Suarez plight has Dalglish fuming at double standards

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager, yesterday accused the Football Association of double standards in their appeal against Wayne Rooney's three-match international ban, insisting there was no justification for "diluting" his punishment at a time when his own club and others are being asked to comply with football's disciplinary system.

Dalglish's claim that the FA had failed to "set a very good standard" in their exhaustive preparation for yesterday's hearing in Nyon, came before he dispensed with his usual press conference protocol and used DVD clips to reveal what he privately perceives to be severe prejudice against Luis Suarez, who has been charged with improper conduct over an apparent indecent gesture to Fulham's supporters during Monday's 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage.

Dalglish indicated that he would be speaking to Suarez about his conduct at Craven Cottage, though he said that the FA's decision to charge him went against a precedent firmly established in the cases of four players who had not been charged over the same gesture. It seems highly likely that Liverpool will deny both the charges of improper conduct and failure to control their players in that game, to which they must respond by 4pm on Monday.

The DVD clips Dalglish selected demonstrated what he perceives as an injustice to Craig Bellamy, who was penalised for a marginal challenge on Clint Dempsey and booked after a set-to with him. "Did you see Dempsey? Bellamy's conduct and discipline is superb here," said Dalglish, offering his commentary on the clips. Of the challenge on Dempsey, he said: "That's a foul, but when they smash Luis it's not a foul. We had to take [Bellamy] off so we weren't left with nine players!"

Liverpool are also deeply unhappy about the FA's decision to charge them with failing to control their players in the protests which followed Jay Spearing's 72nd-minute dismissal. "There is a rule that says something about getting in someone's space," Dalglish said. "I don't know if it can only be three players. If they have impinged that, fine. But one thing you can say about our players is that their discipline is good."

Dalglish's indignation was compounded by Brede Hangeland's challenge on Suarez in the closing stages of Monday's game which looked like a borderline penalty in Liverpool's favour. "He's really looking after the ball there isn't he? He's not got interest in the ball," Dalglish said.

The manager reiterated his deep discontent over the time being taken to investigate Suarez over his alleged racial abuse of Manchester United's Patrice Evra in October. "Nine weeks to reach a decision... is a bit of a joke," he said.

Asked if Suarez was a victim of prejudice, he said: "No but there is a danger you might write that." But he does feel that the Uruguayan is a victim of his reputation. "People just jump on the bandwagon and accuse him of this, that and everything else," Dalglish said.

Dalglish is on the weakest ground in questioning the time taken to conclude the Evra investigation – a result of the FA's attempts to investigate a complex case in which subtle linguistic nuances are at issue. Securing discussion time with Suarez has not always been straightforward and a further 23-day delay has followed the decision to charge him on 16 November because Suarez has had additional time to formulate his defence. It is understood that Suarez has now formally responded to the charge and that a hearing in the case is almost imminent.

The decision to charge Suarez with an obscene gesture is based on video evidence, though establishing consistency is harder in the alleged failure to control players. Friend will have detailed Liverpool's protests over the Spearing dismissal in his report and the FA's decision to charge was based on follow-up discussions with him. There is a different level of acceptance among referees. At least one is understood to have turned down the FA's offer to investigate a team's response in the past few weeks, insisting that he considered their conduct acceptable.

Reds manager projects his view of referee debate

At first, it seemed like "Rafa's rant" – with pictures. No-one present in the Melwood press room on the day that Rafael Benitez pulled a list of grievances from his inside jacket pocket and calmly assassinated Sir Alex Ferguson will forget it. And so it was yesterday when Kenny Dalglish launched into a slide show.

This was by no means the usual protocol. Since Dalglish's return to the managerial chair, Thursday mornings at Melwood have tended to involve five minutes' jousting with Sky, followed by something less – only slightly less – adversarial with the press in a side room.

But it became clear that something different was afoot when Dalglish cleared out the TV cameras whose presence has made subtle discussion of football so very difficult and asked for a previously unused white screen behind the manager's chair to be dropped down. "Which clips should we show?" he asked. "All of them," came the reply. "You can't see them all," he replied. It was not a rant but a revelation. As the projector light was extinguished, Dalglish had revealed a capacity for media management which had barely spoken its name across the course of three uncomfortable decades in the press room.

Ian Herbert

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
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

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam