Suarez in limbo as FA fails to reach verdict

No decision in complex racism case until Tuesday at the earliest

The three-man commission hearing the racial abuse charges against Luis Suarez announced last night it would delay its decision and work through the weekend, a reflection of the complexities of one of the most sensitive cases in football in recent years.

The Football Association had anticipated on Thursday that the three-man independent panel which is ruling on the allegations that Suarez racially abused the Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in Liverpool's match against the French defender's team at Anfield two months ago would deliver its verdict yesterday.

At 6.30pm last night, the FA announced that the panel, comprising of Paul Goulding QC; Brian Jones chairman of Sheffield and Hallamshire FA and former player and manager Denis Smith, would work through the weekend to reach a verdict. The governing body said that it did not expect a ruling before Tuesday.

Although all sides want a swift resolution to the charges against Suarez – over which Liverpool will certainly appeal if he is found guilty – the governing body is aware that such a sensitive case cannot be rushed.

Suarez himself gave evidence on Thursday to the panel, which has convened in an as yet undisclosed hotel in the North-west of England.

A statement from the FA last night said: "The Independent Regulatory Commission [the three-man panel] has confirmed there will be no decision this evening and will continue working through the weekend.

"There will be no announcement on any decision before Tuesday 20 December 2011 at the earliest."

Having charged Suarez, the FA acts as the prosecution in the case. The player is defended by lawyers enlisted by Liverpool. The three-man panel is effectively the judge and jury. It is independent and drawn from a list compiled by the FA's discipline and control department at the start of the season that all clubs endorse in advance.

The crux of the case relates to whether comments in Spanish by Suarez towards Evra constituted racial abuse.

It understood – although has not been confirmed by Liverpool or the FA – that Suarez admitted to using the term "negro" but contextualised it in his evidence by saying that in his native Uruguay it is not regarded as a racial slur and was not intended as one when directed at Evra.

Suarez was charged on 16 November with having used "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour ... contrary to FA rules" and the further allegation that "this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra".

The Fulham manager, Martin Jol, who was Suarez's manager for 18 months at Ajax, said yesterday that he would be "surprised" if the allegations were proved to be true.

"If it is true, I certainly would be [surprised]", he said. "At Ajax we had players from all over the world, with all the continents involved and he was good with them all.

"He was my captain and you can imagine I told him it was his job to make them feel comfortable. He didn't speak a lot of Dutch but he did it in his way and for me he was a real leader. A real leader would never do things like that. If it is true, I can't believe it."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum