Tag Archives: commission

Luis Suarez latest Liverpool will NOT appeal ten-match ban for bite

Suarez will NOT appeal 10-match FA ban for biting Ivanovic… and it's his own decision

PUBLISHED:

12:40 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Luis Suarez will not appeal the 10-match ban handed to him by the FA for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez had until midday today to lodge an appeal, with the club reportedly leaving the decision to the Uruguayan himself.

The 26-year-old had already accepted the three-match suspension for violent conduct, but will not contest the additional punishment.

Scroll down for video of Brendan Rodgers Press Conference

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

Appeal: Suarez has decided to fight against the 10-match ban he was handed by the Football Association

A three-person Independent Regulatory Commission upheld The FA’s claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will now serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three.

The suspension begins with immediate effect and applies to Liverpool's next ten domestic first-team fixtures.

Closed: Suarez during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on Wednesday

Closed: Suarez during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on Wednesday

Blame game: Graham Poll is relieved referee Kevin Friend (right) was not blamed for missing the incident

Blame game: Graham Poll is relieved referee Kevin Friend (right) was not blamed for missing the incident

Prime Minister David Cameron said today that Suarez's bite on Ivanovic set an 'appalling example' to his seven-year-old son.

Cameron told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that his intervention in the matter was merely that of a concerned father.

'I made my own views clear just as a dad watching the game,' he said.

Prime criticism: Even Prime Minister David Cameron, seen here appearing on BBC Breakfast, told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that players behaving like this sets an 'appalling example'

Prime criticism: Even Prime Minister David Cameron, seen here appearing on BBC Breakfast this morning, told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that players behaving like this sets an 'appalling example'

'I've got a seven-year-old son who just loves watching football and when players behave like this it just sets the most appalling example to young people in our country.'

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers yesterday accused the FA of double standards and throwing Suarez out with the ‘garbage’.

Rodgers spoke publicly
yesterday for the first time since Suarez was banned for 10 games for
biting Ivanovic.

And he did not hold back,
insisting the punishment was ‘not right’ and ‘too severe’.

Goalkeeper
Pepe Reina went even further, saying it was ‘absurd, out of proportion
and unfair’ and that the authorities had ‘got it in for Luis’.

He needs help: Suarez has launched an impassioned defence of his under-fire striker

He needs help: Suarez has launched an impassioned defence of his under-fire striker

Brendan Rodgers 'shocked' by length of Suarez ban

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Rodgers believes the three-person Independent Regulatory Committee that imposed the ban were prejudiced by the fact the FA had already announced they considered the offence worthy of more than a three-match ban.

Further to that, he claimed the FA’s disciplinary procedures were inconsistent and said he was mystified by the Prime Minister’s decision to enter the debate.

Rodgers said: ‘Luis has not let me down one bit. He is a player who fell well below the standards of this football club but that doesn’t mean he should be thrown to the garbage, which is what has happened from a lot of people these last few days.

Luis Suarez is seen laughing and joking with his team-mates

Luis Suarez is seen laughing and joking with his team-mates

In the mix: Suarez looked in high spirits during this afternoon's training session on Merseyside

‘I certainly won’t be prepared to do
that. I don’t believe the sanction fits with what he did. There’s no
doubt if you have those high-profile figures making those sorts of
statements, there will be a bias.

‘It’s human nature. If you have people reading and listening to things,
when they sit down to talk about it supposedly for the first time,
people would argue whether they already had a decision in their minds.
That process, for me, would need to change.

‘You have an FA council member, an FA county representative and an
ex-player, so I don’t know how it is independent. That has to be looked
at and this is probably not the first time it’s been said.

All smiles: Luis Suarez trains with Liverpool the day after he was hit with a ten-game ban

All smiles: Luis Suarez trains with Liverpool the day after he was hit with a ten-game ban

‘I felt Luis would maybe get more than three games. But we had hoped
there would be something in there that would allow him a greater
opportunity to rehabilitate. The bigger thing in all of this is to try
to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’

Rodgers made a clumsy analogy yesterday in comparing Suarez’s moment of madness to a tennis player smashing his racket.

But he argued that the length of the punishment was unfair in comparison
to two similar cases in 2006; one saw Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe escape
punishment for biting West Ham’s Javier Mascherano, while the other saw
Chester’s Sean Hessey receive five matches for biting Stockport’s Liam
Dickinson.

‘I feel the punishment has been against the man rather than the
incident,’ Rodgers said. ‘That is my underlying feeling. There was
euphoria around the time that it happened. Everyone has their opinion.
That’s fine. But when you come away and assess it in the cold light of
day, it was violent conduct.’

Bite club: Suarez sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic during the Premier League match at Anfield

Bite club: Suarez sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic during the Premier League match at Anfield

JAMIE CARRAGHER'S VERDICT

CLICK HERE: Luis was wrong, but before we hound him out let's remember other Liverpool legends were not exactly saints

Again, of course, there is a flaw in Rodgers’ argument. The FA stated
their case that a three-game ban for Suarez was insufficient on the same
day it was revealed Suarez felt three games was ample.

Both sides
stated their positions and it was then left to the independent committee
to make a decision.

The committee can take into consideration past misdemeanours and the
fact Suarez had been banned for 10 games in his Liverpool career, not to
mention his seven-match suspension at Ajax for biting PSV Eindhoven’s
Otman Bakkal, would have counted against him.

