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January 9, 2012
 

L’Affaire Suarez y Evra

Suarez and Evra hugging it out.

One of my all-time favorite UF posts was the MS Paint explanation of the non-offside call in the Euro 2008 Italy v. Netherlands match when Ruud van Nistlerooy scored.  It seems to me that the crude and amateur nature of my MS Paint skills embody the UF approach of some actual insight presented in a third-rate, sometimes fourth-rate, manner.  Moreover, even though it is decidedly third-rate these MS Paint illustrations take forever…forrrrr-eeeevvvvv-aaaaahhhh.

It is in that vein that I present the MS Paint version of the Evra-Suarez affair that resulted in an eight-match ban for the Uruguayan striker.  A lengthy review process resulted in a very lengthy written decision (which you can find here PDF WARNING).  The bottom line of the decision is that the disciplinary panel believed Patrice Evra’s account over Luis Suarez’s account of the imbroglio.  They also found that the use of the term “negro” in Spanish was not the same as using the N-word in English.  Nor did they find that Suarez was a racist.  Evra also admitted that he had thought the word negro in Spanish had meant the N-word at the time but now he does not hold the same belief.  Despite all of that, the commission determined that Suarez had used threatening, abusive or insulting language with reference to Evra’s race, color or ethnicity, which justified the enhanced punishment.

However, the commission did not think that calling somebody a “fucking prick” rose to the level of threatening, abusive or insulting language because there was no charge against Dirk Kuyt for using this language. Nor did it think saying “your sister’s pussy” in Spanish to Suarez was threatening, abusive or insulting when said by Evra to Suarez.

The commission made extensive findings of fact as to what precisely was said based solely off of Evra’s testimony and what they believed was corroborating video evidence that did not provide audio or allow them to see what was said between the two.  The commission explicitly found that they did not believe Suarez’s testimony because of some inconsistencies it perceived.

So, what were those facts?  Well, you can read them in the 115-page opinion or you can read and view my paraphrased MS Paint version below.  Which sounds like more fun?  I know, the 115-page opinion does sound enthralling, and it was when I read it, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy my version too.

Everything I write is a paraphrase and not exact in the representing the commission’s findings.  Italics represent words spoken in Spanish since all of the words between Evra and Suarez were spoken in Suarez’s native language.

My knee! My knee!!

 

In the 58th minute, Suarez apparently hits Evra on the knee during a tackle.  Evra cries.*

*May not have cried.

Por que?

Evra asks why Suarez kicked his knee and Suarez obliges with an explanation.  For full details see the report.

Evra asks a question.

Evra asks for a clarification and threatens physical violence.  Suarez explains again. For full details consider reading the report.

More threatened violence.

Evra repeats his threat to Suarez, who responds by telling Suarez to calm down or something like it.

This one is disputed.

Suarez alleged Evra told Suarez to not touch him and called him a South American as the referee summoned them.  This interaction is disputed by Evra and the commission but it is counted as one of the eleventy times Suarez is alleged to have said the word by the commission.  In fact, it appears that the commission’s findings on when this was said is directly contradicted by the only evidence presented on the issue (See paragraphs 104  and 388).

The referee gets involved.

Evra explains to Referee Andre Marriner that Suarez had called him a name but apparently Marriner did not hear the complaint.

And that was just about it except for Suarez patting Evra on the head as they left the referee.  Evra angrily swatted the arm away and the referee admonished them once again.

So, there you have it.  L’affaire Suarez y Evra in MS Paint fully explaining every last detail for Suarez’s suspension.  Or not.  It was actually a paraphrase through visual illustration but you get the gist.

Was the punishment deserved? I don’t know.  I didn’t see or hear all of the evidence nor did I spend hours analyzing the evidence. However, I do know that the normal punishment for the first such transgression involving abusive/threatening/insulting language involving race/color/ethnicity would be four games.  The increased suspension was, according to the commission, justified based on the number of times Suarez had allegedly said the word in a short span of time but at several distinct points, that it contravened the FA’s anti-racism campaigns and Suarez should have known this because he speaks English so well and the FA has been giving classes on what Spanish words can’t be said (ok those last two things may not have been actual findings by the commission).  See paragraphs 426-446.

One can’t help but think that the motivation for augmented punishment was political in nature particularly in light Sepp Blatter’s ‘position’ on racism in football and the antagonistic relationship between FIFA and the FA.  Or, at least, I can’t help but think that was a part of it.

Or, maybe Suarez just likes getting 7 and 8 game bans in the winter.  He had one last year too for biting his opponent.  Racism this year.  What will it be next year? Assaulting a referee? Whipping his cock out after a goal? Mooning the visiting fans? Actually urinating on the goal post?

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