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Suarez misses chance to move on

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Phil McNulty | 21:25 UK time, Saturday, 11 February 2012

At Old Trafford

The romantics hoped Luis Suarez would end it with a handshake. The flaw in this theory is that, at least between Manchester United and Liverpool, the age of romance is long since dead.

In truth not much romance exists anyway, and certainly less since Liverpool's striker received an eight-game ban after the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra at Anfield in October.

But the fervent hope of most observers was that the pair could at least limit further damage from the saga by observing the formalities of the Premier League's traditional pre-match handshake.

Sadly, Suarez added fuel to a poisonous Old Trafford atmosphere by refusing to acknowledge Evra's outstretched hand as they passed moments before kick-off.

In the confusion - and you can add awkwardness, anger and embarrassment to that - Evra tried to grab Suarez's arm and Rio Ferdinand subsequently ignored the hand proffered by the Uruguayan.

So much for moving on.

Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez

Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez failed to put their row behind them

It set the tone for an ill-tempered game viewed around the world, won by Manchester United but not one that will be used to endorse much that is good about the Premier League product.

If the intention was to draw a line under this affair, Suarez's actions torpedoed it and Liverpool were once again left to deal with the fall-out.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who has kept lid on his feelings for almost this entire business, let it all burst out as he verbally lacerated Suarez: "For a club with their history I would get rid of him, I really would. He is a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club. That player should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again."

The counter-argument, which we did not hear from Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish as he declined to attend the post-match written media conference, may be that it would suit Ferguson's purposes nicely for a player of Suarez's talent to disappear from Anfield.

And Ferguson may not have appreciated such strong advice had it come from Liverpool when Eric Cantona launched himself into the crowd kung fu-style at Selhurst Park in 1995.

This is by the by of course, but there is no doubt Liverpool do have issues to settle with Suarez, whether in the coming weeks or at the end of the season.

Dalglish pleaded ignorance to Suarez's snub for Evra but it may have come as quite a surprise to him given his previous words.

In the lead-up to United's 2-1 win he said: "People are already speculating on the pre-match ceremony. But from Luis's point of view, we have spoken to him and I know he will shake the hand of Patrice Evra and the other Manchester United players before the game."

Now clearly something went wrong here. If this was Suarez's plan, he obviously diverted dramatically and damagingly away from it. In the process he undermined his manager.

If he did tell Liverpool he would shake hands with Evra, then failed to do so, even Dalglish - who as recently as Monday insisted he should never have served a suspension - may have words to say to Suarez.

And how will Liverpool's American owners - still silent on the other side of the Atlantic - feel about Suarez once again acting in a manner that has caused their club to be portrayed in an unflattering light?

A sound theory expressed by many, and agreed with here, is that if Liverpool and Dalglish knew Suarez was going to reject Evra's hand so publicly, they might have asked for the pre-match handshake to be ditched. That was what happened when Chelsea's John Terry met QPR's Anton Ferdinand in the FA Cup last month, and would have avoided the embarrassment and criticism that had already started to descend on Liverpool and Suarez in the hours after the game.

The worth of the pre-match handshake is another debate. Here, however, it resulted in the extension of recriminations between England's two most successful clubs, with Suarez at the centre.

Suarez also made a contribution to an acrimonious end to the first half by launching into protests following what appeared to be a legal challenge by Ferdinand before lashing the ball away in frustration when referee Phil Dowd sounded the half-time whistle. That was the signal for unedifying scenes in the tunnel.

In a sensational departure, a football match broke out early in the second half with two goals from Wayne Rooney giving United control, Suarez himself setting up a tense finish by pulling a goal back.

For balance, Evra then unwisely did an impromptu triumphant sprint around Old Trafford ending, not entirely coincidentally it appeared, very close to a visibly downcast Suarez. Cue more angry confrontations and condemnation for his own player from Ferguson.

Evra had claimed the moral high ground after Suarez's rejection of his conciliatory gesture but he conceded some of it back with his behaviour at the end.

Ferguson's suggestion that Liverpool should sell Suarez is highly unlikely to be acted upon by Dalglish, especially as those around him - the utterly anonymous Stewart Downing in particular - posed no threat.

Suarez, however, is a walking story and not all of them good - whether it is being banned for biting in the Netherlands, suspended in England for racially abusing Evra, then refusing his handshake, or simply for a mercurial talent that is heavily laced with maverick tendencies.

He seems content enough for now at Liverpool but it is inevitable his combustible temperament will make him a target for opposition crowds, although not on the scale of what he experienced at Old Trafford.

Will this force him to consider his future elsewhere? Or, if he fails to curb this fatal attraction to controversy, will Liverpool actually be forced to ponder whether he is worth the trouble?

