Today, Luis Suarez decided that his actions did not warrant anything more than the normal three match ban for violent conduct. The FA disagreed and exactly what we didn't want to have happen, is now happening. Based on the results of the poll in the previous article and much of the commenting, the vast majority of people still want to see Luis Suarez stay at Liverpool. Today Luis Suarez did the right thing by admitting to the charge of violent conduct. However, appealing the FA's decision that this warrants more than the token three match ban could make things a bit messier for the club.
So now, what no one wanted to see, an appeal process will play out Wednesday. Personally, I wanted him to take whatever they were going to give (within reason) and let us all move on. The longer this plays out, the more stress this is going to put of Liverpool's fragile PR machine. For a little prespective, let's look at the precedent the FA has set for recent violent conduct:
Robert Huth - 3 Matches - Violent conduct for introducing Phillippe Senderos' face to his forearm. Let's not forget that he has also stamped on Suarez and escaped punishment.
Joey Barton - 12 Matches - Absolutely ridiculousness which included trying to start a melee and kneeing a player intentionally. He was given one 8 game ban and another 4 for the incident. Stay classy Joey.
Marouane Fellaini - 3 Matches - Headbutting Ryan Shawcross. Seriously, is this much worse than the biting? It's pretty below the belt, completely vicious and not normal behavior. Hell, it is even illegal in UFC. Only 3 matches.
Eden Hazard - 3 Matches - Kicking a ball boy. Let's get one thing straight, this 17 year old ball "boy" completely deserved a kicking. Maybe more. It should be noted that the FA tried to increase his punishment, but were shot down by a disciplinary committee
Branislav Ivanovich - 3 Matches - Sucker punched Shaun Maloney behind the ref's back and for little explicable reason. Then Chelsea had the audacity to appeal it, but somehow the ban wasn't increased for a frivolous appeal. Mind boggling.
Mario Balotelli - 4 Matches - Only for STAMPING ON SCOTT PARKER'S HEAD! And that's after he gave it a good kicking. In fact, the only reason it was 4 matches is because he had already been sent off for violent conduct earlier that season. Is this better than biting someone's arm?
So there you have it, some of the FA's more recent stances on violent conduct. You can watch the incidents for yourselves. So is Suarez wrong for thinking that 3 matches is likely what this bizarre incident warrants? Probably not so much. While I'm sure he would have accepted anything from 5 games on down, the problem is he already feels railroaded by the FA from the ban for the Evra incident. Considering the punishment John Terry received for similar circumstances with much more convincing evidence, he likely feels quite aggrieved and unwilling to leave it to the FA whom he surely feels have it out for him.
However, is this the right course of action for both him, but more importantly the club? Probably not. Clearly with these other incidents, the FA would be hard pressed to defend a suspension anywhere approaching the 8 games he received for racial abuse. Any suspension he felt excessive could have been appealed. By not accepting that he likely deserved one or two games over the token three, it backs the club into another awkward corner where they will have to tiptoe around appearing to defend him outright or minimizing the severity of what happened.
Luckily, his appeal will be heard Wednesday and hopefully we can put this to bed and move on. I know of no one in this Asylum that is crazy enough to defend Suarez's actions; that is not what this is about. It is about ensuring the punishment is fair and in line with other punishments doled out recently for things that could be considered far more threatening and dangerous.