IT WOULD seem that the Football Association are ending 2011 as some kind of trail-blazing example to the rest of the footballing world.

After ripping up their own rules about not rescinding red and yellow cards, they have now set a new standard for battling against racism.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was given a proper slap on the wrists as the FA handed down an eight-match ban for the Uruguayan’s blast of abuse aimed at Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

The Anfield club will appeal against the ban and had already cited before the FA hearing that what Suarez has said had been lost in translation and that an initial misunderstanding has led to a perceived miscarriage of justice.

Perhaps it would be easier to inform Senor Suarez that it is perhaps safer to take the attitude that when in Rome do as the Romans do – or even more simply to keep his trap shut.

But it does make you wonder just what has been said over the years to referees in languages that are not their own – not all of them have the presence of mind of Rudolf Kreitlein who sent off Argentine captain Antonio Rattin for ‘the look in his eye’ in the 1966 World Cup finals.

But whatever the result of any appeal in the Suarez case, it is good to see the FA actually coming down hard on this issue.

Too often in the past players and fans have been chastised for racist acts or chants only for the likes of UEFA or FIFA to then hand down a fine that probably was less than the takings from the pie van at the match.