona’s disgraceful assault on an opposition fan.How he was not banned for life is beyond me

    In any other field of work a bite would result in instant dismissal.However I would consent to the idea that in a physical contact sport emotions can overcome reason and that Suarez bit before he had had time to “think”.This happens in Rugby and boxing although they are more intense in terms levels of physical contact.It is a very slender mitigation though.

    So he cannot expect anything other than public revulsion at what he has done.He and Liverpool should quietly take the ban keep their heads down and stay shtum,Trying to defend the affair just makes it worse.

    As Souness said after the game,here we have a second Liverpool manager having to defend the indefensible concerning the same player.

  2. That’s now what I said at all Joe. My point was simply that you and others like you seem to be condoning what Suarez has done by making some comparison with reckless tacking.

    The “we” I use here reflects those with the collective view and seemingly the majority who are appalled by Suarez’s actions. You have not understood my point and at this juncture it would appear that you are equally confused by your own point, whatever that is.

    • Again, who is this “we”?

      I’ve not seen anybody else attempt to make the same point you are. To compare Suarez’s bite to a reckless tackle is not to condone it.

      That is a non-sequitur of your own invention; nobody else’s. So speak for yourself.

  3. Mark said “Drawing comparisons like that are ludicrous and you’re argument is invalid immediately because of that in my opinion.

    Do you understand what you have read? That is not a comparison that I am making here. Your response to those who have been horrified by Suarez’s actions and those who defend him are not condoning anything including peadophila, assaults on the elderly or bad tackling. We are condemning all of it. Those defending Suarez point to bad tackles and fouls as if this some how makes his biting an opponent less objectionable. As Keith says above he brought the game into disrepute. Not for the first time and most certainly not for the last. The game is better without scum like him.

    • Who is this “we”, Jeremy? Speak for yourself.

      Surely if you can understand that condemning Suarez is not to condone reckless tackling, you can understand that protesting the sentence is not to defend Suarez?

      You are arguing for and against your own point here.

    • I get that you are condemning all of it, I’m not an idiot, but you still can’t draw those comparisons. Do you not see that no rational person condones the actions of a pedophile or someone who beats up the elderly, I can’t see how you even thought of that, that’s my point.

      If you’ll notice I have not once defended Suarez on biting a player, and I think horrified is slightly over the top assuming your an adult.

      Your problem is your on a which hunt and you want blood, but you’re not willing to even prepared to enter into debate about the possibility that the F.A. are wrong because they have ignored everything else and there is no consistency in their approach.

      Ok since the FA in England are all for taking down people who bring the game in to disrepute, if you’d refer to one of my earlier comments about the English F.A. being racist, how is it they took a Zero tolerance stance for racial abuse at England games, yet when England fans sung racist comments they do nothing only make excuses??? That is a genuine question.

      I am Irish, I am not a Republican and I have a lot of English friends and this isn’t directed at English people in general because I know generally that English people are good, but when England played San Marino recently, the fans sang “No surrender to the I.R.A” that might mean something completely different to you than what it actually means, it’s a neo-nazi, white supremacist, hooligan driven chant.

      How is it your F.A. have no problem with a portion of your people going to a country and tearing up the stadium as long as it’s not your stadium and they have no problem with racist abuse as long as you don’t suffer for it, your media sickens me and the English F.A are doing nothing for the game.

      If you want to talk about bringing the game into disrepute, the lack of transparency brings the game into disrepute, the fact that an English player who can’t explain himself gets a 4 game ban as opposed to a Uruguayan who can explain himself and gets 8, that brings the game into disrepute.

      The fact that a player gets to go in to a tackle at the knee and take the possibility of ending a career and not get anything for it brings the game into disrepute.

      Roy Keane ended Haaland’s career 3 game ban = disrepute.

      Defoe, England International no ban, Sean Hessey Chester City a league two player gets a 5 game ban that brings the game into disrepute.

      If are unwilling to critique your own F.A. it will never evolve and get better.

  4. Suarez condemned himself to ridicule and the full weight of the FA disciplinery code the moment the took that action and bit a fellow player. Who is to blame? Its over he has been charged and given a punishment by the authorities, he has the right of appeal it is up to him to exercise it. It is not about being judgmental, he broke a code of behaviour which brought the game into disrepute, and has been dealt with

  5. You wrote: Those who condemn Suarez (which is you) do not condone bad tackling ANY MORE than they would condone the actions of a paedophile or an assault on a senior citizen.

