EPL

On this day in 2012 – Liverpool opt not to appeal against Luis Suarez racism ban

By Sports Desk January 03, 2024

Liverpool and Luis Suarez grudgingly accepted the striker’s eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra on this day in 2012.

The Uruguay international began his suspension immediately after the club reviewed the 115-page document from the independent disciplinary commission and decided not to appeal against the sanction and a £40,000 fine.

However, Liverpool made it clear their action was by no means an acceptance of culpability and again criticised the way the Football Association handled the investigation into an incident which occurred during the 1-1 draw at Anfield in October, 2011.

“It is our strongly held conviction that the Football Association and the panel it selected constructed a highly subjective case against Luis Suarez based on an accusation that was ultimately unsubstantiated,” Liverpool said in a statement.

“The FA and the panel chose to consistently and methodically accept and embrace arguments leading to a set of conclusions that found Mr Suarez to ‘probably’ be guilty while in the same manner deciding to completely dismiss the testimony that countered their overall suppositions.

“Mr Evra was deemed to be credible in spite of admitting that he himself used insulting and threatening words towards Luis and that his initial charge as to the word used was somehow a mistake.

“The facts in this case were that an accusation was made, a rebuttal was given and there was video of the match. The remaining facts came from testimony of people who did not corroborate any accusation made by Mr Evra.”

Suarez, in making his own personal statement, made it clear he did not accept the accusations of which he was found guilty.

“Never, I repeat, never, have I had any racial problem with a team-mate or individual who was of a different race or colour to mine. Never,” he said.

“I am very upset by all the things which have been said during the last few weeks about me, all of them being very far from the truth.

“But above all, I am very upset at feeling so powerless whilst being accused of something which I did not, nor would not, ever do.”

The bad feeling continued when Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand ahead of the return fixture between the sides in February.

However, the pair would shake hands before a Champions League match between Suarez’s Barcelona and Evra’s Juventus in 2015.

In 2019, when Evra made an appearance as a pundit on Sky Sports, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher apologised to the Frenchman after Reds players wore a T-shirt supporting Suarez in the warm-up for a Premier League match at Wigan, and Evra later revealed he also received a letter of apology from the club.

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