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Suarez to fight racism charge

LIVERPOOL have vowed to stand by Luis Suarez after their striker was charged with racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

The charge follows a month-long investigation by the English FA but Liverpool say their Uruguayan striker will deny the charge at a personal hearing and that they remain "fully supportive" of him.

Evra made the claims immediately after the match at Anfield on October 15 telling a French TV station that Suarez had used a racist insult to him "at least 10 times".

The FA would not confirm the range of sanctions that Suarez could face if he is found guilty but it is believed they could include a ban or fine, or both.

Liverpool will speak to the 24-year-old striker in detail about the charge when he returns from international duty but the club said Suarez will plead not guilty.

A club 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.


"We will discuss the matter fully with him when he returns from international duty, but he will plead not guilty to the charge and we expect him to request a personal hearing.

"Luis remains determined to clear his name of the allegation made against him by Patrice Evra.

"The club remain fully supportive of Luis in this matter."

Evra made his claims immediately after the match and was quoted as telling French TV: "There are cameras, you can see him (Suarez) say a certain word to me at least 10 times."

Both players spoke to FA officials during the investigation and there have been suggestions that Suarez was unaware that what was acceptable in Uruguay was viewed as racist in Europe. An FA statement said: "The FA has today 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."

Suarez told Uruguayan media earlier this month: "There is no evidence I said anything racist to him. I said nothing of the sort.

"There were two parts of the discussion, one in Spanish, one in English. I did not insult him. It was just a way of expressing myself. I called him something his team-mates at Manchester call him, and even they were surprised by his reaction."

Evra reported his complaint to match referee Andre Marriner who included them in his report.