Just when Liverpool’s Luis Suarez had the chance to draw a line under the racism row which has raged on since Liverpool and Man United’s first meeting this season in October, the Uruguayan striker refused to shake the hand of United’s Patrice Evra.
The entire world watched on in amazement as the player who was found guilty of racially abusing the Man United captain earlier this season would not shake the hand of his victim.
The People reports that in his post match interview Sir Alex Ferguson branded Luis Suarez as a “disgrace to Liverpool Football Club.”
The comments of the Man United boss were absolutely spot on. Liverpool are a great club steeped in trophy laden history but the Luis Suarez affair has undoubtedly tarnished this great clubs reputation along with his own. Suarez’s actions could have led to a riot in what was already going to be a cauldron like atmosphere at Old Trafford due to all the intense media scrutiny leading up to the match.
What was going through the mind of Suarez as he walked past Evra’s outstretched hand before the match is a question we will never know. What message was he trying to show? His actions yesterday just as they were when the two arch rivals clashed at Anfield in October were absolutely disgraceful.
In the days leading up to the clash between the two biggest clubs in English football history, the debate was whether Evra would shake the hand of Suarez. The general consensus from the public was that the United captain should shake his counterpart’s hand in order to end this, the ugliest of saga’s. No one would have imagined that it would indeed be Suarez who would snub Evra. It showed a lot of character and dignity for Evra to offer his had to Suarez, something that he didn’t have to do. Suarez’s refusal to accept Evra’s hand speaks volumes of the man and at the same time it has done his club no favours what so ever.
Ferguson, claimed that Suarez “should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again”. This is something that will be down to Liverpool Football Club. Is a player that is so supremely talented and arguably their best player worth all the hassle? Usually when this is the case the answer is yes. It is highly unlikely that Kenny Daglish will be prepared to lose such a key member of his squad who still have Champions League aspirations.
The Liverpool manager and their fans have been fervent in their support of Suarez, but how long can this last. This issue is much bigger than football tribalism and the manager and fans need to realise that behaviour like this will not and cannot be tolerated in any quarters. This was not a heat of the moment act, this was a premeditated decision made by Suarez after he lied to his manager and club about being willing to shake the hand of Evra. He has let everyone associated with the Liverpool Football Club down.
Luis Suarez must realise that he is no victim. Far from it, he was found guilty of probably the worst thing that stains our beloved game today. Suarez must understand this and accept that behaviour like that has no place on the field or in society as a whole. Disgrace may be a word used to commonly in our game, but the actions of Luis Suarez were just that.
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