There are several issues I want to highlight in the report, and I will do so over several articles, but one of the most interesting revelations is the fact that Kenny Dalglish, Damien Comolli and Dirk Kuyt all contradicted Suarez's version of events, and this inconsistency was undoubtedly fatal to Suarez's case.
FA report. Section 90:
"Mr Evra's evidence was that, in response to his question "Why did you kick me?", Mr Suarez replied 'Porque tu eres negro' "
SUAREZ'S Version of Events
"Mr Evra said to him "Don't touch me, South American". Mr Suarez said that he turned to Mr Evra and said "Por que, negro?
POST-MATCH: Suarez explains himself to Dalglish and Comolli
"Mr Comolli spoke to Mr Suarez in Spanish to get his version of what had happened. Based on that conversation, first Mr Dalglish, then Mr Comolli reported to the referee what Mr Suarez had said.
"Mr Dowd, the fourth official, made notes and Mr Marriner, the referee, wrote up his report of the incident later that day"
COMOLLI Contradicts Suarez
"Mr Comolli said to the referee that Mr Evra first said 'you are South American' to Mr Suarez who responded with "Tues Negro" which translates as 'you are black'
"In cross-examination on this point, Mr Comolli agreed that he told Mr Marriner that Mr Suarez had said "Porque tu es negro".
"Mr Dowd stated that he asked Mr Comolli to spell "Tues negro" and Mr Dowd then noted it down. Those words appear in Mr Marriner's report.
"At the end of his cross-examination, Mr Comolli agreed that he believed he was told by Mr Suarez that the words that he had used translated as "Why, because you are black".
DALGLISH Contradicts Suarez
"Mr Dalglish told the referee that Mr Suarez responded with "you are black" having first been taunted with 'you are South American' "
"Mr Marriner's report records that Mr Dalglish told him that Mr Suarez had responded with "you are black" having first been taunted with "you are South American" by Mr Evra".
KUYT Contradicts Suarez
"According to Mr Kuyt, Mr Suarez said to him that he had touched Mr Evra on the head and he (Mr Evra) said something along the lines of "get away from me South American", to which Mr Suarez replied "because you're black can't...why can't I touch you then".
"The Dutch words which Mr Kuyt recalled Mr Suarez using were "omdat je zwart bent mag...waarom mag ik je daarom niet aanraken".
"Mr Kuyt explained to us that the initial phrase in this passage means "because you are black", i.e. omdat (because) je (you) zwart (black) bent (are).
Suarez Claims Comolli Misunderstood Him
Section 292: Suarez's Witness Statement
"There seems to have been a misunderstanding on Mr Comolli's part because he interpreted what I said to him to mean that I said the equivalent of "Why can't I touch you? Because you are black?".
"This was not, in fact, what I said but, even if I had said it, it would have made sense at the time and would not have been intended to be offensive or racially offensive. Nonetheless, I did not say it."
Suarez Claims Kuyt Misunderstood Him
Section 299: Suarez Witness Statement
"Dirk Kuyt also spoke to me after the match and I explained to him in Dutch what had happened. His Dutch version of what was said appears to have lost something in translation because he, too, is supposed to have heard from me that I said "Why can't I touch you? Because you're black?" but all I said was "Por que negro?".
Panel Response to Inconsistencies
"By the time witness statements were served, Mr Suarez and the Liverpool management had become aware of the apparent discrepancy between Mr Suarez's present case on his use of the word “negro” on the one hand, and what Mr Comolli and Mr Dalglish had told the referee on the other".
"The discrepancies between what Mr Dalglish and Mr Comolli reported to the referee on the one hand, and Mr Suarez's evidence as to what he said on the other hand, have not been satisfactorily explained. At the very least, they demonstrate a confusion in Mr Suarez's initial account of what he said, and an apparent inconsistency between that account and the case that he advanced before us".
I know it's hard but please try and be objective when considering the above statements and the following questions:
- Kuyt spoke with Suarez in Dutch; Comolli in Spanish. What is the likelihood that both misunderstood him in two separate languages?
- Kuyt, Dalglish and Comolli ALL stated on the record that Suarez said 'Tu es Negro' (you are black) or a variation thereof. What is the likelihood that all three would get it wrong?
- Kuyt, Dalglish and Comolli basically backed up Evra's version of events, and made the FA's case for them.
- Objectively speaking, it could be argued that it looks like Suarez changed his story after learning that Kuyt, Dalglish and Comolli contradicted him.
- It's also entirely possibly that Kuyt, Dalglish and Comolli DID mishear/misunderstand Suarez. However, on the balance of probabilities (which is how the Panel assessed the evidence), you would have to say that it's not very probable.
The inconsistency between Suarez's own statement and what he told Comolli, Dalglish and Kuyt after the game was clearly fatal to his case, and I just don't see how three separate people could 'misunderstand' what Suarez told them.
Just look at it from the Panel's POV: The Liverpool Manager, Director of Football and a senior player - all credible and trustworthy witnesses - reported *on the record* that Suarez told them something different to his own personal statement.
Such contradictions introduced significant doubt into the situation so it's hardly surprising Suarez was deemed to be 'unreliable'.