x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Kenny Dalglish issue apologies

The striker says he should have shaken hands with Patrice Evra, the manager apologises for his own conduct, and Liverpool's managing director says the player let down the club.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez, right, says has apologised for not shaking the hand of Patrice Evra of Manchester United.
Liverpool's Luis Suarez, right, says has apologised for not shaking the hand of Patrice Evra of Manchester United.

Luis Suarez, the Liverpool striker, issued an apology for his actions that preceeded yesterday’s game against Manchester United and says he should have shaken the hand of Patrice Evra. While the club's manager, Kenny Dalglish, said he "did not conduct myself in a way befitting of a Liverpool Manager".

Manchester United accepted the apologies and said that they wanted to move on from the incident.

The Uruguayan forward, who was banned for eight matches after racially abusing Evra during the league game between the sides at Anfield in October, had been expected to shake hands with the Frenchman but failed to do so.

On the official Liverpool website the player said: “I have spoken with the Manager [Kenny Dalglish] since the game at Old Trafford and I realise I got things wrong.

“I’ve not only let him down, but also the Club and what it stands for and I’m sorry. I made a mistake and I regret what happened.

“I should have shaken Patrice Evra’s hand before the game and I want to apologise for my actions.

“I would like to put this whole issue behind me and concentrate on playing football.”

Dalglish, who has been heavily critiscised for his post-match television interview where he defended Suarez, issued his own apology on the website.

"Ian Ayre [the Liverpool managing director] has made the Club's position absolutely clear and it is right that Luis Suarez has now apologised for what happened at Old Trafford," he said.

"To be honest, I was shocked to hear that the player had not shaken hands having been told earlier in the week that he would do.

"But as Ian said earlier, all of us have a responsibility to represent this Club in a fit and proper manner and that applies equally to me as Liverpool Manager.

"When I went on TV after yesterday's game I hadn't seen what had happened, but I did not conduct myself in a way befitting of a Liverpool Manager during that interview and I'd like to apologise for that."

The United statement accepting the apologies said: "Manchester United thanks Liverpool for the apologies issued following Saturday's game.

"Everyone at Old Trafford wants to move on from this. The history of our two great clubs is one of success and rivalry unparalleled in British football.

"That should be the focus in the future of all those who love the clubs."

Ayre, who also released a statement on the Liverpool website, stated that the club was disappointed with Suarez.

"We are extremely disappointed Luis Suarez did not shake hands with Patrice Evra before yesterday's game. The player had told us beforehand that he would, but then chose not to do so.

"He was wrong to mislead us and wrong not to offer his hand to Patrice Evra. He has not only let himself down, but also Kenny Dalglish, his teammates and the Club. It has been made absolutely clear to Luis Suarez that his behaviour was not acceptable.

"Luis Suarez has now apologised for his actions which was the right thing to do. However, all of us have a duty to behave in a responsible manner and we hope that he now understands what is expected of anyone representing Liverpool Football Club."