Belfast Telegraph

Ferguson backs Suarez decision

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has broken his silence over Luis Suarez's ban for allegedly racially abusing Patrice Evra.

The Liverpool striker was suspended for eight games and fined £40,000 after being found guilty of using insulting words towards the United full-back, with reference to Evra's skin colour.

"Our support of Patrice was obvious right from the word go and that's still the same," said Ferguson, in comments reported by the Guardian. "The matter is over and I think we're satisfied that they [the Football Association's independent commission] found the right decision."

Liverpool responded with a strongly-worded statement in which they criticised the FA and claimed Evra should also face charges after he admitted insulting Suarez during the altercation, while their players wore T-shirts in support of the Uruguayan before their draw with Wigan.

Ferguson initially insisted he had "nothing to say" about the T-shirts, but implied the Reds should back down and accept the sanction.

He added: "This wasn't about Manchester United and Liverpool at all. It was nothing to do with that. This was an individual situation where one person was racially abused."

The Scot also drew parallels with Evra's four-game ban in 2008 following an incident involving Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethell.

"Patrice got that suspension for the incident down at Chelsea when no-one was there, just a groundsman and our fitness coach," he said.

"He got a four-match ban and we had to wait two weeks for the evidence to come through.

"We were quite astounded at that. A four-match ban? We thought it was well over the top for a trivial incident. But it happened and there's nothing you can do about it, you know."


From Belfast Telegraph