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Liverpool in the wrong, but Manchester United’s Fergie not in the right

Three days after the dust begins to settle from the outcry at Old Trafford on Saturday, there has been adequate time to reflect on the situation. Luis Suarez, the man at the centre of all the controversy, refused to shake Patrice Evra’s hand before the match kicked off, opening a whole new can of worms in the latest twist to the seemingly never ending saga. Whether Suarez was rightly or wrongly charged with using racist language to Evra, in his own mind he feels he is innocent so you can see why he would not want to shake hands with the United left back.  However Suarez had told the club and his manager Dalglish that he would indeed shake Evra’s hand before the game so he put the club, and mainly the manager who has supported him unequivocally, in a very awkward situation.

Liverpool and Dalglish had released comments prior to the match, that Suarez would take part in the handshake so the refusal to do so meant Suarez had deceived his manager and Liverpool football club. Reportedly due to the American owners of Liverpool, firstly Suarez via twitter issued a public apology for not shaking hands, followed by statements from Kenny Dalglish apologising for his post match comments after being told, contrary to what he thought and what was agreed with Suarez, had happened. Club C.E.O Ian Ayre also released a statement explaining that Suarez actions were unacceptable and he had been made clear that it will not be tolerated by Liverpool FC.

However, my main gripe is with Manchester United manager Sir Alex. Here lies one of the greatest managers of all time but his comments regarding Suarez were hypocritical and just plain wrong. Ferguson stated that Suarez ‘should never play for LFC again’ and is a ‘disgrace to LFC’. These comments coming from the man who watched Eric Cantona kung fu kick a fan in the crowd, Rio Ferdinand missing a drugs test and subsequently banned, Wayne Rooney cheating on his pregnant girlfriend and then holding the club to ransom over their ‘ambition’ and the whole Ryan Giggs injunction affair. Did we see Sir Alex saying either of them players should never play for Manchester United again? No, and all them actions were far worse than a non handshake.

There is no doubt that Suarez and Liverpool FC were right to apologise over the whole issue as they were in the wrong re: what had been agreed beforehand, but it doesn’t make Ferguson’s comments right in the slightest. Managers naturally will defend their own players to the hilt, especially Kenny Dalglish who remains fiercely loyal to his players so no one will feel more let down than him by the Uruguayan, but Sir Alex had no need to display those comments after the goings on in the past at his own club.

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  1. Parthiveeran

    14 February, 2012 at 01:55

    Your article has merit but it also fails at the same time. You highlight incidents pertinent to Manchester United that are not related to racial issues. The reason Sir Alex used those particular words, is that an apology to Evra still has not been warranted. If you read the FA briefing on the outcome it is clear that Suarez utilized language that was offensive and insulting to Evra based on his race and skin color. Suarez defense was weak and was rightly punished. What should have happened even before the trial should have been an open apology indicating that he did not intend to offend Evra in this fashion. Evra instigated that incident and is not free from blame, however he is the victim of racial abuse. In spite of that he was willing to shake Suarez’s hand and settle the issue. Suarez who previous committed to the futile handshake routine openly refuted his employers, his manager, his fellow players, and opponents by opting not to engage in it. This is why Sir Alex describes it as a disgrace. He might have exaggerated in terms of Suarez never playing. However, a player who commits a mistake, intentionally or unintentionally, has put his hand up and acknowledge. Liverpool FC and Daglish never sought this, which further infuriated the situation. Yes, the whole incident is blown out of proportion, however the gravity of the offence is extensive. Racism (which has resurfaced) has to be eradicated. Suarez is not a racist, that is understood by all, however he did utilize racist comments that were deemed offensive. All this situation needs is intelligent conflict resolution. The two parties both utilized offensive language. That is prevalent and cannot be eliminated. However when that language has racial undertones, the meaning and intention merits greater offense. The resolution should both apologizing and settling the matter, this of course was the intended course through the “futile” handshake. Its apparent failure reignites the unnecessary feud. To borrow Daglish’s words “your bang out of order” in highlighting the irrelevant issues of United’s players (they are not racist, this of course does not justify them; they are wrong)

  2. footballfan

    14 February, 2012 at 02:27

    ‘Suarez is not a racist, that is understood by all, however he did utilize racist comments’

    This is a nonsense comment. A person who utters racist words is a racist. Pure and simple. If the author of this rubbish is protecting Suarez then he’s a racist sympathiser, or put it another way, he’s also a racist.
    Its this attitude that’s exacerbated the situation.

