Suarez will make 'not guilty' plea in Evra race row
Published 17/11/2011 | 05:00
Luis Suarez is set to plead 'not guilty' to a charge of racially abusing Patrice Evra which could result in the Liverpool forward being suspended for up to six games by the English FA.
Following a month-long FA investigation into claims by Manchester United defender Evra that he was subjected to racist insults by Suarez during a Premier League fixture at Anfield on October 15, the FA contacted Liverpool, Suarez and United yesterday to confirm the Uruguay international had been charged.
The FA, who suspended Reading's John Mackie for three games after the defender admitted racially abusing Sheffield United's Carl Asaba during a Championship fixture in December 2002, issued a statement last night outlining the charge against Suarez.
The statement said: "The FA has charged Liverpool's Luis Suarez following an incident that occurred during the Liverpool versus Manchester United fixture at Anfield on 15 October 2011.
"It is alleged that Suarez used abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Manchester United's Patrice Evra contrary to FA rules.
"It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra. The FA will issue no further comment at this time."
Having offered their full support to Suarez since Evra made his allegations, Liverpool are understood to be surprised by the decision to charge the 24 year-old.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has been a vocal supporter of Suarez throughout the investigation, insisting he and the club were 'totally and utterly behind' the former Ajax forward.
Liverpool confirmed last night they would continue to back Suarez. A statement said: "The club this afternoon received notification from the Football Association of their decision to charge Luis Suarez and will take time to properly review the documentation which has been sent to us."
Manchester United last night declined to comment when contacted about the FA's decision to charge Suarez. United were contacted by the FA last month and requested not to discuss the matter and Old Trafford officials remain determined to allow the investigation take its course. (© Daily Telegraph, London)