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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