Suarez to give testimony at Evra 'racism' hearing today

 

Luis Suarez is expected to appear today in front of the Football Association's disciplinary commission to offer his account of the clash with Manchester United's Patrice Evra at Anfield in October which led to the Liverpool striker being charged with issuing racist abuse at the Frenchman.

The case opened yesterday, with legal teams on behalf of Suarez and Liverpool and Evra and United making their opening submissions to a panel of four experts, including one specialist QC. Both players are expected to offer testimony in an attempt to establish the chain of events leading up to Evra making a formal complaint to referee Andre Marriner after the 1-1 draw, with Suarez due to appear today.

It is thought the case's complexity means it will last at least two days, and there remains no timescale on the panel delivering its verdict. Suarez has categorically denied abusing Evra, who alleges the 24-year-old striker used a racist term "at least 10 times" during the fractious fixture.

The former Ajax striker has admitted to media in his homeland, though, that he used a word "his team-mates call him" and it is believed Suarez's defence centres on the fact that, in Uruguay and throughout much of South America, a variety of terms related to colour are used in colloquial idiom. The word negrito, though, is not thought to have formed part of the discussion.

Should Suarez be found guilty, the severity of his potential punishment is unclear, thanks to a lack of precedents. In the only comparable case, the then Newcastle player Emre Belozoglu was cleared by an FA panel of using a racist term towards Joseph Yobo and Joelon Lescott during a 3-0 defeat at Everton in February 2007.

Suarez has been preparing the defence he will offer the FA's panel since he was issued with the charge of using "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" which included "a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race" of the France international on 23 November. Indeed, though the Liverpool manager, Kenny Dalglish, has complained that the charge has almost taken long enough to hear that it warrants "a testimonial", the FA was sufficiently conscious of the sensitivity of the issue to grant the Uruguayan more time to construct a case.

Liverpool have been unwavering in their support of the player, tasking club secretary Zoe Ward – who previously worked as a sports law specialist with Harrogate-based McCormicks Solicitors – with helping to build his response to the charge, while Suarez himself has sought the help of the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF), who requested the help of the country's embassy in London.

There remains some concern among the club's hierarchy over the potential consequences of a guilty verdict, regardless of the length of his ban or the cost of his fine from the FA, with Liverpool's American owners conscious that supporting a player convicted of such an offence would attract considerable public opprobrium.

Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss