Show Racism the Red Card applaud the FA for their zero tolerance stance on racism
Show Racism the Red Card urge Liverpool not to appeal against the eight-game ban and £40,000 fine faced by striker Luis Suarez over claims that he racially abused Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
The Anfield club are currently considering the 115-page report published by the Football Association into the altercation between the players.
Ged Grebby, Chief Executive of Show Racism the Red Card spoke to Goal.com:
“There is a saying that when you are in a hole you should stop digging and I hope that Liverpool bear that in mind,” Show Racism the Red Card chief executive Ged Grebby told Goal.com.
“I hope that they are not going to contest the case because I really think that if they do then it will really prolong the agony.
“Whoever is telling Suarez he can say ‘negro’ on a football pitch - and now it has emerged he said it seven times to Evra - has been giving him some extremely bad advice in terms of what he should have done.
“Hopefully what Liverpool will now do is accept the punishment and reinforce their work with anti-racism campaigns.
“Liverpool Football Club have been great supporters of our organisation and the 'Kick it Out' campaign but they now need to reinforce that with their fans because there is a danger with the t-shirt show of support that the wrong message could come out.
“Liverpool are one of the bastions of English football who, it must be emphasised, have campaigned powerfully to try to stamp out racism down the years but what they did with that show of support could damage the club’s reputation and standing worldwide and it is now time to try to make amends.”
Grebby spoke out after the FA released a detailed report by an independent commission into the confrontation between Suarez and Evra at Anfield on October 15. Liverpool have until January 13 to respond to the report which explains why the punishment has been meted out.
“If you read what was said and in what context it was said as their argument panned out on the pitch, I don’t think that you can say Suarez used the word ‘negro’ or ‘negros’ in a friendly manner,” Grebby added.
“Liverpool must have known what words were used and to try to claim that they were used in a friendly fashion does not stand up to scrutiny. The FA and the authors of the independent report have got it right.
“We have been absolutely inundated with emails from Liverpool fans but people have to accept that in the context of all the evidence now that Suarez was in the wrong and that it was an outrage to make out that Evra was actually in the wrong.”
Ged believes the Uruguay international should follow the example set by Liverpool legend Alan Hansen who made a public apology after referring to “coloured” players while on 'Match of the Day', and appealed for the club to take on board the aftermath of an incident involving former Reading player John Mackie:
“If you look at what Alan Hansen did on 'Match of the Day' when he used the word 'coloured', straightaway he put his hand up and apologised,” Grebby continued.
“I don’t think he thought there was anything wrong with it because of the generation he comes from but as soon as he realised people were saying "look, there is something wrong" he said sorry and completely diffused the situation.
“[Liverpool] should also take note of an incident a few years when the then Reading player John Mackie racially abused Sheffield United’s Carl Asaba and he got an eight-game ban and because he apologised and made a donation to the Kick it Out campaign and it was cut to three games.”
Grebby applauded the English game’s governing body for their ruling on the Suarez case:
“I have got to commend the FA for their stance on this,” Grebby said. “They have examined this episode in forensic detail and they have shown a zero tolerance attitude towards racism.
“The punishment sends out a powerful message. The report states that two repeat offences would result in a permanent ban for Suarez. They have shown that racism will not be tolerated in any shape or form in English football.
“Now Liverpool should accept the punishment and step up the excellent work that they have done to fight racism in the past.”
Words from Rob Stewart, Goal.com.