    You don’t condone bad tackling any more than you would pedophilia or assault on senior citizen. Drawing comparisons like that are ludicrous and you’re argument is invalid immediately because of that in my opinion. I’ll be fair to anybody but you’re walking well outside of the boundaries of what is acceptable in society with those comparisons. Not that Suarez was either, but you’re the first person I have heard ever to draw comparisons like that.

    The F.A need to change the whole system and that is what needs to happen because they are making a joke of themselves and the game.

  6. Well you could look at it that way Joe, if you are really as disingenuous as Rodgers is or as stupid as Carragher is. If you condemn the act in a manner which is as appropriate for something as grotesque as it was then their is a concomitant penalty which you would expect. Players get a 2 match ban for accumulating yellow cards many of which are garnered as a result of relatively trivial matters in the majority of cases.

    Suarez’s actions reflect badly on him. The responses of Rodgers and Carragher reflect badly on themselves as well as their club. They should shut up and accept the punishment.

    Mark; I think you need to read my sentence again and possibly write yours again.

    • It’s pretty self-righteous of you to assert that Rodgers’ views are disingenuous or Carragher’s stupid, Jeremy.

      Here’s a though – maybe some people don’t consider Suarez’s actions to be quite as abhorrent as you do.

  7. This has nothing to do with Suarez origins, but it has a great to do with his repeated propensity to disgusting behaviour. Behaviour which has offended many and for all sorts of reasons and all sorts of incidents. Whether it is a deliberate handball, or biting an opponent not once but twice now in his career.

    I don’t understand what would motivate any human being to bite another person at all, and I’m at a loss to understand those who seek to defend such appalling and abhorrent behaviour. In fact they are even more revolting than Suarez himself. Making comparisons to fouling an opponent is an easy one to resort to. Those who condemn Suarez do not condone bad tackling any more than they would condone the actions of a paedophile or an assault on a senior citizen. That is not the debate here. A rash tackle may be the result of malevolence, but may also result from poor timing and a competitive instinct. The actions of Suarez are those of a revolting and disgusting individual. Rarely can the comments and views of Liverpool supporters can be considered as being driven by a double standard. Justifiably, they seek justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster and have gained the moral ground with the public. Seeking to absolve Suarez and minimize his guilt does exactly the opposite. He should be banned for life for his second bite at this particular cherry, ehr,,,,,, well arm.

    • Jeremy, who has sought to defend Suarez or his behaviour?

      It’s possible to both condemn Suarez’s behaviour AND protest the sentence. That’s what Liverpool and Rodgers are doing.

    • You are after equating not condoning bad tackling to pedophilia and assault on senior citizens and your argument has been lost in the midst.

  8. Johan le Roux Springbok rugby player was banned for 18 months for biting no one in the sport thought that that was harsh, Mike Tyson was fined $3m and had his license revoked for biting Holyfield, without ever a tear being shed. Is there a difference to this and what Suarez did? He was wrong his club no he was wrong take your punishment manly and keep out of the lime light. His actions can not be defended and the authorities have decided on a very lienent fine compared to other sports

  9. What amazes me is the half acceptability of the action, a matter of fact that it wasn’t that bad. Go down to local supermarket and when someone bumps into your trolley grab their arm and bite them. I’m sure you would be charged with assault. Biting is abhorent and unjustifiable a 10 match ban seems to fit the crime, for his own sake Suarez needs to realise this is a crime and he needs to adjust his behaviour, what will it be next he pokes somebodies eye out, this is for his own good and the good of football

  10. Mark has a point. There is a deplorable assumption that only Johnny Foreigner can possibly be guilty of cheating, disreputable behaviour etc. Salut! Sunderland stands proudly by its record of criticising such conduct whoever is responsible (ie including SAFc players where applicable).

    Joe, of course, is spouting nonsense. Please cite the exact part of the exhaustive disciplinary findings that support your contention. We name the series ‘How dare we?’ in honour of people who cannot see why anyone outside their club shd be entitled to a point of view on matters affecting it.

    • Thank you salutsunderland, I am a Liverpool fan, I did enjoy the article and I will hopefully get the chance to read more of your stuff in the future, good to hear you actually look at the whole picture!

  11. I’m led to believe you are just another internet self-publicist regurgitating an opinion that was spoon-fed to him.

    The only reason you would have to believe that Suarez called Evra “a negro” is that this it what was widely mis-reported at the time.

    It begs the question: how many other opinions have you drawn from mis-reported information? Perhaps all of them?