It will require delicate management from Dalglish, who has treated Suarez with something approaching worship since he arrived at Anfield just over a year ago.

The easiest thing for Suarez to do would have been to shake Evra's hand and move on. He simply moved on.

Was there any solace on Saturday, other than that afforded to Manchester United in victory? Maybe there was.

That is that these two clubs do not meet again this season. Imagine if Dirk Kuyt had not scored the late winner in the FA Cup at Anfield and it was all back to Old Trafford this week for a replay in the current incendiary atmosphere?

The same romantics who hoped this game might at least place an end to the ill feeling in sight might just hope time will prove some sort of healer. In the aftermath of Old Trafford on Saturday, not many were holding their breath.


Page 1 of 23

  • Comment number 1.

    I see Liverpool's problems as two-fold:

    Firstly, they have a cornucopia of pub-standard British plodders. Whilst, of course, the £35m Diplodocus, Andy ''Red Lion'' Carroll is the most egregious example, the likes of Jordan ''the twenty million pound man'' Henderson, Charlie ''accident waiting to happen'' Adam and Stewart ''supreme lord of the assists'' Downing should not be forgotten in this category. That's £81m ''worth'' of British ''talent''.

    Secondly, their manager, Kenny Dalglish appears to have a managerial style which was thought to have become extinct sometime during the Jurassic period. This ''style'' may have been good enough in the 1980s, or even the early 1990s, but it's the 21st-century now, and this style of football is - quite literally - as old as Adam.

  • Comment number 2.

    Perhaps Suarez felt that he shouldn't have been suspended,because he hadn't meant what he said to Evra as racial abuse.If so,he probably felt annoyed with Evra and didn't feel like shaking Evra's hand.There's no rule that says he has to shake hands with Evra if he doesn't want to - and there shouldn't be any rule that says that.

  • Comment number 3.

    I wonder if this piece of stupidity is the start of Suarez trying to move to a bigger club in the summer, following on from his agents comments in the past few weeks. He has hung Dalglish completely out to dry again and not even Dalglish can defend his actions this time surely?

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm a Liverpool fan but I can't believe Suarez didn't take this opportunity to draw a line under the whole affair. He is an amazing player and I hope he stays at the club for a long time but he has to start looking at the situation and realising the more it drags on, the more it will begin to take it's toll on the club as a whole and damage it's fine reputation. The sooner this is all over and we can get back to enjoying the football the better.

  • Comment number 5.

    Suarez was banned for ADMITTING to call Evra a 'negro' or variation of such, multiple times during heated exchanges during a match. In no way was this a friendly exchange using a colloquial, affectionate term and as such he was banned for 8 games. Suarez's defence in these terms was in fact rejected as "unsustainable".

    How on earth then can he refuse to shake Evra's hand? The hand of a man he racially abused. He is a disgrace. I would love for him to explain how Evra is the wronged party in this affair. If he thinks Evra lied, why admit to calling him a negro? Disgusting individual.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    Perhaps Man U fans should remember Eric Cantona and Gary Neville:-

  • Comment number 8.

    Kenny told in the interview that he did not know that Suarez refused handshake...Phil, didnt u hear that or is it that u conviniently avoided that here?

  • Comment number 9.

    1. Suarez should have shaken hands, but chose not to. So what? Evra should have been the bigger man and brushed it off instead of reacting like a baby.
    2. Evra clearly tries to incite Suarez and Suarez does not retaliate.
    3. Fergie clearly is trying to influence the media by saying that Suarez is a disgrace. Surely, a missed handshake has been blown out of proportion. Fergie should mind his own business instead. How would he like it if someone said that he is a disgrace to Scotland for accepting a knighthood from an English queen?

  • Comment number 10.

    A quick glance through Liverpool fan forums, such RedAndWhiteKop, shows that Liverpool fans are now trying to claim Suarez tried to shake Evra's hand and that it was Evra who pulled away. Im actually embarrassed for them.

  • Comment number 11.

    It hurts as a liverpool fan that suarez didnt shake evra's hand, even after kenny dalglish saying he would. But suarez has been adamant ever since the incident first happened that he didnt do anything wrong. So if he didnt want to shake evra's hand because he didnt believe with what evra complained about then its fine, its just a handshake. The irritating part is that this is being blown up again. And why does rio ferdinand have to butt in again in a situation where he is not needed.

  • Comment number 12.

    Both parties are as bad as each other and the whole debacle needs a line drawing under so both clubs can move forward to their respective targets. The media do not help. There was plenty of other talking points, i.e. the lack of Liverpool potency but you choose to comment on this!

  • Comment number 13.

    To shake or not to shake, that's become the question. I mean, how much does it really matter? Man U took the three & no amount of handshaking, high fiving or bum slapping would change that.