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

The FA have also not always been successful in arguing for longer
suspensions. In January, an independent panel decided a three-game ban
for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was sufficient after he tangled with a
Swansea ball boy. On that occasion the FA had called for a longer ban,
too.

Pardew baffled by FA action

Alan Pardew has branded the FA’s disciplinary system flawed and wants the organisation’s decisions to be more consistent.

The Newcastle manager hit out after Wigan’s Callum McManaman escaped a ban for his horror challenge on Toon defender Massadio Hadaira but Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was banned for 10 games after biting Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea.

‘I don’t think that’s reasonable,’ Pardew said. ‘That is a flaw in the system. All Premier League managers are looking for that committee to give us the answers as to why. You’re always going to have grey areas when it comes to discipline and fines but at least have some consistency. It’s consistency of punishments we’re looking for.

‘The FA need to answer why it was 10 games for Suarez. It’s interesting why it was.’

Suarez serves the first game of his ban when Liverpool play at Newcastle on Saturday.

Liverpool have promised to stand by Suarez, regardless of whether he
appeals, but they are aware his ban could be increased at a new hearing.
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann said yesterday Suarez should
‘accept it and get on with it’.

Rodgers, in a club suit at the Melwood training ground rather than his
customary tracksuit, has spoken several times with Suarez and his agent,
Pere Guardiola, in recent days. There will be more discussions and
Suarez will train as normal. But Rodgers admitted the club’s greatest
asset may consider whether he wants to continue playing in England.

‘This is a guy who I see on a daily basis trying very hard,’ said
Rodgers. ‘His passions in life are his family and Liverpool Football
Club. It is part of his make-up, you can’t change that. But he is trying
to adapt the traits he has grown up with to the culture here.

‘Each time he makes a step forward we beat him with a stick and beat him
down. I can understand if he felt like that in a moment of reflection.

‘Am I worried he will knock on my door I am not thinking about that. I
can guide him, like I’ve done this year, and will tell him when he’s
done wrong. We will plan for the future with Luis. There is no other
thought. Luis is very much a player I believe will be here.’

Bayern Munich, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with
Suarez but Rodgers added: ‘I’ve had a lot of discussions with Pere
Guardiola that have been very strong. They are very happy with what the
club has done, not only to protect the player but to support him.

‘The objective is to make sure it doesn’t happen again and that is at the forefront of our minds.’

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

VIDEO Liverpool's Managing Director on Suarez controversy

Liverpool to stand by Suarez

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Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Luis Suarez appears to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

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Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

It's not the first time Suarez has used his teeth

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OTHER SUAREZ CONTROVERSIES

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is back in the spotlight after appearing to bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the arm during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Anfield, going on to score a late equaliser.

Here are some of the previous controversies surrounding the Uruguayan forward.

February 2007: Suarez made his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia but was sent off in the final minutes after being shown a second yellow card for dissent.

November 2007: Joined Ajax from Uruguayan side Nacional but he was later suspended by the Dutch giants after a half-time dressing-room altercation with team-mate Albert Luque.

July 2010: During the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, Suarez prevented Ghana's Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and was subsequently sent off. A penalty was awarded but missed by Asamoah Gyan and footage showed Suarez celebrating on the sidelines. Uruguay eventually went through to the last four on penalties.

November 2010: Suarez was handed a seven-match ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.

October 2011: Following his move to Liverpool in January 2011, he was involved in a tackle with Everton's Jack Rodwell and goes down with apparent minimal contact. Rodwell was then sent off.

October 2011: Suarez was alleged to have racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra during a Premier League match. Suarez was later found guilty by an independent regulatory commission and banned for eight matches and fined 40,000.

December 2011: Was seen making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans. At this time he had already been charged by the Football Association over the racism incident, although not yet punished, but was handed a further one-match ban for the gesture.

February 2012: United and Liverpool met again at Old Trafford, but more controversy blew up as Suarez refused to shake Evra's hand before kick-off.

October 2012: Celebrated a goal against Everton by diving in front of Toffees boss David Moyes who had earlier claimed that 'divers' such as Suarez were putting fans off the English game.

January 2013: Handles the ball prior to scoring Liverpool's winner in the FA Cup third round tie at Mansfield.

April 2013: Bites Branislav Ivanovic on the arm but
escapes punishment on the pitch as the referee fails to see it, and
scores Liverpool's equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time as they
draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Anfield. Fined by club the following day and
charged with violent conduct by the FA. Subsequently handed a 10-match
ban by an independent regulatory commission.

Neil Lennon unhappy that Rangers are to keep league titles

Lennon unhappy that Rangers are to keep league titles despite being found guilty of undisclosed payments

By
Ronnie Esplin

PUBLISHED:

15:54 GMT, 1 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:08 GMT, 1 March 2013

Neil Lennon struggled to hide his unhappiness at the punishment imposed yesterday on oldco Rangers by an independent commission who found the Ibrox club guilty of undisclosed payments to players.

The three-man Scottish Premier League-appointed body – chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith – handed out a fine of 250,000 for not disclosing side-letter arrangements during 2000-2011.

However, the Ibrox club avoided the most severe possible sanction of losing up to five SPL titles won during the period investigated after the commission ruled Rangers 'did not gain any unfair competitive advantage'.

