There is that great quote about history that, "Those who do not learn about the past are doomed to repeat it." Tell me you don't have deja vu right now. Today, a few people have lent their criticsm of the FA and it's "impartial" punishment. This article from Paul Kelso at Sky News also shows some older bans and how they compare.
Brendan Rodgers was one of the first to weigh in with these quotes:
We need to understand what an independent panel is. We had been given clear indications by the FA that there was going to be an independent - or so-called independent - case put together and then we would receive what that sanction would be.
If you are an independent panel and yet the day beforehand the FA come out and say Suarez will serve more than three games it is not independent because they are already putting pressure on the sanction. There is a prejudice there straightaway.
But when you look at it in the cold light of day then it was violent conduct. It is the first time I have ever heard of an independent inquiry being dictated to by so many people.
There is absolutely no doubt there should be a protocol in place which tells us what the variances are because there are inconsistencies there.
There have been two incidents of this type of scenario. One player received no ban and continued to be chosen by the FA as part of the England squad. The second player received a five-game ban - so as you can imagine when Luis Suarez receives a 10-game ban it is very difficult to understand, and even more so for Luis. For him to receive a 10-match ban, when the comparisons of the similar incidents is somewhat different, then that is what is hard to take.
Pepe Reina didn't hesitate too much to let his feelings be known on a Spanish radio station:
People in England are treating him different because he is Uruguayan; because he has had a previous episode like this.
He knows perfectly well that what he did was wrong but a 10-game ban seems to me absurd, out of proportion and unfair. It seems that the people making the decisions have got it in for Luis a little bit.
I know Luis and I know that he is the complete opposite (off the pitch): he is a magnificent person and great team-mate. But because of the way he plays, he is aggressive and very competitive, he plays like a street player and sometimes the way he is gets him into trouble.
There is a lot of hypocrisy. Some players are treated differently to others. In the racism cases: the one with proof got a four-game ban and Luis got eight matches.
The best came from Mike Tyson on a radio show interview (Iron Mike is now following Suarez on twitter too):
I saw this guy (Suarez) on the Twitter thing and thought I would check it out and see what his journey was all about,
He (Suarez) bit someone, it happens I am sure he will make amends with this guy. I made amends with Evander and we got on with our lives.
Either way, all of this seems eerily reminiscent of a little over a year ago. Liverpool now have completely backed themselves into a corner. I don't have any issue with the opinions expressed by the respective members of the club. However, at this time these opinions would be better kept under wraps, at least until the appeal process is seen out, if it will be at all. Instead, they again appear to be jumping two feet into controversy when perhaps they should be only getting their toes wet.
This will likely blow up in their face again by a media who seems to have quite the effect on punishment. The more lines they contribute about a certain incident, the longer the punishment seems to be. Again, no one is actually defending his actions. However, the FA will have a tough time defending theirs as well. Perhaps to those unconvinced, the words of Allan Pardew might change your mind on what is going on. No matter how you feel though, the damage has once again been done. Liverpool needed to fully stick behind their man, either to keep his morale up if they choose to keep him or to keep his resale value high. However, they might have been a bit more subdued about it so soon after the ruling. Maybe the lessons of the recent past have not been learned.
The club is still awaiting the reasoning behind the ban before deciding to lodge an appeal. They have until noon on Friday. However, lodging an appeal may only speed up the simmering public relations disaster. Perhaps biting the bullet (all pun intended) and just taking the 10 games would be best for club and player. Given that the rest of this season is essentially lost, essentially it would only be a 6 game ban.
On a side note, I can't wait until I can stop writing about this.