    They all really looked like a bunch of squabbling school kids today...

    I agree with you Phil, Suarez sure made it hard on himself, but obviously feels a bit hard done by given the call of the FA to make a judgement based on, what they consider, a lack of believe ablility and general credibility on his behalf and the opposite for Evra.

    Not surpirsing that SAF pulled no punches. He really know how to call a scouse spade a rake.

  • Comment number 14.

    Enough is enough as far as I'm concerned. Suarez showed his spiteful and petty nature once again to the masses, whilst Evra really should have accepted a points win and a place on the moral highground. There was no real need to run around celebrating, though, in his shoes, who wouldn't ?

  • Comment number 15.

    Same old melodrama crap that the Premier League is famous for. Feels good to be a real fan of a football league club

  • Comment number 16.

    The problem is that nothing in the rules stated that there should be a script, and that Suarez was to shake Evras hand. Knowing Suarez from what he's shown, he always plays to the games' boundaries, he knew the potential in this game to raise tempers/hard feelings even more and he just plays right along.

    But the rulebook cannot touch him in this instance. In the end it's down to Suarez as an individual, since Evra has been the first to attempt to make amends. Poor showing from him again, apart from the goal of course.

  • Comment number 17.

    At number 9, Suarez IS a disgrace. Please dont try to put his actions in any other light. Just because you are a Liverpool fan does not mean you have to stand by something outrageous.

  • Comment number 18.

    Absolutely no conspiracy here....

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi Phil, hope you don't mind but I'd like to take you to task a little. This is what I saw and I've had the benefit of two different camera angles to form my opinion of what happened. (shown here

    Your story seems to focus blame directly and solely at Luis Suarez and I'm certain you've done Luis an injustice. Patrice seems to hold his hand out, steady and at the same height, for each Liverpool player in-turn until Luis approached. It was at that point Patrice lowers his hand away from Luis' extended hand.

    When it was apparent to Patrice that Luis moved on to the United keeper, he made a commotion which gave the appearance of a snub by Luis.

    Why is it two witnesses of an event can have diametrically, opposing accounts of what actually happened?

    Best and thanks for the blog.

  • Comment number 20.

    i cant believe this. Has anyone actually seen the footage, does no one see suarez offer his hand and Evra is the one moves his hand back? its on Youtube for goodness sake or you can see another view on This Is Anfield website. No wonder Suarez said its not as it seems! Especially when poor reporting stirs it up more. I expect this to be moderated but hopefully the BBC will have the guts to go back, look again and start realising there is reason why Dalglish is defending Suarez and get back to impartial journalism.

  • Comment number 21.

    You also wonder whether Liverpool's stance in this whole episode would have changed if it had not been against Evra or Manchester United? Would they really claim a conspiracy if Suarez made a racist comment to a player from Blackburn or Norwich, or wear the t-shirts of support against a player, or not appeal, and still claim he should not have been suspended in the first place? I somehow doubt it. He made a mistake, man up, apologise, take the punishment and shut up, or better still, work with the Kick It Out campaign to prove his integrity is indeed intact.

  • Comment number 22.

    It's not a matter of whether there is a rule that says he should shake hands. It is what he should have done. What message does this send to children about fair play and sporting behaviour. The behaviour of Suarez is indicative of the slowly dropping mentality of football players in this country. Evra was no better and has surely shamed himself by his post match actions. The Premier League is becoming an international laughing stock

  • Comment number 23.

    I disagree with you Phil that it was an "ill-tempered game" - in fact the game itself was a good example of the excellence of the Premier League, and there was little bad temper, mistimed challenges, or over-aggression. It was before the game, in the tunnel, and after the game that the unwanted confrontations occurred.

    Suarez was disgraceful, as was Dalglish after the game. Evra was the bigger man, and should be highly respected for that. It is a shame he celebrated so vigorously next to Suarez at the end, but his joyous reaction and celebrations in front of United fans (not in front of the Liverpool fans) after a victory in the biggest derby of the season; and having faced racist comments, a lack of an apology, and being booed for having suffered racist abuse; is hardly something he should be condemned for!

    Having seen responses from pundits, players, and twitter and Facebook comments it would appear almost all the country share these feelings and have condemned both Suarez and Dalglish (and by association, therefore Liverpool FC too).

  • Comment number 24.

    @Soul Patch

    I completely agree with you. But what are your views on Suarez and the racism row?

  • Comment number 25.