Unhappy: Celtic manager Neil Lennon feels Rangers haven't been punished harshly enough

Unhappy: Celtic manager Neil Lennon feels Rangers haven't been punished harshly enough

Ahead of the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final tie against St Mirren in Paisley tomorrow, the Celtic boss appeared angry when asked about the verdict.

'I only saw some snippets in the paper today, I believe they were found guilty of paying 47million over 11 years in non-disclosed payments.

'Am I surprised at that, no

Rare boost: Ally McCoist has had little reason to celebrate since succeeding Walter Smith as Rangers boss

Rare boost: Ally McCoist has had little reason to celebrate since succeeding Walter Smith as Rangers boss

'As regards the competitive advantage they gained or didn’t gain, a lot of other people will have a say on that, I have my own views on that but I will keep that to myself for now.

'I don’t want to take anything away from what my team and club are doing.

'The way we behave, the way we do our business has been impeccable and that’s the reason why we are in the position we are in now.'

When asked about the belief from
Ibrox that the club were vindicated by the decision, the former Hoops
skipper said: 'Maybe that’s because they got their own way.

'It
wasn’t our fight, it was the SPL, they brought up the tribunal against
Rangers, it doesn’t affect us, we have the quarter-final to prepare for
and we are playing Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions league.'

Focused: Lennon must prepare his side to travel to Juventus in the Champions League

Focused: Lennon must prepare his side to travel to Juventus in the Champions League

Celtic said in a statement they
are 'surprised' by the Scottish Premier League-appointed commission's
conclusion.

The statement continued: 'Throughout
this matter, Celtic has refrained from comment on the affairs of Rangers
FC while the various tribunals and commissions went about their work.

'We will continue to concentrate on
our own affairs, and assure our supporters that at all times we will
operate within both the rules of our governing bodies and the law of the
land.

'Our Club is in a great place at the
moment and we are enjoying a fantastic season, maintaining our position
at the top of Scottish football and enjoying huge success and profile
across European football.

'We ask our fans to unite with us
once again as we look ahead to the rest of the season, to the Scottish
Cup on Saturday, to the UEFA Champions League next week and to an
exciting future with a young squad of high quality players and a
talented manager in Neil Lennon.

'Our fans have been magnificent this
season, home and away, and as we head towards the end of the season,
now, more than ever, we need our fans to be with us and to back the team
and the club. We sincerely thank our fans for their continued support.'

Stephen Lee being investigated over match-fixing allegations

Lee has 'case to answer' as World Snooker Association investigate match-fixing allegations

is ongoing.'

The rules that Lee will face a hearing over relate to betting, specifically providing information that 'is not publicly available” and deliberately influencing “the outcome or conduct of a game or frame'.

FULL WPBSA STATEMENT

As a result of the referral by the Gambling Commission on 5th October 2012, Nigel Mawer the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA, launched an investigation into alleged match fixing by Stephen Lee in relation to matches at the Malta Cup 2008, the UK Championship 2008, the China Open in 2009 and the World Championship 2009.

The WPBSA has gathered a large amount of material from the Gambling Commission, West Midlands police and third parties in relation to these allegations. This has been a complex investigation where the material has had to be traced, recovered and re-evaluated with regard to the WPBSA rules.

The available evidence has now been considered and in accordance with the Disciplinary Rules, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee has decided that there is a case for Stephen Lee to answer in relation to a breach of the WPBSA Members Rules. These alleged breaches relate to four matches at the Malta Cup 2008, two matches at the UK Championship 2008, one match at the China Open 2009 and one match at the World Championship 2009.

The case will be heard at a formal independent hearing arranged by Sport Resolutions UK at a date to be arranged.

Stephen Lee is currently suspended from competition and Jason Ferguson, the Chairman of the WPBSA, has decided that the suspension will remain in force until the conclusion of the hearing or hearings and the determination of this matter.

The investigation into the suspicious betting in relation to Stephen Lee's Premier League match with John Higgins on 11th October 2012 is ongoing.

1. WPBSA Members Rules and Regulations (2008-9): Section II

2.8 A Member shall not provide to any other person any information relating to snooker or billiards which that Member has by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available with the intention that it be used by the other person for or in relation to betting.

2.9 A Member shall not directly or indirectly:

2.9.1 solicit or attempt to solicit any person (whether a Member or not) to enter into any arrangement (whether or not in return for payment or any other form of remuneration or benefit);

2.9.2 agree or attempt to agree any arrangement (whether or not in return for payment or any other form of remuneration or benefit); or

2.9.3 accept or receive or offer to receive or give or offer to give, payment or any other form of remuneration or benefit, in connection with influencing (in any way) the outcome or conduct of a game or frame (or any other part thereof) of snooker or billiards.

Lance Armstrong given two week deadline extension on co-operation with investigators

Disgraced Armstrong given two week extension on investigation co-operation deadline

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

01:41 GMT, 7 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:42 GMT, 7 February 2013

The US Anti-Doping Agency have announced Lance Armstrong wants to 'assist in the effort to clean up the sport of cycling' and have given the disgraced cyclist a two-week extension to co-operate with investigators.

Armstrong had been given until yesterday to confess all under oath after admitting to doping during each of his seven Tour de France triumphs in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey last month.

However, USADA have set a new deadline.

Extension: Lance has two more weeks to co-operate

Extension: Lance has two more weeks to co-operate

Chief executive Travis Tygart said in a statement: 'We have been in communication with Mr. Armstrong and his representatives and we understand that he does want to be part of the solution and assist in the effort to clean up the sport of cycling.

