Kristian Walsh, Liverpoolfc.tv's regular fan columnist, shares his thoughts on the Luis Suarez situation.
For the past two months, Luis Suarez has worn the shirt of Liverpool consumed by a dark shadow; a shadow cast by an even darker cloud above his head.
You might not have noticed it given his luminous performances. Suarez's star shines so bright, even the darkest matter seems to disappear in his presence.
Given how much the Uruguayan loves his football, he might not have even realised himself. He certainly didn't when he ran West Brom, Swansea and Aston Villa ragged; there was no sign of it when he nutmegged Ryan Shotton and curled in a glorious goal at the Britannia, either.
But the longer Evra's accusations and the FA's charge went unsubstantiated, the darker the shadow became. That was something that suited many.
Guilty until proven innocent was the mentality and mantra of many across the country; previous misdemeanours, none holding resonance to the current charge, provided unquestionable, insatiable proof before any hearing had even taken place. The cloud thickened; the shadow darkened. Luis Suarez, English football's pantomime villain, had fulfilled his typecast perfectly.
It matters not the vast majority of professional footballers would have handballed Dominic Adiyiah's goal bound shot in a World Cup quarter final; it matters not England striker Jermain Defoe bit Javier Mascherano on the arm in 2006.
It also matters little both the FA and Patrice Evra have gone on record to deny Luis Suarez is racist. Some of the nation's media have labelled him as such; the footballing public, predictably, will follow. Too many have been too hasty to comment on a case they have little knowledge on. I was guilty too, making an overcomplicated point about how a lie will be believed if it is repeated enough times. The manner in which the point was made was wrong, but the sentiment remains right.
As detailed in the club's official statement, the punishment provides few answers and raises more questions - none of which I'm qualified to deal with.
Until the written reasons from Paul Goulding QC is released to the public, Suarez will remain a pariah to supporters of other clubs. Until then, Liverpool supporters must rally behind him in the manner both Kenny Dalglish and the club have done.
Neither the football club nor Dalglish would risk their personal integrity in giving their backing to Suarez so boldly if they did not believe his name deserves' to be cleared.
Judging people on the colour of their skin is abhorrent in our society, but it is hard to fathom Suarez - former captain of Ajax Amsterdam, a club of vast multi-cultural significance - doing such a thing.
Unfortunately, people have already judged him. They did from the moment he put on a red shirt; they did from the moment Patrice Evra made the allegation.
It doesn't matter if the FA want to ban him for eight games or 80, football matters not - it's the label Luis Suarez, the person, has now been given because of the testimony of another.
The cloud has fallen upon him; the shadow has engulfed him. Just make sure that, alongside the club and manager Kenny Dalglish, you lift it when he needs it most; make sure he never walks alone.