Football fans, players and anti-racist campaigners have condemned Liverpool FC’s defence of its player, Luis Suarez, who has been found guilty of racism.
A Football Association independent commission found Suarez guilty of racially abusing Manchester United player Patrice Evra. It fined him £40,000 and gave him an eight-match ban.
Suarez called Evra a “negro” seven times during a match. He claimed the term was seen as a friendly greeting during his upbringing in Uruguay.
Liverpool FC has until 13 January to respond to the ruling and has not ruled out appealing. Disgracefully, it sent out players to warm up before a match last month wearing jerseys emblazoned with Suarez’s name.
Retired footballer Paul McGrath said he would have “thrown the shirt to the floor” if he’d been asked to wear it. “It puts the anti‑racism campaign back to the beginning as far as I’m concerned,” he added.
And Piara Powar of Football Against Racism said the club should think again about its “public campaign to dispute the charges”.
A recent poll shows that only a minority of Liverpool fans backed an appeal. One described Suarez’s use of the word negro as “indefensible”.
Meanwhile England captain John Terry faces criminal charges for racism.