'We have agreed to his request for an additional two weeks to work on details to hopefully allow for this to happen.'

USADA revealed last year that Armstrong had led 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen'.

The UCI, cycling's world governing body, stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour titles – none of which were reassigned – and he was banned from sport for life.

Armstrong told Winfrey he would 'be the first man through the door' to take part in a truth and reconciliation hearing.

First man: Lance said he would not be the last person 'through the door'

First man: Lance said he would not be the last person 'through the door'

And in an email interview with cyclingnews.com, the American was adamant a truth and reconciliation commission is the only way forward for all endurance sports.

'It's not the best way, it's the only way,' he said.

'As much as I'm the eye of the storm this is not about one man, one team, one director.

'This is about cycling and to be frank it's about ALL endurance sports.'

Armstrong stated the UCI should not be involved in a TRC, believing the World Anti-Doping Agency should lead it.

Asked why WADA and not USADA should run the process, Armstrong said: 'No brainer. This is a global sport not an American one. One thing I'd add – the UCI has no place at the table.

'When I was on speaking terms with ol' Pat McQuaid (the UCI president) many, many months ago I said, 'Pat, you better think bold here. A full-blown, global, TRC is our sport's best solution.' He wanted to hear nothing of it.'

Australian government investigation unearths widespread use of banned drugs in professional sport

Australia rocked as investigation unearths widespread use of banned drugs, links to match fixing and organised crime in professional sport

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

02:24 GMT, 7 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:26 GMT, 7 February 2013

Professional sport in Australia is set to be rocked to its core after an Australian Crime Commission (ACC) investigation uncovered widespread use of performance enhancing drugs in Australian sport as well as links to match fixing and organised crime.

A federal government press conference revealed that the ACC has conducted a 12-month investigation into the link between drugs and professional sport entitled 'Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport'.

'There are clear parallels between what has been discovered in Australia and the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong, which underlines the transnational threat posed by doping to professional sport, both from a “fair play” perspective and as a broader integrity issue,' said the report.

Painful viewing: NRL CEO David Smith speaks to media after a 12 month investigation into Australian sport uncovered the possibility of match fixing, drugs in sport and links to organised crime

Painful viewing: NRL CEO David Smith speaks to media after a 12 month investigation into Australian sport uncovered the possibility of match fixing, drugs in sport and links to organised crime

'The ACC has demonstrated through this project that the threat posed by the PIEDs (performance and image enhancing drugs) market and related criminal activities to the integrity of sport in Australia, and organised crime attempts to infiltrate the professional sports sector in this country, exhibits many of the characteristics identified in the USADA investigation of Armstrong's activities in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s.

'The difference is that the Australian threat is current, crosses sporting codes and is evolving.'

Legal constraints prevent the identification of any particular code, particular teams or particular athletes, but Minister for Justice Jason Clare emphasised that no code was immune.

The heads of the major sporting bodies were at the announcement of the report with Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, ARU CEO Bill Pulver and NRL CEO David Smith all voicing their shock at the outcomes of the report.

'These are serious matters that require immediate action and the development of a longer term plan,' a statement from COMPPS, which represents all the major sporting bodies, said.

'The integrity of sport as a whole, and our specific codes, is paramount. We have commenced taking action and will work closely with the government on a longer term plan.'

Harsh realities: AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou leaves a press conference at Parliament House

Harsh realities: AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou leaves a press conference at Parliament House

As a result of the magnitude of the inquiry, the federal government has doubled ASADA's (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) resources to tackle this issue.

Sports scientists are set to be at the centre of the ASADA investigations, while the ACC has confirmed that criminal offences have been disclosed by players during the course of their investigation.

'The ACC has identified specific high-performance staff, sports scientists and coaches within some codes who have condoned and/or orchestrated the administration of prohibited substances, and substances not yet approved for human consumption, to players,' said the report.

'In some cases, peptides and other substances were administered to players without them understanding the nature of the substances, and without the knowledge of the team doctor or club medical staff.'

Any athlete found to have breached World Anti-Doping Agency protocols faces a minimum two-year ban from professional sport.

The involvement of organised crime has also raised the spectre of match fixing with the government and all sporting codes moving to beef up integrity measures.

'The ACC has identified an increasing number of associations of concern between professional athletes and organised criminal identities in Australia,' added the report.

'The ACC's 2011 assessment of Threats to the Integrity of Professional Sport in Australia, noted that as the amount of money wagered on sports increases, associations with athletes or other individuals with the ability to influence a sporting contest, or provide inside information, will be increasingly sought after.'

Luis Suarez interview: Liverpool striker says people can call him racist, diver and cheat but he sleeps soundly every night

LUIS SUAREZ EXCLUSIVE: Racist Diver Cheat People can call me what they want but I still sleep soundly every night
The Liverpool star discusses what it is like to be one of football's most reviled figures in his first major interview
'What matters most to me is my family, the Liverpool fans and the team. Anything else that goes on is not my problem''Liverpool are the club I wanted to play for, and now that I’m here, I want to stay for a long time'

|

UPDATED:

23:11 GMT, 22 December 2012

Luis Suarez never directly expresses his exasperation. He is polite, engaging and thoughtful. But he sits with arms folded for most of the interview, as though he fears that judgment has already been made and that nothing he can say will change the verdict.