    I am a 35 yrs liverpool fan and a great admirer of KD who I am sure is and will succeed there again despite some bad signings but who has not had bad signings, the thing is to realize and replace, move on. Carroll and maybe Downing could be sold to get one decent striker which we still dont have nor have we had since Torres and even when he was there, we needed 2 not 1.
    In any case, there is no doubt of Suarez's talent or has there ever been, but there has always been and now even more so, doubt about his temperament.
    I think personally John Barnes was the most consistent and skillful player we have ever had and can remember the banana's etc as I am sure KD can as he signed him. I am quite amazed at KDs outspoken defense of Suarez during this whole affair as I think we all know he is not a racist but DID make racist remarks and thats ilegal, end of story. Punishment too harsh, yes but its finished. He had to learn, grow up and move on, but today showed he is not able to.
    For me, much as we need him, we need now to take an italians 30 or 40 million for him and move on too, simple. I am sure the summer will bring some surpises. KD has stuck his neck out and now been stabbed in the back and while he wont say it publicly as its not his way, he will certainly be telling Suarez what he thinks. I doubt he will play in the next game and I doubt he will have a long lived career at LVFC.
    Its a shame, but with a summer clear out needed, whats the difference. ALso with us getting to possible 2 cup finals(hope) without him, I think LVFC can still be strong if they manage to wisely spend moneys raised in the Summer and cut losses and move on. Carroll was in reality free, so even 20M is something and Downing will recoup easy enough.
    Anyway, this is embarassing for LVFC and it is bringing out the racist supporters and ruining our reputation, so if KD does not act, I trust the Americans will and he will be gone, what ALex said is true although maybe should not have said it.

  • Comment number 26.

    Typical British media. Under the thumb of Mr Ferguson. Too scared to speak up to him. How many journalists rattled Mr Ferguson for crashing out of the Champions League and into the Europa? Ferguson's record at Man UTD is pants if you consider the biggest competition in club football. Only 2 Champions Leage triumphs in over 25 years at arguably the richest club in the world in the last 25 years. Absolute failure IMO. Remember when Mess, Xavi and Iniesta had Giggs chasing their shadows. Now that was a footballing lesson!!!!

  • Comment number 27.

    Dalglish should not have played Suarez until the second half, would have solved the whole handshake issue. Fergie did that too Rooney in the previous league game at Anfield. Shows that Liverpool have very little options.

    On the actual performance, Liverpool were awful. Enrique couldn't control Valencia and their threat up front was almost nil. Liverpool have some serious work to do if they ever plan on getting back into the top four.

  • Comment number 28.

    to be honest, this whole debacle is something similar to what you would find on the school playground. fair enough, saurez has been proven guilty, hes done his time and should move on, evra was clearly prepared to do so.

    on the subject of the controversial celebrations from evra post match, well saurez had basically stuck two fingers up at evra by not shaking his hand, so evra politely returned the favour, rubbing saurez' face in the victory as the winning team did their talking on the pitch and you know what? I would do the same....

  • Comment number 29.

    The problem is the FA - they completely messed up the situation. Suarez admitted to using a Spanish/Latin word which in his culture is not offensive (are we going to have to stop using the word Montenegro to describe that beautiful Balkan country?!!). The FA should have accepted this, given him a two match ban with a suspension, then explained to him and everyone else what is and isn't acceptable in terms of language on (or off) the football field. Then Suarez and Evra could have appeared together, shaken hands,shown that everyone is against racism (Suarez is not a racist) and moved on.
    Instead the muppets and the FA took a holier-than-thou attitude and banned him for eight games, thereby inflaming the whole situation. Totally ridiculous!
    The chairman and board of the FA should resign - get someone in with half a brain who is interested in moving football forward.

  • Comment number 30.

    The double standards touted around the handling of these racist incidents appear to be the problem. Had Suarez announced his intention would the FA have cancelled the handshake as for QPR and Chelsea? Or now that they've handed out a punishment does this 'wipe the slate clean'?

    Additionally, Suarez is obviously aggrieved that Evra is involved in his suspension and whether his action is correct or not, what of Ferdinand's admission that he then wouldn't shake hands?

    Ferguson on this occasion needs to take a good look at his own players (notably Evra's antagonistic post-match celebration) and remember that he has supported Kung-Fu Cantona and the long-term banned Ferdinand without suggesting they are a disgrace and should be sold.

    P.S. I'm not a racist, a Man Utd, Liverpool, QPR or Chelsea fan but I do love football!

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    LFC should be concerned though. Needs to be 'resolved' quickly before the media print of another few books from this.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    I am very upset with Suarez and his actions have caused us to lose a very important match against utd. If only he had shook evra's hand the game would have been played with a good frame of mind. Any put all this aside this will continue for some time. Just for the records LFC have won 40 titles in all competitions to Man Utds 37 including their 19 league titles. So we are the most successful club in England, not Utd.

  • Comment number 35.

