WHEN DOES THE BAN BEGIN?NORMALLY disciplinary bans begin immediately, which would have ruled Suarez out of tonight's league clash with Wigan and the following seven games. But the FA have suspended the ban for a maximum of 14 days to allow Suarez time to appeal. If he does appeal, the case will be heard again by an independent appeal board appointed by the FA.
WHAT HAS SUAREZ BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF?
SUAREZ and Patrice Evra clashed during Liverpool's league showdown with Manchester United at Anfield on October 15. After the game, Evra claimed he had been racially abused by Suarez "at least 10 times". The FA subsequently charged Suarez with misconduct contrary to FA Rule E3, "using insulting words" towards the Frenchman.
IS THIS THE FIRST VERDICT OF ITS KIND IN FOOTBALL?
NO. In 2003, Reading defender John Mackie was banned for three matches with a further five suspended and fined £3,000 — half of it suspended — for making racist comments to Sheffield United striker Carl Asaba. In 2005, Spain boss Luis Aragones was fined £2,000 for racist remarks about Thierry Henry.
WHAT GAMES DOES HE MISS IF HE DOESN'T APPEAL?
IF Suarez takes 14 days and then decides NOT to appeal, he will miss the league clash at Manchester City on January 3. He will also miss the FA Cup tie against Oldham, both Carling Cup semi-final legs against City and league clashes with Stoke, Bolton, Wolves and Tottenham. If he DOES appeal and loses, the ban will begin immediately after the appeal.
COULD THIS AFFECT THE JOHN TERRY CASE?
THE FA will tell you there is no chance the Suarez ban will have any effect on the impending case involving John Terry's alleged racial insult to QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. But one thing is now clear: If JT is found guilty, he can expect at least eight games on the sidelines which would be a disaster for him, Chelsea and England.
HOW HARD WILL THIS HIT LIVERPOOL?
IF the ban is upheld, it will be hugely embarrassing for Liverpool who have always been proud of their record tackling racism. Boss Kenny Dalglish has made it clear neither he nor the club will tolerate racism in any shape or form. Liverpool again came out strongly in defence of Suarez last night whilst condemning all forms of discrimination.
WHAT MESSAGE DOES THIS SEND TO FOOTBALL?
ENGLISH football led the world in fighting racism following dreadful scenes in the 70s and 80s, when players were routinely abused by fans. Forty years on, our game is still leading the fight thanks to schemes like Kick It Out. By banning Suarez for eight matches, the FA is leaving everyone in no doubt they intend to stamp out racism for good.