Luis Suarez has been given an eight match ban and a fine today in the racism case with Patrice Evra. Not being privy to all the details I don’t know if that is a reasonable result or not, though the Liverpool statement suggests that it was harsh. If it is true that the only evidence against Suarez was the word of Evra then it certainly is, but I am not certain that is the case. I do think that Suarez is often treated harshly by the media, fans and sometimes by referees but it is worth remembering that he did blatantly cheat during the last World Cup. I would be very surprised if the Independent Regulatory Commission found the charge proven on the basis only of Evra’s statement. It is a travesty if they did, but I suspect there is some other hard evidence. The eight match ban does seem reasonable if he is guilty though. There should not be any tolerance for racist remarks.
I would not be surprised to see Suarez appeal the decision, but even if he doesn’t do so it isn’t clear how much time he will miss. For one thing, the ban will not take effect until after the 14 days given for Suarez to appeal expires and I do not know if that includes the match against City in exactly a fortnight or not. either way, however, the ban includes no fewer than three cup ties and will include a fourth if Liverpool beat Oldham. Even if Suarez does not appeal he should be available to face United in February.