The controversies are well recorded: his abuse of the Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, which the FA deemed a racial slur, a verdict Suarez still disputes; his reputation for too readily going to ground in the penalty area; his handball on the line that prevented Ghana from progressing to the 2010 World Cup semi-finals; and his general aggression on the pitch.

Suarez, 25, gives the impression that the insults which come his way as a result of his reputation are of no consequence and that the support of his family and his football club, Liverpool, are all he needs. Indeed, he is dismissive of the suggestion that, as a result of the Evra affair — for which Suarez served an eight-match ban — many would now regard him as racist, even though the FA Disciplinary Commission made it clear in their judgment that they did not.

At ease: Luis Suarez says he is unconcerned with the criticism he attracts

At ease: Luis Suarez says he is unconcerned with the criticism he attracts

‘I still sleep soundly every night,’ insists Suarez. ‘I’m not worried about everything people say. I don’t care what people outside Liverpool think.’

Suarez has always maintained that the Spanish word he admits using in his infamous clash with Evra, ‘negrito’, can, at times, be acceptable in his native Uruguay. Suarez now knows that it is not acceptable in England to refer to somebody’s race in this way, but he claims that he remains perplexed by the response to the incident.

‘I don’t understand, but that’s football,’ he says. ‘It’s in the past now. I fought hard to get where I am and now all I care about is playing football for Liverpool.’

He even remains outwardly unmoved by the fact that Chelsea’s former England captain, John Terry, received a four-match ban for racial abuse, half the punishment meted out to Suarez. ‘They’re different situations,’ he says. ‘Terry is Terry and Suarez is Suarez — they’re different issues, and I never cared about the Terry case.’

Yet, tellingly, when it comes to other aspects of the way he is perceived, Suarez does want to explain. On the diving, he wants people to know what it is like to have muscular 6ft 2in centre-halves bearing down on you as you run towards goal or attempt a cute turn.

Going to ground: Suarez falls after a challenge from Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen

Going to ground: Suarez falls after a challenge from Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen

‘Sometimes you’re standing there and someone comes flying in, so you move your leg out of the way or you go to ground because you’re scared of getting hit,’ he says. ‘If I leave my leg there so the referee can see it’s a foul, I risk suffering a big injury. That’s why sometimes your instinct tells you to go to ground. It’s a split-second instinct, not a conscious decision you make on the pitch. Of course, I don’t want people to go around saying “this guy just dives”.’

The swallow-dive celebration Suarez performed in front of David Moyes after his goal in the Merseyside derby in October was the Uruguayan’s response to pre-match accusations of diving from the Everton manager, a riposte made even more pleasing when Everton captain Phil Neville was booked for simulation in the same game.

‘Everton was a special case, because the Everton manager came out and spoke about me before the match, saying that people like me are going to turn supporters off going to matches,’ says Suarez.

‘And then, in the match, the Everton captain dived. So that’s why sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut. Moyes can talk about me if he knows me, or at least after the match, but before the match it’s not right.’

Courting controversy: Suarez celebrated his goal in the Merseyside derby with a dive in front of Everton boss David Moyes

Courting controversy: Suarez celebrated his goal in the Merseyside derby with a dive in front of Everton boss David Moyes

Suarez’s default position is a defensive one. ‘What matters most to me is my family, playing for Liverpool, the Liverpool fans and the team. Anything else that goes on is not my problem. I don’t read the papers or watch TV. Every time they boo me or chant something about me, it just gives me more confidence to keep playing. I’ve been booed in Holland and in Uruguay — as a professional footballer you need to have thick skin and just get used to it. But right now I’m at the club I wanted to play for, I’m really enjoying myself out on the pitch, because I fought for a long time to get here and I’m happy the club acknowledge what I’ve done, which is the only thing that matters to me.

‘If we’re playing away from home, I know I’m going to get booed. But I also know that if they boo me, it’s not only because of anything I’ve supposedly done, but also because they’re afraid, because they know I’m a player who is a threat to their team. And that’s why they try to unsettle me and keep me quiet in the game … almost. But I never let that happen.’

And he is a potent threat. The skill and the inventiveness were never in doubt but the finishing that seemed awry last year is now much improved, as 11 Premier League goals — including one in the 4-0 victory over Fulham — and three in cup competitions testifies. For some, he is the player of the season so far.

Intriguingly, though, he says he does want to change. Regarding diving, he says: ‘Yes, of course. I’m trying to change and to avoid doing it because I know that football is different here, and it’s helping me at the same time. I’ve discussed it with both managers I’ve played under here, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers. Kenny also used to tell me not to protest so much, that I should focus more on playing football, that I have a lot of qualities and so should forget about referees. And Brendan has also told me a few things to help me improve.’

Lucky for some: Suarez hits his 13th goal of the campaign, adding the gloss to Liverpool's win against Fulham

Lucky for some: Suarez hits his 13th goal of the campaign, adding the gloss to Liverpool's win against Fulham

There is a familiar contradiction in sportsmen like Suarez, those who carry a reputation. The image they bear on the pitch is so far removed from their demeanour in everyday life that it is often difficult to reconcile the two. Suarez himself says so.

‘My wife always says that people must think I act crazy at home, too, but that’s not the case,’ he says.