    The British media are xenophobic. They don't understand different cultures. South Americans tend to be hot tempered and confrontational. This is part of their game.

  • Comment number 36.

    If you look at it again and don't listen to the commentary saying that Saurez refused to shake his hand. It's very difficult to say who refused to shake whose hand.

  • Comment number 37.

    I personally think Suarez should have just shaken Evra's hand and at least seemed like they were putting things to bed. Obviously he has his reason's for not doing it, but i think he should have looked at the bigger issue in terms of Liverpool Football Club and the view of everyone else.

    Fair play to Evra for wanting to shake hands with Suarez after everything that happened. Shame that Rio also refused to shake hands, guess we won't know his reasons and whether his refusal was premeditated or not.

    On the down side from Man United, i think Ferguson is out of order in sticking his nose into our business with his comments regarding selling Suarez. He had held his head so high in the previous few months but really let himself down with this outburst. Poor show from so many "professionals"

  • Comment number 38.

    I think that the sports media needs to start pulling its socks up, and begin reporting about sport, rather than creating and exacerbating these ''soap operas'' and ''dramas'' surrounding sporting events.

    A handshake (or lack of it) is a complete non-issue.

    All the way up to this game, there was talking about ''the handshake'', and the journalists/presenters were unanimously expressing their insincere hope that it wouldn't become an issue.

    As soon as ''the handshake'' didn't occur, then they couldn't wait to go on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, ad nauseum about it; ensuring that the pot bubbled in an already volatile fixture.

    If Suárez doesn't shake Evra's hand then, really, who cares? If Ferdinand doesn't shake Suárez' hand then, once again, who actually cares?

    These are personal squabbles between players, and only serve to create ''stories'' for the media.

    Personally speaking, I think that both Suárez and Evra behaved like a couple of schoolchildren. Patrice is the kind who's always running to tell the teacher what his classmates have done: ''Miss, Miss, this nasty boy said this/did this'', and Luis is the sort who does something, acts all innocent, and then blames everyone else to get himself out of trouble. :rollseyes:

  • Comment number 39.

    If someone decides not to invite you to their birthday party, should you throw a hissy fit like Evra did?

  • Comment number 40.

    The media, so reliant on pictures these days, are going to look VERY foolish over this.

  • Comment number 41.

    On a related topic, I take it that Rio Ferdinand will refuse to accept his England place besides John Terry?

  • Comment number 42.

    but ye, as someone else said, the official punishments have been served, and this is just more Premier handbags due for probable escalation any time soon.

    So, the next England manager will be-?

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    What a big fuss over nothing, its completely pathetic that this is all over the news. Suarez does not like Evra so why should he shake his hand? As for Ferguson, I didn't hear him complain about Man Utd and Rio Ferdinand's dignity when he in turn refused to shake Suarez hand. Agree with #30, Ferguson should get off his high horse and take a look at his own players.

  • Comment number 45.

    Dalglish had a big chance to be a real footballing statesman and a big man after today's events. How sad that, when interviewed afterwards, he was actually unaware of Suraez's refusal to shake hands, and also unaware of any fracas in the tunnel. Obviously we have to believe what he says. We can hardly imagine that he'd make something like that up can we ? What would that say about him ?

  • Comment number 46.

    Cantona and Suarez as a comparison is as shocking as I have seen you write. Cantona was goaded, Suarez was the goader.. Suarez has been convicted of racism. There is not place for that. But you are loving it. It gives you and the other journos something to write about, it livens up a routine football day, and the media storm that has been around these two is down to the journalists who write it. You have to hold your hand up at some stage and ask is football journalism responsible journalism. Yes we are all a part of the problem, but only some of us are part of the solution. Evra was an idiot at the end of the match. He wasn't the brightest during his last world cup either. My dissappointment in the whole affair is the reaction of Daglish and Liverpool football club. I thought they were better than that. I would ask though, What did Ferguson or any other manager do, when as he said himself, John Barnes was having Bananas thrown at him.

  • Comment number 47.

    19 and 36
    Really clear that it is EVRA WHO REFUSES TO SHAKE HANDS at first, but then seems to change his mind, but then Suarez is past him.

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    In fact, I would go so far as to say the media is deliberately trying to destroy the career of a foreign player.

    If that's not racist, I don't know what is.

  • Comment number 50.

    Evra enjoys dishing it out but can't accept being on the receiving end. Did he play the race card and act like a victim? Didn't he disrespect the Irish when they lost the World Cup play off?

  • Comment number 51.

    Although admittedly not an expert in the field of handshakes, I don't think it's compulsory to shake the hand of a person you don't like. Suarez didn't want to shake Evra's hand, so what? Another 8 game ban?

  • Comment number 52.

    So now comparing a racially abused individual to a schoolyard grass? Turn it in.

