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Luis Suarez Banned For Newcastle Match

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There's no appeal or waiting period this time around, as Luis Suarez has pled guilty to improper conduct after showing Fulham fans the finger at the end of a frustrating match at Craven Cottage on the fifth of December. As a result, the striker will serve an immediate one match ban and has also been levied with a £20,000 fine. The club has also been fined for the incident in the same match where Jay Spearing was sent off, seeing straight red for a borderline challenge, which resulted in the Liverpool players surrounding the referee in an aggressive manner.

In the case of the fine faced by the club, however, an appeal is expected after Liverpool accepted the charge of failing to control their players but refused to accept that the fine they received was suitable punishment for the incident. That initial decision to dispute the FA's standard punishment led to the case being sent to an independent commission which voted to uphold the fine, but the club is now expected to challenge that decision once they are given the written justification for it.

In both cases, feelings on the part of fans, the players involved, and the club itself might be expected to be rather mixed. On one had, multiple players and clubs have avoided punishment for many similar incidents of both players flashing gestures to opposing supporters as way of insult or taunt as well as of groups of players crowding referees aggressively when a side doesn't agree with a key decision. In that light, that the club and Luis Suarez face any kind of reprimand may well seem the latest slight from a football association bent on punishing Liverpool to a different standard than would be applied to other clubs and players in England.

On the other hand, with it at times seeming as though all of Britain is out to get him, at least Suarez has only been banned for one game this time around, while for a club in the top flight a £20,000 fine is a mosquito bite annoyance. In Suarez' case, too, there has been much talk that after more than a year of heavy action not only in the Premier League but in competitions such as the Copa America and World Cup, the best thing for both him and the club might be a bit of rest. And so from that perspective—and also for those wanting to see how Liverpool might look with Andy Carroll leading the line before the January window opens—it might be argued that the punishment is far from the worst thing that could have happened. Which just leaves that other, longer ban to worry about now.