Suarez ban a failure in FA disciplinary process

How the FA seem to love damaging their credibility. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, they ban a player for biting an opponent’s arm for ten games.

How the FA seem to love damaging their credibility. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, they ban a player for biting an opponent’s arm for ten games.

TEN games. That’s more seven more than he would have been given if he was sent off for violent conduct, or a leg-breaking tackle.

In fact, it’s TEN more than Wigan’s Callum McManaman was given for his horror challenge on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara recently. It’s also ten more than Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero received for his blatant stamp on Chelsea’s David Luiz in the FA Cup Semi Final.

In no way do I condone Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’s actions, but I have not and could not become outraged by them either. Pundits and analysts galore were dying to have their say yesterday on the ‘despicable’, ‘disgusting’, ‘horrible’ bite. Even the Prime Minister managed to get a word in.

But the majority reaction, certainly via talking to people and on social media, was one of sheer shock and surprise that of all the ways Suarez tried to have a go at Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, he decided not to push him or square up to him, but to bite him.

The reaction was so widespread because it is an unusual incident, with the vast majority of people finding it bizarre, rather than outrageous. Indeed, Patrice Evra poked a little fun at it as he imitated Suarez’s bite on a fake severed arm, thrown from the crowd during Manchester United’s title celebrations on Monday.

Meanwhile on Twitter, footballer’s names were turned into something that Suarez could nibble on. Bacary Lasagne, Sergio Biscuits and Kieran Ribs are examples. It just goes to show that this was a comedy incident as much as anything. Ivanovic might have got a mark on his arm, but it wasn’t a broken leg and he wasn’t in danger of having his leg broken or similar.

But the FA have had the final say, imposing a 10 game ban. They somehow, somehow decided that a bite (which, on the scale it was, is actually pretty harmless) was worse than racially insulting a fellow professional. Suarez got an EIGHT match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra in October 2011.

The inconsistency is laughable. It would take forever to list all the inconsistent decisions with respect to retrospective bans dished out by the FA. But rest assured, there are plenty of them.

The FA are reluctant to re-referee games, hence why McManaman and Luiz got away without bans after the aforementioned incidents that they were at the centre of. But this is only the case in some instances. They’re quite happy to overturn red card decisions, which itself is re-refereeing.

After West Ham United’s game with Everton at Upton Park in December, Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson had their bans overturned on appeal, and rightly so. This itself is an example of ‘re-refereeing’ on very significant moments in the game despite that being exactly what the FA do not want to do. It’s hard to make sense of it all.

So while Suarez’s bite was definitely out of order, it is not outrageous. What is outrageous is the FA’s disciplinary system which is failing time after time after time.

What do you think? Did the FA make the right call? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.