FARE chief Powar: 'Liverpool policy causing harm'
PIARA POWAR, executive director of Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE), has told Liverpool they risk further damage to their global reputation if they appeal Luis Suarez's ban.
Powar, also a former director of the Kick It Out anti-racism group, believes the Anfield club have already sullied their image because of their militant stance in support of a player found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in a match on October 15 and banned for eight matches.
He said: "Luis Suarez and Liverpool FC have the right to appeal, however we would call on the club to think again about their public campaign to dispute the charges and contest the principles involved in the case.
"As a club with a good international standing, the vehemence of their campaign is unquestionably causing them reputational harm."
The English Football Association on New Year's Eve published a 115-page report listing the reasons behind the judgment of an independent commission, in which they said Suarez had used the words "negro" or "negros" seven times in a two-minute period of the Anfield clash.
The finding is potentially embarrassing for the Anfield club, who have been unwavering in their support of the 24-year-old Uruguay international, who was also given a £40,000 fine.
The Liverpool players wore T-shirts showing their support for Suarez before last month's game against Wigan the day after he received the ban, a gesture which was heavily criticised at the time, while manager Kenny Dalglish tweeted that fans should not let him walk alone.
The FA's case was that Evra asked Suarez why he had kicked him, to which the forward replied: "Because you are black." When Evra challenged him and said he would "punch him", Suarez said: "I don't speak to blacks."
According to the report, Evra then told Suarez he was going to hit him, to which the Uruguay international replied in Spanish: "Dale, negro, negro, negro." That translates to: "Okay, blackie, blackie, blackie."
Liverpool have been given until January 13 to respond, meaning Suarez can play in their next three games.