With Luis Suarez receiving a ten-match suspension for biting Branislav Ivanovic, it poses the question, are the FA consistent with their suspensions and is this ten match ban too severe?

Initial observations would suggest that the punishments are not consistent. In 2006, Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe escaped any action from the FA for biting West Ham's Javier Mascherano; the FA's reason was that because the referee had witnessed the incident and booked Defoe he could not be punished retrospectively. 

This rule the FA introduced meaning they cannot punish retrospectively is outrageous; it is an excuse to not take the appropriate action against the player, an act of cowardice.

You can also observe this season’s controversies to assess the FA's performance in their handling of disciplinary issues. One example is the eight match ban Luis Suarez received earlier in the season for racially abusing Patrice Evra - something that could not be proved; with the FA only taking Evra's word against Suarez in this case. 

Then there was the John Terry racism incident, which also occurred earlier this season. In this case there was clear video evidence that Terry bellowed the unsavoury and racist language towards Anton Ferdinand; Terry was even taken to court to answer his case, later being found not guilty. 

However, you would of thought the FA would give Terry the same punishment as Suarez, but sadly this was not the case. 

Fortunately for Terry he received only half the ban Suarez did, so he only missed four games, surely the same offence should be met with the same punishment? But this is clearly not the case with the FA.

Other incidents have also caught the eye. Towards the end of last season, Mario Balotelli executed a poorly timed challenge on Arsenal's Alex Song, which could have ended his season if there was more contact. 

Many called for Balotelli to receive a three-match ban for violent conduct; however, because two of the officials 'saw the incident' the FA could not act on the incident, meaning Balotelli escaped with no punishment at all. Compare this with QPR defender Shaun Derry, who received a red card in a match against Manchester United, even though replays suggested that Ashley Young had dived to win the penalty. Quite rightly Derry and QPR were fuming, so they appealed the red card, only for the FA to somehow reject the appeal and Derry served his one match ban.

So with all these inconsistencies within the FA, what message are they sending to all football fans? 

One message they do send is that if you nibble an opponent, that is worse than aiming racial slurs at your peers.

 

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