‘Off the pitch I am nothing like the way I am on it. The passion I have for football, it’s very different, I’ve always expressed it like that, that’s the way I play, but I also understand that I need to change. Because it’s not nice to be constantly shouting and back-chatting, it’s not nice for the crowd and for children to see, and it’s not nice for me either. I understand that and I think I’ve made the effort to change a little over the last few months.’

There will not be an immediate transformation, he says, as he tries to strike the balance between retaining legitimate aggression and curbing what is unacceptable. ‘That’s why it’s really hard to change overnight, because of the passion you feel on the pitch. And I don’t like losing, I don’t like giving up a lost ball — say if the ball is going out and I know I can reach it, then I chase it down … that’s the passion you feel on the pitch.’

He draws a direct link between his upbringing and the way he plays now. ‘When you’re a kid, you play in the street, you need to have lots of ambition, drive and strength to play, and that’s what makes you act like that on the pitch.’

Flashpoint: Controversy has been no stranger to Suarez, with the Uruguayan getting an eight-match ban for this clash with Patrice Evra at Anfield last season

Flashpoint: Controversy has been no stranger to Suarez, with the Uruguayan getting an eight-match ban for this clash with Patrice Evra at Anfield last season

For his is that well-told story of the South American boy playing street football, first in Salto and later in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. His father left the family when he was nine years old and he was raised by his mother and grandmother, who provided financial help. He has two sisters and four brothers, one of whom, Paolo, plays for Isidro Metapan, the champions of El Salvador, while two others play professionally at a lower level.

In Suarez’s mind, he has had to battle constantly to be where he is now, playing football for Liverpool. ‘Some kids have things very easy here. They don’t go wanting for anything, their parents help them, and by 18 they already have their own cars. It’s not like that in Uruguay: you have to work really hard and for a lot of years. Even if your parents help you to have a car, you have to work and fight really hard, and show a lot of ambition and hunger to go far, which isn’t the case here.

‘In Holland (where he played for Groningen and Ajax) and it’s happened to me here, too, I would look at players who were moving up to the first team, and they already had expensive cars at the age of 18, which I found amazing. Back when I was in Uruguay, the club used to loan me a car, and it wasn’t until I moved to Holland when I was 20, and then when I moved to Ajax, that I could buy one myself.’

He was signed to Nacional, the Uruguayan champions, as a child but looked like missing the cut at 14.

‘I wasn’t on the path I wanted to be on. I was going out at night, I didn’t enjoy studying and I wasn’t dedicating myself to football. When I was a kid, there were some people around me who were a bad influence. When I met my girlfriend Sofia, who is now my wife, I think it all changed. She was very important for me, because she steered me back on to the path I wanted to be on.

Home team: Suarez is always calm and relaxed with wife Sofia and daughter Delfina

Home team: Suarez is always calm and relaxed with wife Sofia and daughter Delfina

‘When I was single, I would go out at night, but then when I had a girlfriend, I would always go to her house at the end of the night, so I had more peace of mind. So it’s about that, the everyday routine. She would also tell me to study and to focus on my ability to play football, and to forget about everything else.

‘I’m the one out on the pitch, but I think if she hadn’t helped me change my life, I probably wouldn’t have made it. Also, I wasn’t playing at Nacional, I was on the bench, some people told me to look for another club, but there were two people who told me to stay and helped me to get another chance. And then I met my wife and that’s when it all changed.’

At times he seems a throwback to the world of Diego Maradona, the street kid with the ball at his feet made good. In Uruguay they use the word ‘botija’ to describe a player like Suarez, the one with the skill, guile and what locals would call cheekiness.

‘Being crafty, a bit more streetwise than the rest,’ says Suarez, attempting an explanation. ‘That’s very common in Uruguay, just like in Argentina, I think because of the way you grow up as a kid.’

But does the phrase accurately describe Suarez ‘I think I am sometimes [that kind of player] but not always. I think maybe the example you’re trying to get at is my handball at the World Cup’

Indeed, it is. That was the day Suarez took a red card for the team and stopped Ghana scoring in the last minute of the quarter-final by blocking a goalbound shot with his hand on the line. The penalty was missed and Uruguay progressed to the semi-finals in the subsequent penalty shoot-out. ‘I think any player in the world would have done that,’ says Suarez. ‘It’s all part of being a little bit crafty, getting the upper hand.’

Public enemy No 1: Suarez attracted the ire of a continent after handballing Dominic Adiyiah's goalbound header off the line

Public enemy No 1: Suarez attracted the ire of a continent after handballing Dominic Adiyiah's goalbound header off the line

While his actions would not be
universally condemned in England — what wouldn’t we do to be in a World
Cup semi-final — it is pointed out that there would be a strong body of
opinion here that would consider such an unsporting act as plain wrong.

‘But if a player is running towards an open goal, you can haul him down
and injure him, and that’s acceptable’ argues Suarez. ‘I think that if
they were doing it for their country …’ he begins. Maybe, it is
suggested, a cultural difference. ‘Right,’ he says. ‘The culture is very
different.’

At Liverpool, the fear must be that he will soon outgrow them, now that they have ceased to become a regular Champions League club, but in August he signed a new five-year contract with the club.

‘All I can say is that my head is here now and for many years to come. My dream and desire is to play in the Champions League and achieve big things with Liverpool, because they’re the club I wanted to play for, and now that I’m here, I want to stay for a long time.’

He cites the club’s tradition and ‘amazing fans’ as the reason ‘we hope that over time, we can take Liverpool back to where they belong’.

