The Problem with the FA: Defoe Yellow, Suarez 10 Games

Suarez’s very best Dracula impression has earned him a big 10 from the FA’s judges of flesh feasting. Yes, it was deemed such a clean bite, one in which he really showed desire, that he gets to relax for the next ten games.

Image from

Now, I’m not saying that’s wrong; ten big ones seems a lot, but this was a malevolent challenge that has no place in the game. Perhaps a smaller ban for a player with no track record of misdemeanors, but Suarez has had to be punished before. Just as in law, those that don’t learn from their punishments should be punished harder.

No, my disappointment with this news all stems from possibly the most ridiculous rule in football – That if a referee sees an incident, whatever action he takes stands. But if he doesn’t, then a load of suits who pick up six figure salaries for deciding which shade of white England’s fans will get charged for decide the course of action.

The reason FIFA set this rule in place is so the FA (the suits) don’t undermine the referee by altering their decisions. There’s one problem with that though, it isn’t undermining to correct someone who is wrong. If anything, by backing up decisions like no punishment for Sergio Aguero’s tackle on David Luiz, they are undermining the very game.

'Yeah we've had a look, and can see no rules broken here'

‘Yeah we’ve had a look, and can see no rules broken here’

Every season this ridiculous rule leads to loads of dreadful tackles or general assaults going unpunished because the man in black was trying to keep up with a frantic game and, understandably, missed something, so gave a cautionary yellow – thus denying the FA retrospective action. Likewise, events the referee’s eyes miss completely are subject to the full wrath of the FA.

Case in point the Suarez bite…

…is a 10 game ban, given by people who weren’t at the game, because the referee didn’t see it, and didn’t take any action.

but the long forgotten Jermain Defoe bite…

…a yellow card given by a referee standing over the incident, with no follow-up punishment.

This all then leads into the media circus of how we perceive these players. Right now Suarez is the top of everyone’s hate list; many think Liverpool should sell him, David Cameron said the FA needed to come down hard on him, and the internet is mocking him profusely with a mix of fun and anger.

Suarez said he didn’t think he deserved more than the regulatory red card three match ban. This caused more anger among people, who got the sense that he was trying to ‘get away with it’. Everything he says or said is criticised to the highest degree. So imagine what it would’ve have been like if he re-used Defoe’s ‘excuse’ after his bite: “When the West Ham player fouled me, I reacted in a bit of a mischievous way – my character is a little like that at times.

Oh that’s okay Jermain you lovable scamp, at least you didn’t pull arteries out with your razor-filed fangs like the appalling Luis Suarez. Let’s be glad that the referee didn’t give him a yellow like you! Sure, it would’ve been his second and his equaliser wouldn’t have cost Chelsea two points, but then the FA wouldn’t have been able to teach him a lesson – and that’s more important than the game!

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