    As for the handshake - the number of people who thought the handshake should have been removed - what a sad indictment of sport in this country that a simple handshake before the game has to be taken out! There are no winners today, but Liverpool have lost massively

  • Comment number 53.

    P90AKIMBO & CoalitionOfTheWilting

    This is not about Liverpool or Man Utd, it is a matter of right over wrong.

  • Comment number 54.

    "luis16suarez Luis Suarez
    We lost and we are sad because we have made a big effort... Disappointed because everything is not that it seems..."

    We've seen that.

    What's going on is absolutely sickening.

  • Comment number 55.


    Couldn't agree more.

    Use your eyes.

  • Comment number 56.

    I suggest the writer of this blog looks at all the video of this so called handshake refusal. It appears Evra kept his hand low and suckered Suarez into believing he was going to blank him. The clever Frenchman then grabbed Suarez by the arm and gestured in astonishment at the camera which fooled even his team mate Ferdinand who thought Suarez had blanked Evra. All clever stuff from a French international who disgraced his nation in the world cup and who his disliked by French football fans apparently. I didnt realise refusing to shake someones hand was an incitement . Perhaps Suarez should have aimed a kunk fu kick at Evras head a la Cantona. I would have been amazed if Suarez had shook the hand of a man who he believed had not told the truth.

  • Comment number 57.

    I remember when Liverpool FC were something to admire, something to really look up to in the game. However, the behavior of Suarez and Dalglish have finally removed any vestige of honour from Anfield.

    Can anybody; Scouse, BBC pundit, or general football follower, believe that Bill Shankly or Bob Paisley or Joe Fagin, would have stood for any of this nonsense. Anyone of them would have had Mr Suarez and Mr Dalglish on the bus out of Anfiled weeks ago. As it is, Suarez and Dalglish continue to bring disgrace on everything Liverpool FC ever stood for.

  • Comment number 58.

    I just feel sorry for football in general. Suarez is more proof that idiocy/petulances and talent can co-exist perfectly. He's still not quite a CR7 or Cantona yet though. More work to do lad.

  • Comment number 59.

    completely agree with u 36

  • Comment number 60.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    Ferguson has never won a championship whilst Kenny was in charge of Liverpool. Kenny won it twice in the same head to head period and only retired due to health isuse. No wonder Fergie sounds like a bitter old man with his stirring.

  • Comment number 63.

    Just keep posting the pics/video until people bother to look.

  • Comment number 64.

    I am a little confused by all this, one man does not like another for whatever reason, so why should he shake his hand..

    If anyone is fooled by Ferguson's act of outrage, then they are either Manchester United supporters or fools, all he was doing was deflecting the attention from Evra's blatant attempt to wind Suarez up with his childish celebrations.

  • Comment number 65.

    I agree with Sir Alex; Liverpool should sack Suarez in the same way MUFC sacked Eric Cantona for attacking a fan at Palace (sir Alex and his double standards - AGAIN). Anyway is it right for Evra to grab Suarez for not shaking his hand? (isnt that assult?). Its good to see that players like Rooney and Giggs shook his hand - Rio take note here!!! Maybe Evra is not much liked in his own team

  • Comment number 66.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong and Oh dear Mr embarrassing for you.

    You haven't watched the video of the Evra / Suarez handshake have you? Yet you and the media mob condemn Suarez and get the story completely wrong. I can see LFC suing you and you deserve all you get.

    Evra definitely changes tactics and drops his hand for the handshake as Suarez arrives so Suarez moves on then Evra lifts his hand AFTER Suarez has passed, hence the reaction of Suarez pushing Evra's arm away.

    Your comments are irresponsible. You and your cronies have made a massive mistake.

    The incident occurs at about 30 seconds.

    Paul Dickinson

  • Comment number 67.

    LFC is not a disgrace we love our dignity and tradition, Utd fans can't take we are the most successful club in England. Ferguson needs to watch what hes saying. I guarantee u ain't going to win the title.

  • Comment number 68.

    Question is.. how are you going to put this one right???

  • Comment number 69.

    Patrice Evra does not always get it right the comment left by P90AKIMBO... I think he does play the race card...and yes did not disrespect the Irish ? Time this boring, very boring subject took a back seat...and in the days of Tommy Smith and the likes...were real men playing a real man`s game... I think if the game was managed more with video evidence...would stop these guy`s destroying what was once a very graceful art form.

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.


    Phil McNullty - you need to re-write your blog!!!

  • Comment number 72.

    What will be removed first - the evidence or this entire blog?