He may need some patience for that. ‘Just like I waited to play in the Champions League with Ajax and I had that chance, now I hope the same thing happens with Liverpool,’ he says.

And his enthusiasm for the manager, the club, the city and its people seems genuine. His wife and two-year-old daughter, Delfina, are happy here. He even claims to understand Scouse accents: well, Steven Gerrard’s anyway. Jamie Carragher, he says, is still impenetrable. Some cultural chasms, it seems, are too wide to bridge.

Liverpool youngster Suso fined 10,000 by FA for homophobic Twitter outburst

It was just banter! Enrique unhappy with FA after they fined Liverpool teammate Suso 10,000 for a homophobic Tweet

|

UPDATED:

19:49 GMT, 18 December 2012

Liverpool defender Jose Enrique jumped to the defence of teammate Suso after the FA fined the youngster 10,000 for a homophobic Tweet.

The 19-year-old Spaniard sparked
controversy with his reply to team-mate Jose Enrique, who had posted a
bizarre picture of himself getting his teeth whitened.

Suso tweeted: ‘What f*** is he doing This guy is gay… he does everything except play football.’

The Reds midfielder quickly realised he had made a poor error of judgement, deleted the tweet and made an apology.

But, after hearing of Suso's punishment, Enrique tweeted: 'Is amazing how fa can fine my friend @suso30fernandez for a banter thing. Was just a joke!!!'

jose enrique tweet

An FA statement read: ‘Following an
Independent Regulatory Commission hearing on Monday, Liverpool’s Jesus
Fernandez Saez (Suso) has been fined 10,000 and warned as to his future
conduct for a comment posted on Twitter.

‘The charge, which the player admitted
and requested a paper hearing, was that he acted in a way which was
improper and/or brought the game into disrepute in that the comment was
posted on his Twitter account and included a reference to a person/s
sexual orientation and/or disability.’

The teenager apologised on his Twitter page tonight, saying the 'unfortunate' comments were intended as a joke.

Liverpool's Suso tweet

Gaffe: Liverpool's Suso reply to Jose Enrique

'I'm very sorry if anyone has been offended by my comments about the photo of my team-mate Jose Enrique,' he wrote.

'It was only a joke between the two of us. I realise that my words were unfortunate and it was not my intention to offend anyone.

'I apologise again if anyone was offended.'

Suso’s gaffe follows Jen Chang leaving his post as media chief following the Twitter storm with spoof blogger ‘Duncan Jenkins’.

Liverpool were forced to apologise to
Jenkins, real name Sean Cummins, for the ‘inappropriate actions’ of
Chang, after they met in a Manchester restaurant.

Chang wrongly believed inside information used by Cummins on Twitter had been fed to him by an Anfield mole.

The fan then alleged in a blog that Chang made a series of threats to him, which included revoking his shared season ticket.

Team mates: Suso (left) and Jose Enrique (right)

Team mates: Suso (left) and Jose Enrique (right)

Suso has become an increasingly important member of the Reds' first-team and has made 13 appearances so far this season.

The attacking midfielder moved to Anfield from hometown club Cadiz in 2010 and signed a new long-term contract in October.

Twitter storm with spoof blogger 'Duncan Jenkins'.

The
club were forced to apologise to Jenkins, real name Sean Cummins, for
the 'inappropriate actions' of Chang, after they met in a Manchester
restaurant.

Chang wrongly believed inside information used by Cummins on Twitter had been fed to him by an Anfield mole.

The fan then alleged in a blog that Chang made a series of threats to him, which included revoking his shared season ticket

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2239649/Jen-Chang-wants-director-football-Monaco.html#ixzz2DfFJKJLb
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Rio Ferdinand stays out of row with Ashley Cole over relatives" "Facebook taunt"

Ferdinand refuses to enter row with Cole after relatives 'mocked coin attack on Facebook'

|

UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 11 December 2012

Rio Ferdinand is refusing to be drawn into another row with Ashley Cole after a series of Facebook messages celebrating his facial injury were attributed to the Chelsea defender’s family.

Ferdinand was left bleeding when a coin was thrown at him in Sunday’s volatile Manchester derby.

A message appeared on the social media site under the name of Cole’s brother Matty on Sunday after Ferdinand was cut above the eye by a 2p coin as he celebrated Robin van Persie’s late winner.

Bloody mess: Rio Ferdinand was struck by a 2p coin as he celebrated United's late victory over City, and it was then claimed he was mocked by the brother and mother of Ashley Cole

Bloody mess: Rio Ferdinand was struck by a 2p coin as he celebrated United's late victory over City, and it was then claimed he was mocked by the brother and mother of Ashley Cole

Sue Cole, Ashley Cole's mother, said to 'give the fan that threw it a medal'

Ashley Cole's brother Matthew said Rio Ferdinand getting hit in the face had 'made his day'

The words read: 'So happy Rio got hit in the face today when he tried to give it kissing the badge!! Straight in the eye!! Made my day.'

Cole’s mother Sue, who claimed on Facebook that her son Ashley would be signing for Paris St-Germain in January, appeared to reply an hour later.

However, she has since denied posting a message which said: ‘Bloody missed that, ha ha ha. Give the fan that threw it a medal!!!!’

Ferdinand is aware of the comments but is refusing to be drawn into another battle with the Cole family.

