There has been a huge outcry from different sections of the football community in response to the FA's decision to ban Liverpool's Luis Suarez for eight matches for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
An extraordinary statement from Liverpool FC has underlined their belief that Suarez's alleged comments has been taken wildly out of cultural context.
Uruguay's national paper, El Pais, attacked the "pseudo morality" of the FA and players and coaches have lined up their support for the player.
Having decided to act strongly against racism claims, the FA was really caught in a fix, which is why the case has dragged on for more than two months.
Without banning Suarez, they would have looked soft to outsiders only interested in the (excuse the expression) "black and white" of polarising headlines.
But the real key to the decision is that the ban has been suspended until the outcome of an appeal. In this, the FA have their escape.
The shock of the ban will gain the headlines and make the FA look like they are determined to stamp out any racism in the English game (which to their credit they have worked tirelessly and successfully to bring under control over the past two decades).
By the time the appeal has been heard, the impression will have been left that the FA will not stand for racism in any form and their ruling will have sent a warning to other players.
I expect then the ban will be significantly reduced or even suspended. To uphold the ban would open up a difficult can of worms for the FA to control. Namely, foreign languages with cultural boundaries between players.
Does anyone really think Suarez will actually serve eight matches?
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