Luis Suarez’ Liverpool team mates have spoken out in defence of the forward who’s reputation they feel counts against him when it comes to refereeing decisions.
Reds captain Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson and even Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers have all expressed their belief Suarez is being treated unfairly by officials. The suggestion is that Suarez previous misdemeanors are affecting referees decisions, who presume the Uruguayan is diving.
Gerrard and Johnson’s comments come after the forward had a penalty claim turned down in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United, though it looked like a legitimate foul. That came after Suarez was booked for going down in the area under a challenge from John O’Shea in the Reds previous Premier League game.
Admittedly, it is in both players interests for their team mate to start getting penalty decisions. But they do have a point.
Gerrard in particular summed up the issue perfectly. He said: “It is down to the referees to not judge him and give what they see- if it’s not a penalty then don’t give him one but if it’s clear give it.”
Frustratingly, the collision with Johnny Evans looked as if Suarez should have got the decision. If a player is brought down unfairly, there is no contact with the ball and the tackle is against the laws of the game, it’s a foul. No matter what wrongdoings they have previously committed.
However, as the Liverpool skipper so rightly asked the referees have got to give what they see. Mark Halsey was not convinced it was a foul and until video technology is introduced we have to accept that officials can get things wrong. Only he will know if Suarez’s reputation influenced his decision. You would hope that it didn’t.
The Liverpool number seven has certainly been unlucky with recent decisions but it is easy to say it’s because the referees have already made their minds up about him. If they have, that’s wrong and it’s not good for the game. But these things tend to even themselves out over a season and hopefully Suarez will win a penalty the next time a foul is committed against him.