  • Comment number 73.

    look at this video, until the end, two sides to a story! There is something quite strange going on here and journos need to be more responsible. Just looking at different camera angle gives it a new perspective compared to the knee jerk reaction. These two need to be sat down and made to realise both clubs will suffer as will the EPL. A line need to be drawn under this now. If Suarez is a racist i dont want him at the club and Evra is deliberately stirring up a dangerous situation then I would expect right minded mancs to think the same about him.

  • Comment number 74.

    Racism is disgusting at all levels and maybe I have missed something. Can someone clarify why the FA can investigate Suarez, find him guilty and ban him for 8 games for a racist event, whilst John Terry is still playing and is being prosecuted by the CPS.

    Surely Terry should face the same treatment? Or why has Suarez's guilt been defined by the FA and by default therefore he has broken the law, yet the CPS hasnt done anything?

    Similarly, I dont think the FA should have sacked Terry as England Captain but should have stood down as he is innocent until proven guilty.

    These events present a mixed message about dealing with a terrible offense that should be dealt with consistently and firmly.

  • Comment number 75.

    Laughable that many are now touting Cantona comparisons. Let's not forget, United banned Eric for 6 months, the FA chose to extend the ban.

    The most sickening part of this whole episode is not the comments made by Suarez (this is a man whose has bitten an opponent before - is that "friendly south American banter too?), but the actions and words of the players fans and management of Liverpool. To openly defend and support an individual found guilty of such an offence (daglish especially) is disgraceful - to allow it to drag on following today's events shows the class of the place nowadays

  • Comment number 76.

    @ 57 The Rockabilly Red wrote:

    "I remember when Liverpool FC were something to admire, something to really look up to in the game. However, the behavior of Suarez and Dalglish have finally removed any vestige of honour from Anfield."

    Can anybody; Scouse, BBC pundit, or general football follower, believe that Bill Shankly or Bob Paisley or Joe Fagin, would have stood for any of this nonsense

    Oh dear, what a selective memory. None of the above Legends would have stood for the diving, squeeling when tackled and chasing down of the referees that Ferguson allows to happen week in week out.

    Footballers were footballers in the days that you choose to select memories from.

    Fergie is bitter, that in a head to head with Kenny at Liverpool, Kenny wins 2-0 in champions won!

  • Comment number 77.

    This whole situation between LFC, MUFC and the FA is becoming a farce. Liverpool FC should have dealt with this either by apologising straight away, fining and banning Suarez themselves and getting him to do some 'kick it out' voluntary work or fighting it ALL the way eg appealing up to CAS, as Suarez and KK feel very hard done by even now.
    The FA are a ludicrous body: appealing against Rooney Euro ban while banning EPL players left right and centre and having a totally vindictive appeals system. And they now have an England manager guilty of far worse than Suarez.
    And MUFC - well i do seem to remember a certain Peter Schmeical being accused of calling a certain Ian Wright some rather distasteful things.. Why didn't AF get rid of Schmeical then?
    This fisticuffs is getting rather boring. Suarez was guilty, Evra didn't get panned but he hasn't covered himself in glory in the incident. Indeed he has falsely accused a Chelsea groundsman of racial abuse and found to be lying. And Evra was the ringleader in chief of the shameful France worldcup team...

  • Comment number 78.

  • Comment number 79.

    Reasonably balanced interpretation of events, Phil.

    Imo, it has always been an argument between two competitive Footballers stemming from a larger rivalry between two clubs. Imo, Evra demonstrated this clearly at the end of the game by engaging in petty, infantile, triumphalist behaviour. What has that got to do with any supposed fight against racism?

    To be perfectly honest giving what is essentially, imo, a playground spat credibility within a debate on racism ignores the elephant in the room that tribalism is and always has been the issue. It's completely laughable that Ferguson, the tribal chief, in the build up to these games, will dismiss as fantastic atmosphere the hatred between the two clubs and then attempt to moralise about racism afterwards and lecture our club on who should play for us.

    Anyway, Suarez and Evra are as bad as each other as you say, time may heal things...

  • Comment number 80.

    In addition to my previous comment @61, not only Evra has dished out damage to Suarez playing career but also to his family. Evra is a trouble maker and we dont need any of that in the League. Evra is a very "clever" man as the photos have suggested. He probably stayed up all night and worked it out. The way he celebrated after the match ALONE was pathetic, unprofessional and childish. This is the type of man we are dealing with. Suarez has served his 8 match ban, it is EVRA that hasnt moved on ! Roll on next match against Brighton....

  • Comment number 81.

    #66 is right.

    Besides, where was the FA when Bridge refused to shake Terry's hand 2 years ago? Condoning it. Where was the FA when Chelsea and QPR abandoned the handshake just 3 weeks back? Suggesting it. After all that, the worst Suarez or Evra did was what the FA has tacitly conceded that players are allowed to do; refuse to shake hands.

