It’s an irony that Liverpool’s QC did not seek to attack the veracity of Evra given the bile of fans and the Liverpool management. That’s probably the only thing they could have done and even then with an entry level of 4 game ban at best they would have tempered the ban.
The panel made great play that Evra’s evidence was credible and consistent. It was also consistent with his reactions to the events that unfolded on the pitch. Whereas Suárez account contradicted to a degree contemporaneous accounts of Comolli and Dirk Kuyt – Comolli does not come out well in my view either.
Nonetheless even someone with my low view of Evra finds clearly that the term ‘negro’ was used abusively to him, several times. The abuse was considered and not a one off action which in view of the minimum ban being 4 matches a ban of 8 encompassing many cup ties and avoiding a tedious build up to a clash at Old Trafford seems not to be perverse.
The FA has ignored all the other insults offered by Evra and allegedly Kuyt. However as we know sledging in sport is a fact of life. The FA is right to draw the line at racial abuse in my opinion. Calling someone a ‘cunt’ may be distasteful but its not going to cause the damage on the playground or estates that allowing the likes of Suárez to get off would do.
In the end Evra should get credit for drawing attention to this. Gordon Taylor and Blatter would have everyone shake hands over a cup of tea and brush it under the carpet. It should not be.
Suárez on pitch behaviour is among the worst I have seen anyway. What would be nice is if he were to come out and accept he did wrong and that what he did has no place on a football field. That would be a positive outcome. If he and Liverpool allow this to be a everyone’s against us then that will show the complete lack of perspective of football fans.
I’d like to think John Henry and New England Sports Ventures will consider the behaviour of the Director of Football, manager, club and the players in this.
Heads should roll.