Fergie: Suarez ban 'right decision'

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

Luis Suarez; 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.

Liverpool responded with a strongly-worded statement in which they criticised the Football Association 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.

"Our support of Patrice was obvious right from the word go and that's still the same," he said, in comments reported by the Guardian.

"The matter is over and I think we're satisfied that they [the FA's independent commission] found the right decision.

"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."

There appears little chance of Liverpool backing down, though, with manager Kenny Dalglish defending the squad's response and suggesting their support of Suarez has helped bring them together.

"The statement couldn't have caused anyone any trouble and I don't think the players have caused any trouble with the FA, either by their statement or support by their T-shirts," Dalglish said.

"If we are not in any trouble we will leave it at that before we do get in any trouble."

Former United defender Paul McGrath criticised Reds defender Glen Johnson for joining the show of solidarity, which prompted the England international to issue his own response on Twitter.

With the matter set to rumble on for some time there is a danger it might become the predominant issue concerning Liverpool and players could be affected.

However, when asked whether he was worried about that happening, Dalglish replied: "I don't think so."

The Scot feels the squad's stance had actually had a positive effect, particularly on Suarez.

"He's been quite emotional and very grateful," he added. "I don't think it is ever a disappointment when the people you work for give you their undivided support and I think that is the least he deserves."

Liverpool have received support from QPR manager Neil Warnock.

"At every club you support your players the best you can whatever you think is right," he said. "I think you need to know everything about the case. We're guessing what was said. We haven't got a clue.

"Normally two and two makes five with you guys [the media] so until we see the written facts I won't comment."

On the severity of Suarez's eight-game ban, Warnock added: "I don't think it could be any stronger. It surprised me. But where have we had anything to compare it to?

"As long as the evidence is proved in the right places, I haven't got a problem with it.

"There are experts dealing with it and all the evidence is being gathered - that is what the English justice system is all about."

That system is currently moving slowly as Liverpool do not expect to receive the written verdict from the independent commission until after Christmas.

The moment it does arrive the club will have 14 days to consider their response and appeal if they choose, otherwise the suspension will kick in after that fortnight has expired.

Dalglish added: "Most of the people have had their say, we've had our say, but we will wait for the judgement and take it from there - but it won't be tomorrow.

"The club have issued the statement, the players have issued their statement visually and verbally, but we have to wait for the written report because no-one knows [what it contains].

"At this moment in time I don't think the club are permitted to go into any further detail than they have done."



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