Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 10 No. 25

International Football

Liverpool's Luis Suárez has received a 10-match suspension for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, "one of the most severe punishments ever handed out" by the FA, according to Tony Barrett of the LONDON TIMES. Despite "admitting violent conduct," Suárez had denied the FA’s claim that the statutory three-game ban was "clearly insufficient for this offence." The suspension means Suárez "will miss the rest of this campaign and the first six matches of next season." Liverpool "had made written submissions" on behalf of Suárez, citing "his contrition and willingness to undergo counselling in an attempt to curb his behavioural excesses." An FA statement said, "A three-person Independent Regulatory Commission today upheld The FA’s claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three" (LONDON TIMES, 4/24). Liverpool Managing Dir Ian Ayre said, "Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today's Independent Regulatory Commission decision. We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment" (Liverpool).

THE RIGHT PUNISHMENT? In London, Jim White opined after issuing a 10-game ban, "nobody can accuse the FA of shirking a tough decision." Indeed, so "draconian is the punishment it has produced a most unexpected consequence: it is possible almost to feel sorry for Suárez." The problem with cases like this "is one of moral equivalence." Head-butts and two-footed tackles "accrue no more than three matches." Is the FA "really suggesting that a playground assault which resulted in nothing more than a moment of astonishment for Ivanovic is worse than a career-threatening assault?" (TELEGRAPH, 4/24). Also in London, Oliver Kay wrote, "This was a moment that the FA's disciplinary system bit back -- and bit harder than just about anyone had imagined." If anything, a 10-match ban "seems extreme." Have "they made an example of Suárez?" The answer is "yes, probably." However, "that is what the FA have always tended to do in high-profile cases when they have felt a need to send out a strong message to the rest of football" (LONDON TIMES, 4/24). Also in London, Jamie Jackson wrote on the GUARDIAN's Talking Sport blog, "What surprises here is that Suárez, Ayre and Liverpool are 'shocked.'" For one player to bite another "is beyond the boundary of what the usual three-match ban for violent conduct caters for, as the FA maintained" (GUARDIAN, 4/24).

A "clear majority of Germans, 63%, want Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeneß to retire for having committed tax evasion," according to AS. This information was released from a public opinion poll by survey institute YouGov and was published by German newspaper Bild on Monday. In the survey, 47% of the participants also said they would not have believed that Hoeneß could have committed tax evasion (AS, 4/24).

Argentina's Sports Security Committee (CSD) has urged Argentinian football clubs San Lorenzo and Huracán to cancel their debts to the country's Federal Police. If the teams fail to pay off their debts, they will not be able to host their weekend games. San Lorenzo is set to host Godoy Cruz on Saturday, but owes 6.5M Argentine pesos ($1.3M) for unpaid services since '11. Huracán is scheduled to play Patronato on Friday, but owes 1.5M Argentine pesos ($.29M) (CLARIN, 4/24). ... The judge of the case regarding the debt of La Liga side Deportivo La Coruña has chosen the AUREN Auditors firm to audit the club's accounts. The Spanish firm will audit Deportivo, which filed for bankruptcy in January, "on the present financial year, which ends next June 30" (AS, 4/24). ... Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday "unveiled the country's answer to South Africa's vuvuzela" -- the plastic horn that provided an omnipresent din at the 2010 World Cup. The caxirola, pronounced ka-shee-raw-la, "has the backing of the Rousseff government to be the official instrument of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil" (XINHUA, 4/24). ... Malaga players "finally have something to smile about following the controversial end to their unimaginable Champions League run," a sum of €6M ($7.8M) "to split between the players for all they accomplished throughout the year" (INSIDE SPANISH FOOTBALL, 4/24).