Fowler on Suarez - Is he actually a 'victim'?

Distin And Suarez

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has suggested that Reds striker Luis Suarez may be the ‘victim’ in the wake of backlash since his biting of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

The Uruguayan forward has been banned by the FA for his misconduct but, as Fowler points out, Suarez has never actually been sent off in his two-year Anfield career.

He has, however, managed to accumulate 25 games’ worth of bans from the Football Association for his behaviour and, after the recent biting incident, Liverpool FC are forced to make tough decisions, along with the player himself, over his future.

"The club have come out and say he's been punished and rightly so," insisted Fowler.

"I don't think anyone can hide behind that fact but at the same time Liverpool has to show Luis Suarez that they want him.”

However, whilst Fowler believes the club were right in their decision to publicly shame Suarez’ behaviour, he also believes Suarez may feel he is the ‘victim’ of persecution in this mess.

“The way he has been treated, he might feel a little bit victimised himself,” continued the former Reds frontman.

"I'm all for him being punished and what he did was wrong and rightly so he has got his ban but he might feel as though he's been a little bit victimised,” he re-iterated.

Would Suarez be entitled to feel he has been harshly treated by either the club or the FA? I asserted my belief twice last week that, whilst the incident was childish, there are far worse travesties in English football and there does seem to me to have been a gross overreaction to the incident.

Some have suggested the FA’s reaction – to ban the player for 10 games – was directly related to his previous record of misconduct; that the FA punished the man and not the crime.

I tend to agree with those suggestions – the FA do behave in quite a reactionary manner oftentimes and I suspect his 10-game ban is more a reflection of their pandering to public opinion than their integrity on fairness and discipline within the game.

Fowler himself was no stranger to controversy during his 8-year senior career with the Reds. He was ‘probed’ by police after ‘simulating’ snorting of illegal substances during a goal celebration back in 1999. However, back then, boss Gerard Houllier backed the English striker by claiming he was merely imitating a cow eating grass.

I don’t have any remote personal affection for Luis Suarez other than the obvious admiration of him as one of the Premier League’s most talented players but I do think there has been a storm made in a tea-cup over the incident which, after all is said and done, didn’t really hurt anyone but Luis Suarez.

image: © RuaraidhG

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