Wednesday 13 December 2017

Liverpool had no knowledge of Suarez apology as exit looks imminent

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez
Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez

It is believed that Liverpool had no prior knowledge of Luis Suarez’s apology today and it now looks likely to pave the way for his Anfield exit.

Suarez finally issued an apology for biting Giorgio Chiellini six days after the event, in what is regarded a move to clear the way for his transfer to Barcelona.

The Liverpool striker’s public statement was at odds with the official line of the Uruguay football association (AUF) and its president Wilmar Valdez who, along with the manager Oscar Tabarez, has stopped well short of making an apology.

Suarez tweeted the statement this evening, amid a stand-off between the AUF and Fifa that has become increasingly tense. Suarez, banned for nine competitive international games, and from all football for the next four months, is likely still to appeal elements of the ban.

Liverpool had no involvement in the apology, and no prior warning it was coming. It is understood Suarez also acted independently of AUF. It would appear that Suarez and his agent Pere Guardiola were the driving force behind it with a move to Barcelona their primary target this summer.

 Brendan Rodgers has spoken with Suarez since the incident 

On the outside of the appeal process, Liverpool’s position has not changed. They will demand £80m for the player if Barcelona want to sign him.

There was no suggestion from Suarez in the statement that he would drop his appeal and it is thought that he will try to have the ban of “all football-related activity” softened to allow him at least to train until he can return to playing.

In his original statement to Fifa before the ban was decided, the player denied even that the bite took place, claiming instead to have fallen into the Italian’s shoulder. In his statement this evening, he said: “After several days of being home with my family, I have had the opportunity to regain my calm and reflect about the reality of what occurred during the Italy-Uruguay match on 24 June, 2014.

“Independent from the fallout and the contradicting declarations that have surfaced during these past days, all of which have been without the intention of interfering with the good performance of my national team, the truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me. For this:

“1. I deeply regret what occurred. 2. I apologize to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family. 3. I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like this involving me.”

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