Hell hath no fury…

The decision to hand Luis Suarez an 8-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra has polarised opinion within the football world.

Most people have applauded the stance taken by the FA, while Liverpool supporters appear to regard the decision as further evidence of a conspiracy against their team. It’s unclear why the FA would be conspiring against the club, unless this is part of some cunning plan to deny the club their rightful place on the fringes of the Premier League’s top four.

Thank goodness Liverpool have a ready-made replacement for the Uruguayan in Andy Carroll. Ho Ho Ho!

One person who will not have slept well last night after hearing the Suarez verdict is John Terry. The Chelsea and England captain will find out later today whether he will face criminal charges over allegations he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. Only then, will the FA announce whether they will press their own charges.

Unlike Suarez, Terry will be unable to use the ‘lost in translation’ line, nor will he be able to rely on the ‘some of my best friends are black’ defence, because, quite frankly, they aren’t.

Quote of the day

“Liverpool Football Club is very surprised and disappointed with the decision of the Football Association Commission to find Luis Suarez guilty of the charges against him.

We look forward to the publication of the Commission’s Judgment. We will study the detailed reasons of the Commission once they become available, but reserve our right to appeal or take any other course of action we feel appropriate with regards to this situation.

We find it extraordinary that Luis can be found guilty on the word of Patrice Evra alone when no-one else on the field of play – including Evra’s own Manchester United teammates and all the match officials – heard the alleged conversation between the two players in a crowded Kop goalmouth while a corner kick was about to be taken.

The Club takes extremely seriously the fight against all forms of discrimination and has a long and successful track record in work relating to anti-racist activity and social inclusion. We remain committed to this ideal and equality for all, irrespective of a person’s background.

LFC considers racism in any form to be unacceptable – without compromise. It is our strong held belief, having gone over the facts of the case, that Luis Suarez did not commit any racist act. It is also our opinion that the accusation by this particular player was not credible – certainly no more credible than his prior unfounded accusations.

It is key to note that Patrice Evra himself in his written statement in this case said ‘I don’t think that Luis Suarez is racist’. The FA in their opening remarks accepted that Luis Suarez was not racist.

Luis himself is of a mixed race family background as his grandfather was black. He has been personally involved since the 2010 World Cup in a charitable project which uses sport to encourage solidarity amongst people of different backgrounds with the central theme that the colour of a person’s skin does not matter; they can all play together as a team.

He has played with black players and mixed with their families whilst with the Uruguay national side and was Captain at Ajax Amsterdam of a team with a proud multi-cultural profile, many of whom became good friends.

It seems incredible to us that a player of mixed heritage should be accused and found guilty in the way he has based on the evidence presented. We do not recognise the way in which Luis Suarez has been characterised.

It appears to us that the FA were determined to bring charges against Luis Suarez, even before interviewing him at the beginning of November. Nothing we have heard in the course of the hearing has changed our view that Luis Suarez is innocent of the charges brought against him and we will provide Luis with whatever support he now needs to clear his name.

We would also like to know when the FA intend to charge Patrice Evra with making abusive remarks to an opponent after he admitted himself in his evidence to insulting Luis Suarez in Spanish in the most objectionable of terms. Luis, to his credit, actually told the FA he had not heard the insults.”

Liverpool’s official response to Luis Suarez’s eight-match ban. Presumably written by Ron Atkinson after he’d had few too many at the office Christmas party.

Guilty as charged, or not…

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish tweeted his response: “Very disappointed with today’s verdict.

“This is the time when @luis16suarez needs our full support. Let’s not let him walk alone. KD”

On October 27,  Dalglish  said he wanted a quick resolution to the dispute between  Suarez and  Evra.

Dalglish said: “We would rather have it done and dusted, out in the open.

“Whoever is the guilty party – the person who said it or the accuser – [should] get their due punishment.”

He forgot to add the caveat: provided it’s not Luis Suarez.

Dive of the day

The word ‘theatrical’ doesn’t do justice to Arjen Robben’s dive against Bochum.

Goal of the day

Jose Callejon collected a defence-splitting pass from Mesut Ozil and drilled the ball in off the far post in Real Madrid’s 5-o win over Ponferradina.

China match fixing trial continues

A Chinese  referee has admitted taking bribes to fix local and international matches, including making sure a local team won the toss in a friendly involving Manchester United.

Huang Junjie, a referee for more than 20 years, admits he accepted $245,000 to fix two international friendlies and took 20 bribes from six Chinese clubs between 2005 and 2009, Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday.

In 2007, Huang took 100,000 Hong Kong dollars ($13,000) in bribes to let Shenzhen win the coin toss in a friendly match against Manchester United.

Game interrupted

Police in northern Greece have arrested 18 people who disrupted a Greek Cup match by running onto the field wearing crash helmets and wielding wooden bats.

The suspects battled with police late   the northern town of Katerini during a cup game between local rivals Pontos FC and Xanthi.

Police say they seized bats, flares, crash helmets, mace sprays and a knife.

South Korea appoint new coach

Choi Kang-Hee, coach of K-League champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, has been named named the new boss of the South Korean national team.

The Korea Football Association said Choi would replace Cho Kwang-Rae, fired two weeks ago after a defeat to Lebanon left the 2002 semi-finalists in danger of missing out on the 2014 World Cup.

Choi, who twice guided Jeonbuk to the K-League title, in 2009 and 2011, with the club also winning the 2006 AFC Champions League, is regarded as a steady hand on the tiller as South Korea look to regain lost ground in the 2014 qualification race.


Guus Hiddink has signalled his retirement from top flight football management by accepting an offer to manage Russia side Anzhi Makhachkala.

Dutch magazine Voetbal International reports that Hiddink has agreed to coach the side for the remainder of the Russian season with  view to signing a one-year deal next summer.

Hiddink, who previously worked at clubs such as Valencia, Real Madrid, PSV and Chelsea, had been out of work ever since he left the job as Turkey national team coach in the wake of its failure to qualify for Euro 2012.