Sunday 20 October 2019

McGrath slams Liverpool for wearing tee-shirts in support of race-row star Suarez

Liverpool team-mates show support for Suarez before last night's game. Photo: Getty Images
Liverpool team-mates show support for Suarez before last night's game. Photo: Getty Images
It proved a frustrating night for Luis Suarez as Liverpool failed to score

PAUL McGrath has criticised the decision by Liverpool players to wear T-shirts in support of Luis Suárez. at last night’s away match.

The Manchester United, Aston Villa and Republic of Ireland legend tweeted: "as ex footballer having experienced racist comments throughout my career I was saddened to see Liverpool players wear those tshirts last nite."

He added: "I would have been much happier if they had worn anti racist t shirts."

The Uruguay international was given an eight-match ban by the English FA on Tuesday after being found guilty of misconduct for using insulting words to Patrice Evra which included a reference to the Manchester United defender's colour.

Suarez played in the goalless draw at Wigan last night as the club have 14 days to decide whether they will appeal.

Liverpool's players displayed their support for the 24-year-old, targeted with chants of "racist" and "cheat" by Wigan fans, by releasing a statement before kick-off and wearing T-shirts depicting an image of Suarez and his name and number seven

Blackburn Rovers striker Jason Roberts tweeted: "The stance on the Suarez issue from LFC has bemused me...are United going to print Evra shirts now????? Some issues are bigger than football."

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish believes the show of unity to Suarez by his team-mates is an indicator of the esteem in which he is held and said that the backing was reflected throughout the club.

"I think the boys showed their respect and admiration for Luis with wearing the T-shirts," said the Scot.

"It is a great reflection of the man as a character, a person and a footballer that the boys have been so supportive and so have the supporters

"He has earned that, has deserves it and we will always stand beside him.

"They will not divide the football club, no matter how hard they try."

Liverpool's travelling support sang Suarez's name solidly for the first seven minutes of the match and at various intervals throughout the evening.

"We stand right beside him and we always have and always will," added Dalglish. "That was reflected in the support he got from the fans and the players."

But players' chief Gordon Taylor said the ruling sent an important message out about racism, while Professional Footballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle said cultural differences were no excuse.

Taylor, chief executive of the PFA, said the sanction was an important message especially after the outcry at FIFA president Sepp Blatter's remarks - later retracted - that racism on the pitch should be settled by a handshake.

Taylor said: "This was an independent commission experienced in law and football and they must have had compelling evidence, and it sends out a very strong message to the rest of the world.

"I understand the point about cultural differences but if you come to this country all players have to abide by not just the laws of the game but the laws of the land as well.

"Referring to someone's skin colour has got to be offensive - it's self-evident.

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