US press wade into Suarez debate
The Luis Suarez controversy has attracted criticism in the United States where the press have called for Liverpool's American owners to intervene.
Suarez has again found himself in the spotlight after ignoring United captain Evra's outstretched hand prior to kick-off at Saturday's encounter at Old Trafford. The match was Suarez's first start since completing his eight-match ban for racially abusing French international Evra in the reverse fixture at Anfield in October.
After the game incensed United manager Sir Alex Ferguson branded the striker a "disgrace to Liverpool Football Club" adding that he should never play for them again. In the United States, the New York Times believes Liverpool's Boston-based owners, Fenway Sports Group, need to act in order to 'repair the club's global image'.
Leading with the headline "Another Ugly Incident Mars Liverpool's Good Name", the Times wrote: "If the Fenway Sports Group is to be the responsible team owner in soccer that it has proved to be in baseball, it needs to get hold of Liverpool, its club in England's Premier League, and repair its global image fast.
"On Saturday, Liverpool lost at Manchester United, 2-1, allowing United to temporarily move into first place in the Premier League. There is no disgrace in such a loss; United, the defending English champion, is vying to keep that title this season, and it very rarely loses at home.
"But there was disgrace, witnessed by television viewers around the world, in the refusal of Liverpool's Luis Suarez to shake the hand of United's Patrice Evra before kick-off." The article concluded by saying: "It is time for John Henry and Tom Werner, leaders of the Fenway Group that controls Liverpool, to state clearly the direction the team will take on this issue."
The Associated Press said the incident had overshadowed United's triumph. AP wrote: "Luis Suarez's refusal to shake hands with Patrice Evra overshadowed Manchester United's 2-1 win over rival Liverpool that lifted the defending champions to first place in the Premier League on Saturday."
Describing the incident, Uruguayan newspaper El Pais wrote: "Suarez was among the final players in the team. And the awaited moment arrived and created tension for several seconds. Without hesitation, Suarez avoided the hand of Evra and did not greet him.
"And as the Uruguayan striker went to greet the following player, the Frenchman, angered, grabbed his arm. But Suarez freed himself and continued to the remaining players. After the handshakes, both Suarez and Evra received the support of their team-mates."
It added: "After the final whistle, Evra celebrated the win next to Suarez, rousing the fans. The Uruguayan did not respond to the provocation and continued walking towards the tunnel. The referee and other Liverpool players intervened in this latest episode, separating the players, to keep things from escalating."