    Suarez LIED to his manager and club last week by telling them he was going to shake Evra’s hand, and then refusing. From this it can be assumed that Suarez was lying in the aftermath of the October incident. The FA commission was right – Suarez is a totally unreliable witness.

    However whilst I sheet most of the blame to the ineptitude of manager Dalglish, the FA should carry some of the blame. The FA commission should have insisted on Suarez and Dalglish apologising to Evra for the remarks both made – Dalglish made a hugely slanderous statement when he first heard of Evra’s complaint – ‘he’s done this before’. Evra could very well sue Dalgilsh for this and KD wouldn’t have any defence.

    There is still a long way to go with this. Action by both Evra and the US owners of Liverpool will see this matter still be argued in the summer.

  3. Cat

    14 February, 2012 at 02:32

    Pathetic fool fans you guys r the one continue the saga. U guys ask for help if you forgotten Kenny ask for FA and ManUtd help to close the case so everyone can move one. Now even your owner and your sponsor are against you. Wait till he left and I’m going to see what this pathetic LFC fans going said about him??? LFC as a club being play by a single player??? Disgrace.

  4. Liam

    14 February, 2012 at 02:50

    ”Sir” Alice is the one who I feel most dissapointed in. He had tha opportunity to act like a ;;Sir instead all he did was add fuel to the fire!”Patricia” has a record also and is not an Angel,The way he played up to the fans at the end should have been dealt with as well.He was the one inciting trouble. This issue is far from finished and ”Sir” Alice has made sure it will not die. I do feel sorry for Kenny but I believe that ”Sir” Alice should hand back the Knighthood!His 25 years were brought undone by his actions.

  5. Daniel Khoo

    14 February, 2012 at 03:46

    Shouldn’t Evra be charged for trying to incite fans after the game? Guys who branded Suarez racist do not know what racist is all about. It is not as simple as using the N word. So shut the f… up if you have nothing else to add.

  6. Paddy

    14 February, 2012 at 03:48

    footballfan : you’re an idiot, what a ridiculous and utterly baseless statement you make!I sincerely hope you don’t pursue a career in law as it will be sure to be a short one based on your logic.

    Parthiveeran :
    Here’s an idea, why don’t people stop talking about racism all the time, eh? All is does is reinforce the idea that people are different. Instead as a novel approach why don’t we encourage promoting what people have in common, or is that just too crazy?
    As someone who’s lived abroad for more than 12 years and has experienced prejudice or outright racism on a personal level I believe that educating people from a young age is key. I’ve never made a big deal about it, people are idiots and it’s just encouraging them by reacting or making a big song and dance about it. It’s always amazed me that wherever I’ve been around the world I’ll always find common ground with the people of the country and in a lot of cases that common ground happens to be a love of football.
    How many kids in a multicultural school or housing estate base their friendships, views of a person on their skin colour? None is your answer, that comes later from either thick, ignorant parents or the crowd they choose to hang with, Nobody is born racist!

    Let’s not forget Evra’s hysterical shrieking on French TV after the game where he said Suarez called him a “n1443r” at least 10 times. He changed his own story several times and had all the evidence played to him whereas Suarez didn’t, if anything Suarez is guilty of having a shite defence from Liverpool who have played the whole thing very badly. If Evra hadn’t done what he did then I think there may have been a chance for Suarez to say he regretted what he said, blah, blah and move on. Man Utd have played the press brilliantly until yesterday when Fergie made his outrageous statement.

    I’ll grant you that Dalglish hasn’t covered himself in glory but if they feel that Suarez has been punished too extremely then they’re entitled to feel aggrieved by the media freak show that’s happened since.

    Yes, Suarez was wrong for not making the effort to shake hands and made a tit of Dalglish and the club because of it, but Evra really milked the situation by grabbing his arm and gesticulating to Dowd, not to mention his celebrations afterwards plus he clearly went in to try and “do” Suarez in the opening seconds when he ended up flying into Ferdinand instead. .

    Speaking of whom, why has he managed to get a free ride for refusing to shake Suarez’ hand? answers on a postcard please…..