    Bit late to start complaining, really.

  • Comment number 82.

    I don't know the truth behind the handshake but even so the conduct of LFC, their fans and Suarez has been shocking from day one. I'd even go so far as to say that the police need to have a discreet word in certain ears before someone gets injured. The bitterness between the fans has reached boiling point. What an appalling example to kids. I used to have a soft spot for LFC but I can't think of a more dislikeable club in the entire world now.

  • Comment number 83.

    Is there no end to this tedium involving the parochial squabbles between Liverpool and Manchester United fans?

    Who cares whether Suárez refused to shake hands with Evra, or vice versa?

    It's a non-issue.

  • Comment number 84.


    True that =]

    Just had to be these sorry two didn't it? They've both got more work to do and goals to score, but instead end up sucking/spitting more dummies, which the media love of course. They both deserve the boot.

  • Comment number 85.

    Racism has no part in our modern society. Suarez obviously feels hard done by. He has basically been branded a racist in all of this. Not something you live down very easily as a public figure. Personally I think his reaction today demonstrates his feelings on the whole affair. He has served his eight match ban, why should he now shake hands. It's not in the rule book.
    As for SAF comments. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

  • Comment number 86.


    Oh, Phil McNullty, more expected of a blog author on the biggest and best british braodcaster

  • Comment number 87.

    i wonder who is racist?

  • Comment number 88.

    Does anyone but a utd fan pay really any attention to fergies comments on players and refereeing decisions, as they are so clearly biased, only a fool would pay them any creed.

    The media have hyped this up. So suarez didnt shake evras hand, big deal. Ferdinand didnt shake suarez's hand, havent heard a thing about that. Bridge didnt shake terrys hand either - its not like its imprtant or never happened before.

    evra's jumping around infront of suarez and the crowd was much more pathetic and likely to cause problems with players and the crowd than a missed handshake. Evra has no class.

    A missed handshake is far more serious than a kung fu kick assault on a member of the crowd obviously.

  • Comment number 89.

    80 - keep defending a racist animal

    Taking your lead from "king" kenny?

    If Suarez/Liverpool had just taken their medicine, all would be forgotten.
    You can't keep trying to defend the indefensible

  • Comment number 90.

  • Comment number 91.

    Phil McNulty...tut tut,watch the footage you lazy man, there was no offer of a hand from Evra, the man is a snake!

  • Comment number 92.

    i've just watched the slow-mo video, and the stills show Evra not putting his hand out, but really Suarez puts his hand and moves it straight across to De Gea missing Evra. If Suarez intended to shake his hand surely he would have turned and gone back to Evra, no?

  • Comment number 93.

    Suarez was impolite no doubt, but following the kangaroo court maybe that's understandable. But why is Sir Alex getting involved and making comment about what Liverpool should do? His 'advice' to Liverpool shows a lot less tolerance than when his own player attacked a family stand. Maybe the opportunity to stick the boot in to an advsersay proved just too much for him, again.

  • Comment number 94.

    Like I say, just keep posting the evidence.

    It's there for all to see.

  • Comment number 95.

    I'm sorry, my Scouse friends, but Suarez is simply a nasty piece of work.

    Not the first to play for you or indeed us.

    Did you see the "accidental" kick within 90 secs of his return on Monday v Spurs, or has that all escaped your attention? Maybe, of course, Scott Parker deliberately put his stomach right where he knew Suarez's foot was headed-of course, that's it!

    And, before any more clowns come on here saying we defended Cantona-WE suspended him until the end of that season within 12 hours of that kung-fu kick.

    And please tell me why Evra isn't entitled to milk applause from OUR home fans after a victory-or is Suarez the only one entitled to do that, at Anfield, before the match kicked off?

  • Comment number 96.

    Regurgitate words said by Neville redknapp n co. :rollseyes:

    Nice one "chief sports writer"

    Post 2. My thoughts too

  • Comment number 97.

    "Suarez misses chance to move on"

    He moved on with dignity at the end of the game, whilst it was the childish Evra needing to be moved on by stewards. As predicted on Twitter, Phil seems to have given up concentrating on the football, let alone facts.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    Man Utd on tv next week. Thursday night.... Europa League......Channel 5?
    Barca Rules!!!!! Jose Mourinho rules!!!!!! Pep Guardiola Rules !!!!!

  • Comment number 100.

    number 18 - that link you posted doesn't help your case. in fact it looks like suarez walked towards evra with his hand aimed at the next player, indicating that he was determined NOT to shake evra's hand. the opposite should have happened. in order to demonstrate that he is not a racist and wanted to move on, suarez should have made a determined effort to shake the hands of all the opposing players, especially evra. he behaved disgracefully.


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