Liverpool striker Luis Suarez gave ‘unreliable’ in the investigation into claims he racially abused Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
The English FA announced on December 20 that the 24-year-old would be banned for eight matches and fined 40,000 pounds for racially abusing the France international during the English Premier League encounter between the two clubs. The ban was suspended pending an appeal by the Merseyside club.
In a 115-page document was published on the FA website on Saturday, the independent commission charged with conducting the investigation explained in detail the conversation between the two players during the match at Anfield on October 15 and all the surrounding events to the case.
The report found that both players were unable to remember everything that happened on the field, but Evra came across more composed as he gave his evidence.
The summary stated: “Mr Evra was a credible witness. He gave his evidence in a calm, composed and clear way. It was, for the most part, consistent, although both he and Mr Suarez were understandably unable to remember every detail of the exchanges between them.”
The reasoning behind the ban was due in part because Liverpool forward was unreliable as his claims were inconsistent with video footage and other evidence. Furthermore, the report rejected his claims that the use of the word ‘negro’ could be seen as friendly.
“Mr Suarez’s evidence was unreliable in relation to matters of critical importance. It was, in part, inconsistent with the contemporaneous evidence, especially the video footage,” the report said.
“For example, Mr Suarez said that he pinched Mr Evra’s skin in an attempt to defuse the situation. He also said that his use of the word ‘negro’ to address Mr Evra was conciliatory and friendly. We rejected that evidence.”
“To describe his own behaviour in that way was unsustainable and simply incredible given that the players were engaged in an acrimonious argument. That this was put forward by Mr Suarez was surprising and seriously undermined the reliability of his evidence on other matters.”
“There were also inconsistencies between his accounts given at different times as to what happened.”
The report concluded that Suarez was guilty of using insulting words, but that he is not a racist. It added that the Uruguayan said he would not use the word on a football pitch in England again.
The conclusion read: “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.”