Fall out: Rio and Cole clashed following the John Terry race row

Fall out: Rio and Cole clashed following the John Terry race row

The United defender was fined 40,000 for his infamous ‘choc ice’ tweet after Cole gave evidence before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on behalf of John Terry in July.

Cole was later fined 90,000 for his #BUNCHOFT**** tweet after the FA referred to the ‘evolution’ of his evidence in the FA independent regulatory commission’s verdict into Terry’s conduct.

Despite their differences, Ferdinand shook Cole’s hand when United faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on October 28.

Emre facing jail for alleged racist slur towards Didier Zokora

Ex-Newcastle midfielder Emre faces jail over alleged racist slur aimed at Zokora

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UPDATED:

14:24 GMT, 7 December 2012

Former Newcastle midfielder Emre Belozoglu could face up to two years in prison after being prosecuted for an alleged racist insult directed at Didier Zokora.

The incident with Zokora happened in April of this year when the Atletico Madrid player was playing for Fenerbahe.

Scroll down to watch the video

In the dock: Emre (right) could be sentenced to a jail term

In the dock: Emre (right) could be sentenced to a jail term

He was accused of directing racist insults at the Ivorian Zokora during a game against Trabzonspor and given a two-match ban.

As our video below shows, Zokora took his own form of revenge when the two next met.

But it now appears Emre will have to answer to Turkey’s Public Prosecutor who, according to Turkish newspaper Hrriyet, will call for between six months and two years in prison for the alleged slur.

Claim: Didier Zokora was allegedly racially abused

Claim: Didier Zokora was allegedly racially abused

Emre admitted to having insulted Zokora in English, but insisted there was no racial element. When the Turkish Football Federation banned him for two games they did not state that the abuse had been of a racist nature leading Trabzonspor to lodge the legal complaint.

The Turkish midfielder faced FA charges over racist abuse while in
England in 2007 for an incident in a match at Everton in December of the
previous year.

But despite evidence given by Joleon Lescott, who said Emre had
called team-mate Yobo a 'f*****g negro', and from goalkeeper Tim
Howard, that he had called the same player a 'f*****g nigger' he was
let off because an independent commission concluded that there was a
lack of proof.

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John Obi Mikel given three match ban after Mark Clattenburg dressing room incident

Mikel banned for THREE matches after confronting Clattenburg in dressing room

|

UPDATED:

17:48 GMT, 6 December 2012

John Obi Mikel has been hit with a three-match ban for his part in the Mark Clattenburg race row debacle.

The Chelsea midfielder ran into the referee's dressing room at the end of Chelsea's defeat against Manchester United in October and confronted him over an alleged racial slur.

Mikel has also been fined 60,000 after admitting the FA charge of using 'threatening and/or abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour'.

Ban: John Obi Mikel (right) has been punished after he ran into Mark Clattenburg's (centre) dressing room

Ban: John Obi Mikel (right) has been punished after he ran into Mark Clattenburg's (centre) dressing room

A police investigation into the incident collapsed because of a lack of evidence and subsequently an FA probe met the same fate.

The regulatory
commission's independent chairman, Christopher Quinlan QC, said the findings
showed at the time of the incident Mikel genuinely believed the referee had
racially abused him.

Were it not for that mitigating factor, he would have been received a significantly longer ban.

Ramires had told Mikel he heard Clattenburg calling him a 'monkey' and the incensed player sought out the referee after the match.

Mikel miss Saturday's fixture at Sunderland but will be available when Chelsea jet out for the Club World Cup in Japan next week.

Strong: Mikel has had a good season although he divides opinion among fans

Strong: Mikel has had a good season although he divides opinion among fans

His availability when the Blues
return from the Far East could be limited though, with the midfielder
due to meet up with Nigeria early in the new year for the African
Nations Cup.

New Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez might
have been preparing for the bad news by selecting Oriol Romeu ahead of
Mikel on Tuesday night.

The Spaniard has started twice under his stewardship and is regaining match fitness after a long period of inactivity.

David Luiz was also played in defensive
midfield in the latter parts of the Champions League match against
Danish opponents Nordsjaelland.

Back to fitness: Oriol Romeu has started twice under Rafael Benitez

Back to fitness: Oriol Romeu has started twice under Rafael Benitez

Mikel signed a new five-year contract at the club on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old midfielder committed his future to the European champions until 2017 – which will see him complete a total of 11 years at Stamford Bridge.

Mikel, who joined Chelsea in the summer of 2006 after controversially pulling out of a move to Manchester United, said: 'Chelsea seems like my home now because I have been here for over six years and I enjoy my time here.

'I come into the training ground every day to work and I value my time there. I am happy and want to keep going and win trophies for this club.'

Mikel was a key player in Chelsea's
Champions League triumph last season, performing exceptionally in the
final against Bayern Munich, and has also won one Barclays Premier
League title, four FA Cups and a League Cup.

Big game player: Mikel has won several trophies with Chelsea

Big game player: Mikel has won several trophies with Chelsea

He added: 'I have basically won everything with Chelsea and those years have been really special for me, winning trophies with big names like Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard who have had very long Chelsea careers.

'Last season, to win the Champions League was even more special and I hope these next five years will bring even more success and I can win trophies with the new players we have here.

'Being 25, I think I am now hitting my peak but as a player you want to improve every day and there is still room for that.

'I want to learn from the players and the manager and I just want to keep going.'