Suarez is no racist, claims Mancini, but admits Liverpool striker had to apologise
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini does not believe Liverpool's Luis Suarez is racist, but feels it was important he apologised for a mistake in the Patrice Evra affair.
Suarez is currently serving an eight-game ban after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Evra and will not face City in their Carling Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday.
The Uruguay striker claimed the term with which he was found to have insulted Evra is not derogatory in his native country, but last week did issue a broad apology for any offence caused.
Flashpoint: Luis Suarez (left) was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra
Mancini said: 'I think that sometimes a situation like this can happen on the pitch. It is important to apologise for what he did.
'Sometimes on the pitch you can do something that you don't want to do. You are nervous. You don't think on the pitch. I don't think Suarez is a racist. He made a mistake Probably, yes.
'Everyone can do a mistake sometimes. It is impossible that we are always perfect. It is important to say, “I am sorry, I made a mistake, I apologise for this and I accept the charge”.'
Liverpool have been heavily criticised for their strong backing of Suarez and their handling of the whole affair, which included players wearing T-shirts in support of Suarez while warming up before the Barclays Premier League fixture at Wigan.
Sidelined: Suarez (centre) will miss Liverpool's clash with Manchester City
Mancini said he thought that was 'maybe a mistake'.
A former striker with Sampdoria, Lazio and Italy, Mancini is well aware of how comments can be made in the heat of the moment on the field.
When asked what was ever said to him as a player, the 47-year-old said: 'Everything. In 20 years I understand. I didn't cry for this.
'I repeat, on the pitch, anything can happen because you don't think, because you are tired, because you are stupid when you are young. I said some things but not important things like a racist word.'