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  • Robert M Robert M Apr 26, 2013 07:47 Flag


    Dave, sorry about the threading. I can't make any sense of it.

    I'd make two points which I think might have a bearing on the sentence. Both are in the realm of speculation. We'll hopefully know soon.

    The first is that the football authorities might want to penalise in an exemplary way a behaviour which is exceptional and which they don't wish to see become part of football. They would recognise it as not being as violent as, say, Sturridge's kick on Bertrand but wish to penalise it more firmly anyway. There are already two precedents for this. One is the racial abuse. That is given four, eight, ten matches by authorities. The other, which has seemingly passed by this debate, is shoving of referees. Referees don't get injured when shoved by players but we regard it as an attack on the game and it has been punished by ten and eleven match bans. In this light I think it is plausible for the authorities to regard a new form of bad behaviour as something to be, er, stamped on rather firmly.

    The other is whether Suarez compounded the issue at the time by lying to the referee. Remember when Hazard was sent off for tickling the ball boy. Before he went Chris Foy had a discussion with him and Lampard. It appeared that before the discussion Foy wasn't reaching for the red card but after some words were said he brought it out. My impression is he asked Hazzard what happened and Hazzard said he kicked the ball when the ball boy was on it and that was that. In this case the ref ought to have asked Suarez about Ivanovic's complaint and Suarez, being Suarez, would have given the JT response so the ref didn't penalise him. Then in the ref's report he tells the FA he let Suarez stay on because Suarez had lied to him, thus resulting in Liverpool getting a point and denying Chelsea two that they almost certainly would have got, the FA might consider this needs a bigger ban. You might remember the FA initially said that A three match ban for Hazzard was plainly not enough too.

    I admit that is highly speculative. It in fact looks like the ref didn't ask Suarez anything and Suarez doesn't seem to be denying anything. Instead the ref just appears to be telling both Ivanovic and Suarez to calm it down and Suarez looks rather relieved. I hope that whatever happened here is detailed in the report.