Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Ferguson: No problem with Liverpool

Patrice Evra

Sir Alex Ferguson insists Manchester United have no axe to grind with Liverpool even though Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at Anfield seems certain to become the centre of a racism probe.

Patrice Evra was fuming after the 1-1 draw, claiming in an interview with Canal Plus that Luis Suarez had racially abused him on a number of occasions during the game. Although the full-back feels TV replays will prove his claims, Suarez has denied them strongly, and has been backed by Liverpool.

Evra is adamant though and United have vowed to support their man, even though Ferguson accepts it places them in a tricky situation and the United boss said: "It is not an easy one for us. It is not something we would want to level against Liverpool and it is not against Liverpool."

He added: "Obviously Patrice feels very aggrieved at what was said to him. I have spoken to him and he is adamant he wants to follow it on so it rests in the hands of the FA now."

Evra is expected to start Tuesday night's Champions League encounter with Romanian champions Otelul Galati in Bucharest.

UEFA and FIFA repeatedly stress their anti-racism stance, yet have fined countries paltry sums when players of international teams have been the subject of racist taunts.

Earlier this month UEFA warned Bulgaria they face a disciplinary hearing into racist taunts during their Euro 2012 qualifier with England in Sofia earlier in the season, although that has been put back to November 17.

"I am not aware of any instances in terms of British football," admitted Ferguson. "We concentrate on our own game. What happens in other countries I am not really sure.

"It doesn't happen in England. There are very few examples of that.

"Since I have come down we have had some fantastic players at Manchester United who have been black. It is not an issue for the game itself. Maybe this is what surprised Patrice Evra. He thought he was slighted on Saturday. We don't want to see it. It is as simple as that."

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