Premier League: Has Luis Suarez Put His Liverpool Future at Risk?

Terry CarrollContributor IIIJuly 17, 2012

NORWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 28:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Liverpool at Carrow Road on April 28, 2012 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

The Daily Mail and other sources—including the Liverpool Echo—are reporting comments made by Luis Suarez in Uruguay in relation to the Patrice Evra racial abuse case.

At first sight these could put his future in the English Premier League at risk.

In the interview he gave, Suarez is quoted as saying (among other things):

"People at the club are sure that it (the Evra case) was a way that Manchester United used to put me out of the team and stop Liverpool.

"But in England, Man United has this political power, and you have to respect that and shut your mouth."

The Daily Mail article also states:

In an interview with Uruguayan TV station RR Gol, Suarez revealed he has been ordered by Liverpool’s hierarchy not to speak over the furore, for which he received an eight-match ban.


A number of potential problems

If these reports are true, Suarez would have some difficulty explaining to Liverpool's owners why he has breached the order not to speak about these matters.

But the quotes about Manchester United (taken at face value) are potentially highly damaging; in effect, they suggest that both Suarez and persons at Liverpool Football Club believe that Manchester United have and are able to use "political power" to influence the outcome of an independent FA tribunal.

So, the FA themselves will probably be studying Suarez's alleged statements before seeking an explanation from Liverpool FC.


The sore that won't go away

The John Terry case has reopened the debate about racial abuse in football. While Terry was acquitted, the whole debate and public airing over several days has stirred up further unrest.

Nobody wants to bury such matters under the carpet because racial abuse and indeed racism in society—let alone football—are serious matters. At the very least, this unexpected turn in what was assumed to be a closed matter with Suarez is deeply embarrassing for both Liverpool and the FA.

Indeed, one wonders whether it may eventually result in Suarez leaving Liverpool and the Premier League. He clearly is still unhappy about the matter; the manager who supported him and the director of football at the time have both gone.

Fenway Sports also will have assumed that the matter had been put to bed, and Manchester United had moved on as well.

Unless the interview has been misreported or mistranslated, it is hard to see how the FA can turn a blind eye.

Suarez is a fine footballer, and it is very possible that he was completely misunderstood over the whole Evra affair. As a footballer, he would be a loss to the Premier League.

But that doesn't change the fact that Evra was hurt by what he believed he heard. Suarez was found guilty by an independent tribunal, chaired by one of the leading specialist lawyers in the UK.

For Suarez, Liverpool, Manchester United, the FA and football in general, it would have been better if he had been able to keep his own counsel.