Sunday 19 November 2017

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez says FA convicted him 'without any proof' over Patrice Evra race row

LUIS Suarez, the Liverpool striker banned for eight matches for his racist comments aimed at Manchester United's Patrice Evra, has told Russian media that his "conscience is clear" and claims the Football Association convicted him "without proof".



The 25 year-old says that the FA wanted "to get rid of a Liverpool player" when the accusations of racism flared up on October 15 when United visited their arch-rivals at Anfield.

The Uruguay forward was subsequently banned by the FA having been found guilty, by an independent panel, of racially abusing the French defender.

Suarez, who signed for Liverpool from Ajax Amsterdam in the summer of 2011 for a club record £22.8 million, was ordered not to appeal the decision by the club.

He aggravated matters further when, back from suspension, Liverpool travelled to Old Trafford and he ignored the hand of Evra at the start of the match.

Suarez has never apologised to Evra personally for what has happened and, speaking on Russia Today, has made clear he feels he has no cause to.

"My conscience is clear [on Evra]." he said.

"The suspension, I suppose, you could call strange and unbelievable. Without a single shred of proof, they suspended me.

"I accepted it without saying anything obviously because they could have made [the suspension] longer and it would have just made the whole thing continue, but my conscience is completely clear, and so is that of the club and my family.

"There was not a single convincing proof that I had done any of the things they accused me of doing. I am very calm about all of it. I have played all my childhood and everyone knows that in Uruguay there is a huge black population.

"I had team-mates and friends of both colours all the time in the national team, in Liverpool, in Holland, where the majority [of players] are from Surinam, and I never had any problem with them."

He continued: "Holland is one of the countries in the world where there is the highest number of black players and at no point was there an issue.

"Well, these are the things about football. It seems to me that they had to get rid of a Liverpool player and, well, they definitely were gratified by all of this."

Suarez's comments were published a day after The Professional Footballers Association made clear that they would like to make racist abuse on the field a sackable offence next season.

PFA chief Gordon Taylor announced the proposal on Thursday, which would see a clause to that effect written in to players' contracts.

It will need the backing of the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee, which includes the Premier and Football League, but Taylor told The Guardian: "I don't see a problem with that being introduced.

"It just highlights the point in the standard players' contract. It would say that racist abuse, if found guilty, will be classed as gross misconduct and a reason to terminate a contract.

"I feel it's important to highlight it, bearing in mind what has happened, and not mess about with it and not afford for anybody to be ambiguous about what the consequences are.

"I'm not saying it's ambiguous [now]. But just to really put it in there means there is no misunderstanding on how seriously we take it.

"If any player is found guilty of racist abuse, the club and the player need to be aware that could be a solid reason for terminating the contract."

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