x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Suarez to appeal suspension

Uruguay forward out for eight matches as Liverpool angered by decision to punish him for racist abuse toward United defender Evra.

Luis Suarez, left, has said the language he used to racially abuse Patrice Evra was acceptable in his native Uruguay.
Luis Suarez, left, has said the language he used to racially abuse Patrice Evra was acceptable in his native Uruguay.

Luis Suarez's eight-game ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra has "sent out a strong message", according to the chief executive of England's Professional Footballers' Association.

Gordon Taylor said the punishment was timely given the outcry in England after Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, suggested that racist incidents on the field could be settled by a handshake between the players involved, comments the head of world football's governing body later retracted.

Suarez, the Liverpool striker, is set to appeal the ban, imposed after a confrontation with Manchester United's Evra during a 1-1 Premier League draw at Anfield in October.

The Uruguay international's defence appeared to rest on the view that language which was viewed as offensive in England was acceptable in his homeland.

Liverpool have reacted furiously to the punishment imposed upon Suarez, also fined £40,000 (Dh228,000) on Tuesday, accusing the English Football Association of being "determined" to find him guilty.

Taylor denied the charge. "This was an independent commission experienced in law and football and they must have had compelling evidence, and it sends out a very strong message to the rest of the world," he said.

"I understand the point about cultural differences but if you come to this country all players have to abide by not just the laws of the game but the laws of the land as well.

"Referring to someone's skin colour has got to be offensive; it's self-evident."

Taylor added: "You can understand Liverpool being upset as they are a top-quality club with a top-quality manager [Kenny Dalglish] but perhaps it is a timely reminder that players new to this country need to be advised about what is unacceptable."

As well as the punishment imposed upon Suarez, Liverpool are also angry with the FA for failing to take any action against Evra, the France defender, for insulting their player. Suarez's Uruguay teammates have leapt to his defence.

They said people in Uruguay, where a significant percentage of the population is black or of mixed race, were not racist and used terms such as "negro" in an affectionate manner or as nicknames.

"I can't believe it. They're making a big mistake. It's obvious that in England there's a racism problem they're trying to eradicate, and that's good, but this sentence has no solid arguments," Diego Lugano, the Uruguay captain, said.

"Luis is a victim. I can't understand how a player like Evra can do this. He's breaking all the codes of football. We all know what kind of person Luis is and the values he has," the Paris Saint-Germain defender wrote on his personal website.