The FA has released a document explaining the reasoning behind Luis Suarez’s 8 match ban. Unfortunately, the document itself is 115 pages long. I have attached the document at the bottom of this article however here are some short extracts from the document.
In the summary of the case, the following was written:
“The FA’s case, in short, was as follows. In the goalmouth, Mr Evra and Mr Suarez spoke to
each other in Spanish. Mr Evra asked Mr Suarez why he had kicked him, referring to the
foul five minutes previously. Mr Suarez replied “Porque tu eres negro”, meaning “Because
you are black”. Mr Evra then said to Mr Suarez “say it to me again, I’m going to punch
you”. Mr Suarez replied “No hablo con los negros”, meaning “I don’t speak to blacks”. Mr
Evra continued by saying that he now thought he was going to punch Mr Suarez. Mr
Suarez replied “Dale, negro, negro, negro”, which meant “okay, blackie, blackie, blackie”.
As Mr Suarez said this, he reached out to touch Mr Evra’s arm, gesturing at his skin. Mr
Kuyt then intervened. When the referee blew his whistle and called the players over to
him shortly after the exchanges in the goalmouth, Mr Evra said to the referee “ref, ref, he
just called me a fucking black”.“
“Mr Suarez denied the Charge. His case, in short, was as follows. He agreed with Mr Evra
that they spoke to each other in Spanish in the goalmouth. When Mr Evra asked why he
had kicked him, Mr Suarez replied that it was a normal foul and shrugged his shoulders.
Mr Evra then said that he was going to kick Mr Suarez, to which Mr Suarez told him to
shut up. As Mr Kuyt was approaching, Mr Suarez touched Mr Evra’s left arm in a
pinching style movement. According to Mr Suarez, at no point in the goalmouth did he
use the word “negro”. When the referee blew his whistle to stop play, Mr Evra spoke to Mr
Suarez and said (in English) “Don’t touch me, South American”. Mr Suarez replied “Por
que, negro?”. He says that he used the word “negro” in a way with which he was familiar
from his upbringing in Uruguay. In this sense, Mr Suarez claimed, it is used as a noun and
as a friendly form of address to people seen as black or brown-skinned (or even just blackhaired). Thus, it meant “Why, black?” Mr Suarez maintained that when he said “Por que,
negro?” to Mr Evra, it was intended in a conciliatory and friendly way. Mr Suarez said this
was the only time that he used the word “negro” in his exchanges with Mr Evra during
The document went on to give information on the evidence given; personal accounts of the officials, players and management from both teams. Evidence was also taken from linguistics experts. After careful consideration of each account the FA made their conclusion.
The FA’s conclusion to the case:
“The FA made the following submissions on penalty.
The correct approach is to consider the imposition of an increased sanction, taking into
account the fact that the entry point is double that which the Commission would have 103
applied had the aggravating factor not been present (bearing in mind that this would be
the first offence of Mr Suarez). The Commission might well conclude that, had the
aggravating factor not been present, a two match ban would, in accordance with
Paragraph 8(d), have been applied. If so, that makes the entry point a four match ban. The
Commission should then consider whether to impose a sanction greater or less than this
entry point, having regard to the aggravating and mitigating factors that are present.
Having dealt with the approach to be taken, the FA then made submissions as to the
particular factors which we should take into account.
The FA submitted that an increased sanction was required both to punish Mr Suarez and
also to ensure that it is widely understood that the FA deprecates and will not accept racist
behaviour. In other words, a deterrent sanction is called for.
Furthermore, the FA submitted, a number of aggravating factors justifying a further
increase in the sanction are present.
First, Mr Suarez is an international footballer of exceptional ability, playing for one of the
best-known clubs in the world. His position carries with it a particular degree of
responsibility. His conduct amounts to a serious breach of that responsibility. The conduct
of Mr Suarez also undermines FA-supported programmes such as the anti-racism “Kick It
Out” campaign by suggesting to the young, naive and ignorant that racially offensive
language and behaviour is acceptable.
Secondly, the FA submitted that the nature and extent of the misconduct of Mr Suarez was
an obviously relevant factor. Given the number of times that Mr Suarez used the word
“negro”, his conduct is significantly more serious than a one-off use of a racially offensive
term and amounts to an aggravating factor
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.“
The document can be seen here.
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