    • Hi Joe,

      Nicely strung together sentence!! I’d like to think you have read the report on the Evra and Suarez case but maybe you haven’t. Suarez admitted to using the word, but the word, depending on pronunciation, may or may not be insulting. I have had this argument a thousand times.

      However the reality of the situation is, you can look at endless amounts of tackles in recent times, by players like Wayne Rooney (His elbow on James McCarthy for instance), the McManaman tackle a few weeks ago that could have ended a players career, Steven Gerrard has endless amounts of them all with no punishment.

      Oh not to mention John Terry getting a 4 game ban for essentially the same thing as Suarez.

      That’s probably not enough to justify what I said earlier but that’s fair enough, maybe we could go for a pint and be friends because I hate keyboard warriors.


      • I’ve read the report many times Mark. Suarez calling Evra “a negro” makes for a good headline but isn’t what happened even if you take the report at face value.

        The exchange took place entirely in Spanish so for Suarez to have called Evra what was reported as “a negro”, he would have had to use the direct Spanish translation.

        Nowhere in the report is it indicated that he did this. What Suarez admitted to was referring to Evra as the Spanish “negro” or the English “black”.

        Given the nuanced context of the case, wouldn’t you agree that the difference between the English racial terms “negro” and “black” is highly significant?

        Nobody has to agree with the position Liverpool took then or now but anybody who doesn’t agree ought to make sure their reasoning is sound – SalutSunderland take note.

        No offence Mark – my exasperation might have got the better of me there.

      • I do agree that the difference is huge.

        I’m not sure I understand you’re position on this issue, are you saying it’s more complicated than it’s being given credit for or less complicated?

        I think when you look at the evidence and strictly the evidence he has to get a ban, but then at the same time due to the complexities of the situation and looking at it culturally and socially a degree of empathy has to be involved towards Suarez.

        I won’t be throwing the Evra- boy who cried wolf story out because, that, in my opinion is childish. But we have to remember on the field of play the sport is global not just English (while I must thank the English for inventing the most wonderful sport in the world). It is important to remember other cultures exist and we have to be open to them. As I grew up I knew the beautiful game as a one language sport, and an exchange between two players should have been dealt with differently in my opinion by everybody, including Manchester United and the F.A.

        I think the situation was an awful lot bigger than Suarez and Evra and it was taken as such by the F.A. but they messed up with Terry.

        Just for clarification purposes, is you’re understanding of the word an insult or banter?

        No offence taken, only here for some friendly banter and debate and it’s enjoyable.

      • My position is that, as a quasi-judicial body, the FA, or any FA appointed commission, does not have the competence to preside over public order offences.

        You say look at the evidence – I say what evidence? Neither Suarez’s admission nor Evra’s allegation were recorded and nobody witnessed the exchange.

        All the evidence submitted was contemporaneous and based on nothing but the recollection of events by Suarez and Evra during and after the incident. The commission did not prove which version of events actually occurred; they merely established which version of events they interpreted to be more likely.

        I don’t contend that Suarez wasn’t guilty, just that in the real world, the case would have been dismissed before it got to court.

        Suarez’s admitted to making a racial reference. That was the only evidence of any substance in the entire report. The civil standard of proof mean’t that was enough to find him guilty regardless of intent, context or language. So why didn’t the commission just do that?

        By finding him guilty based on the inconsistent evidence submitted, the commission missed an opportunity to examine what constitutes racial abuse in English professional football. They could have examined the cultural implications further and established whether or not racial references on an English football pitch should always be considered abusive irrespective of the intent, context or language.

        They could have set a useful precedent.

  12. What is funny about this is that had Suarez been English he’d have gotten away with that, try me for an argument!! The FA in England have double standards that is a fact, and it’s racism in itself, so get down of your high horse calling Suarez this and that. Also not condoning his actions with Evra but had you to do some research into how languages are used it’s the pronunciation of the word that makes it different in South America. If you need any evidence of English players that get away with everything then come back to me. The league will quickly get rid of all of the best players in the world and you’ll be left with Jack Wilshere!

  13. I thought you lot would be pleased. At least it’s taken the heat off Di Canio, and the ridiculous media witch-hunt we’ve seen against him for the past 3 weeks…….. 🙂

      • Mark, you have absolutely no idea how comtemptible your drivel above is, especially coming from a ‘Liverpool’ fan.

      • And equally, you have absolutely no idea how contemptible your “especially coming from a Liverpool fan” remark is.

        What is that supposed to mean you miserable hypocrite?

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