Pepe Reina says Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez’s ban is excessive and unfair.
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina says that the Luis Suarez ban is unjust, stating that the Uruguayan has been victimised because of his nationality and previous incidents.
Suarez has admitted to biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in the Premier League match between the two last Sunday, but was stunned to hear that he would in fact be banned for ten matches – and as a result, will miss the rest of this season and the beginning of the next campaign.
The shot-stopper told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope: “I consider myself a friend of Luis. People in England are treating him different because he is Uruguayan; because he has had a previous episode like this. He knows perfectly well that what he did was wrong but a 10-game ban seems to me absurd, out of proportion and unfair. It seems that the people making the decisions have got it in for Luis a little bit.
“There is a lot of hypocrisy. Some players are treated differently to others. In the racism cases: the one with proof [against him, John Terry] got a four-game ban and Luis got eight matches.”
Reina was then questioned if that meant football in England was racist.
“No, but there is hypocrisy – a different measure is used,” responded the Liverpool star.
He certainly has a case in that a bite is much less severe than a fearsome tackle in terms of the potential setback.
A poor challenge could break a leg, whilst a bite might draw a bit of blood at worst.
Still, it is worth bearing in mind that a footballer goes on to the pitch knowing that there is a chance of a terrible tackle or elbow to the face, but will never prepare to be bitten.
The animalistic nature and shock of the bite is likely to be the reasoning behind the FA’s decision, though ten matches seems a lengthy punishment – over a quarter of a season!
Unsurprisingly, Suarez’s ten match ban has led to reports that he is considering his future in England.
The Sun quote Suarez as stating “I am unhappy because this could break my dream of being recognised as the best forward in England this year.”
Whether that will ever come to fruition must now remain in doubt.