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No Case Against Suarez For Zenit Incident

Following a formal complaint by Zenit, UEFA have ruled that Luis Suarez has no case to answer for when it comes to accusations violent conduct against defender Tom Hubocan.

Clive Brunskill

Last Thursday against Zenit, what at first appeared a fairly minor non-incident involving a Liverpool player trying to hurdle Tom Hubocan as the defender sprawled across his path in an effort to see the ball over the end line and out of danger quickly became something of a major incident. Mostly because the Liverpool player involved in it was Luis Suarez, scourge of all things good and fair and right and just in football.

In real time it appeared that Hubocan's momentum carried him largely parallel to Suarez as he slid along the ground, meaning the Liverpool striker failed to clear prone player and stepped on his back. Match referee Bjorn Kuipers and the goal line official both believed there was no excessive or intentional stomping motion, choosing not to punish the player at the time, but that hardly stopped cries of cheat rising from sections of the English press.

It also didn't stop Zenit from complaining to UEFA about the incident. European football's governing body, though, has ruled that there is no case for Suarez to answer to as the contact, though unfortunate, appeared incidental and unintentional. Moreover, even following his review of the match Kuipers did not highlight the incident as being worthy of further review.

That it appears last Thursday's non-incident has now been officially judged a non-incident by UEFA, of course, is unlikely to stop it being talked about as though it really was a meaningful—and terrible—incident by pundits and commentators when Liverpool kick off against Wigan on Saturday.

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