    So, in conclusion the above article is pretty much on the money

  7. Ozzie

    14 February, 2012 at 04:04

    Evra is no angel too. Appointing him as captain is a big mistake. He is one of the players that revolted and sabotaged the French world cup team. World cup is the most pretigious competition in football. And yet he is willing to sabotage his national team advancement. Though he was punished.Could not recall ever seeing him displays true sportmanship behaviour in all his games. You can ask Arsenal and Chelsea fans. He is full of passion but for the wrong reason.

  8. Simbarashe tsada

    14 February, 2012 at 05:09

    I disagree with the writer on three isssues giggs ,rooney and cantona did any of these players involve any player outside manutd

  9. Wils

    14 February, 2012 at 06:11

    A co-worker and a man u fan called Suarez a south American cunt after the game but would not dare make similar reference to a black person for fear of prosecution. I am at a loss as to what can be construed as racist. As a black African I find the actions of the FA patronizing and counterproductive. Racism to a non black must carry the same weight of punishment as with black people. If you are Spanish please feel free to address me as negro

  10. ha haha

    14 February, 2012 at 06:23

    Man get a life, for the sack of controversy good article.
    How can u dig in the wrong bin for the wrong garbage, kikiki.
    But About Fergie you got know case man, period!

  11. Jumping Jesus

    14 February, 2012 at 07:27

    Wils you idiot. Dont assume that you can speak on behalf of all black people. Just because you invite Spanish people to call you ‘negro’ doesn’t make it any less offensive

  12. clinito

    14 February, 2012 at 08:24

    Ferguson sees liverpool and suarez as a threat and from the beginning looked to disrupt our team… remember ferguson himself was under the spotlight for sexually assulting a girl in cape town… then he has the nerve to call suarez a disgrace? they should ban man u players and staff for a change. they a protected by the FA and other organizations, and we must unite against the corruption they bring to football.

  13. Rkitect

    14 February, 2012 at 09:00

    Just a few very simple points that I feel are relevant to the article and the corresponding comments thereafter. Firstly, I am a Liverpool fan, let’s get that straight, but most of all I am a football fan who finds any form of racism abhorrent. Having said that I listen to Gangster Rap with the same enjoyment as the next man……..does this make me racist for liking the term “nigga” used in this context? I don’t think so! Don’t tell anyone but I also like the term “mutha fucka”, doesn’t mean I would if you know what I mean.

    If you dissect the FA report on the Suarez/Evra incident, like I have many times and like all persons commenting on this situation should have, it is clear to see that both Evra and the FA do not view Suarez as ‘racist’……fact! It is also clear to see that Evra sharted the whole thing by using a term towards Suarez that is highly offensive in his native Uraguay…..also fact!! Evra was considered by the FA panel to be a better witness though his whole defence was based on a lie, the great foul that never happened, as since proven by numerous videos and camera angles from the moment in question……fact again!!! Saurez did use a term that is used extensively in his native Uraguay as a term of endearment, that term was “negro”, also the Spanish word for black. He did not use this word in tandem with any other offensive language but Evra was offended by it, fair enough. The whole issue here is not one of race but of misunderstanding and poor education of what is expected of professional foreign nationals who come to work in the EPL, that applies to both Evra and Suarez.

    Finally, Fergie is a hypocrite without doubt. He is the man who supported his former goalkeeper through a far worse racial episode. He is the man who supported his midfield general who intentionally set out to ‘break a fellow professionals legs’ and he is the man who physically harmed his own star player by kicking a football boot at him. Like it or not…..they are facts!!!!

  14. aaron

    14 February, 2012 at 17:25

    totally agree with this article, fergie was out of order and his remarks were worse than what suarez and kenny had done.

  15. OBJ

    14 February, 2012 at 21:07

    I think LS refusal to shake PE infuriated SAF and caused the statements he made. LS should nt have abused Evra like that,and after the ban,he should have just continue his career on a peacefull ,not by causing another another uproar,creating more negative impression abt himself. Wish both players well,but football is a global sport not a racial sport.

  16. Corbs

    15 February, 2012 at 12:34

    Very good article and good responses… Some not so good replies to tho. Regarding the Man UTD players, Rooney, Rio and Giggs, no they didn’t involve players from other clubs, but Roy Keane attempting to end the career of a fellow player and Roy Carroll and Paul Scholes refusing to shake Patrick Vieras hand all did, and none were punished by Sir Alex!

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