Fergie: Suarez sanction ‘right’

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 on Friday 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.”