Liverpool’s Luis Suarez is Manchester United fan who just needs to apologise
Back in November 2011, Luis Suarez told media
“Now we have to wait to see this issue decided and then the Manchester player and I will have to clear things up. Depending on who ends up in the wrong, one of us will have to apologise.”
But which one, Luis, who says:
“I will carry out the suspension with the resignation of someone who hasn’t done anything wrong and who feels extremely upset by the events. I do feel sorry for the fans and for my team mates whom I will not be able to help during the next month. It will be a very difficult time for me.”
Maybe something has been lost in the translation but Luis Suarez sounds like a man full of self-pity rather then one about to “clear things up”.
Does he not know that the FA saved his career? Had they not said, “This case is not about whether Mr Suarez is in fact a racist. Indeed, the commission will no doubt conclude that there are some indications that he is not”, he’d be dead in the water. If what he say what an error based in cultural nuance, then say sorry. The lack of contrition – the lack of understanding that calling a black man a negro seven times in the space of a few minutes might cause offence – is lamentable.
Suarez has not bene helped by the local press and Liverpool, who have behaved pathetically. Why was Suarez banned for eight matches? Says Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager:
“Maybe wrong place, wrong time. It could have been anybody.”
The wrong place being, presumably, not Suarez’s native Uruguay where what the English call racial abuse is accepted. “Negro” is not racist, says Saurez. Dalglish agrees, offering after defeat to Manchester City:
Reporter: “Kenny, the wider world is pretty shocked that, if a player can call someone ‘negro’ and the player who is the victim in this takes offence, that there is no apology or contrition offered from your club.”
Dalglish: “I would have thought that, if you pronounced the word properly, you maybe understand it better. I think it was Spanish he was speaking and I don’t think you were speaking Spanish there.”
Reporter: “OK, if a player calls someone ‘negro’ [Spanish pronunciation], surely the player who takes offence deserves an apology?”
Dalglish: “Ask a linguistic expert, which certainly I am not. They will tell you that the part of the country in Uruguay where he [Luis Suárez] comes from, it is perfectly acceptable. His wife calls him that and I don’t think he is offended by her. We have made a statement and I think it is there for everybody to read. Luis has made a brilliant statement and we will stand by him.”
Reporter: “But the FA verdict said it was ‘simply incredible’ to suggest it wasn’t used in an offensive way when they were clearly arguing and it wasn’t friendly.”
Dalglish: “There’s a lot of things we’d like to say and a lot we could say but we would only get ourselves in trouble. We are not trying to be evasive … well, we are being evasive because we don’t like getting ourselves in trouble. But we know what has gone on. We know what is not in the report and that’s important for us. So without me getting ourselves in trouble, I think that’s it finished.”
Liverpool look bad. They allude to a conspiracy and then take the moral high ground. And of that desire to get Liverpool, was Damien Comolli, the Liverpool director of football, in on it, then? It was he who went to the referee’s room at Anfield after the incident and told the officials that the word “negro” had been used by Suárez in his spat with Evra.
And then there was Liverpool’s statement in which they sacrificed truth and justice for the bigger cause. How very noble:
“Continuing a fight for justice in this particular case beyond today would only obscure the fact that the club wholeheartedly supports the efforts of the Football Association, the Football League and the Premier League to put an end to any form of racism in English football. It is time to put the Luis Suárez matter to rest and for all of us, going forward, to work together to stamp out racism in every form both inside and outside the sport. It is for this reason that we will not appeal the eight-game suspension of Luis Suárez.”
The last words are with Tony Evans, the Times football editor who nails Suarez and his supporters:
In September, a mere handful of Liverpool fans would have even heard the term negrito. Now they are experts in the semantics of Hispanic slang, describing in detail how it is a term of affection. Well, if Suárez was being affectionate to a United player during a game, the club should crack down on him. An eight-game ban? Surely that should be a sackable offence?
Is Suarez a United fan? Now, that might really bury him at Liverpool…