Tag Archives: cultural

Millwall to investigate allegations of racism after TV cameras pick up abusive fans

Millwall to investigate allegations of racism after TV cameras pick up abusive fans

Olympics, has faced racial abuse on social media websites.

He said: 'We're a developed, multi-cultural society. It's surprising it can still go on – but it doesn't exactly shock me.

'We can't be silent about it. We need to make people aware that there is a problem going on and only when people are aware of the problem can it be sorted out.

'As long as people are brave enough I'd say to come out and say exactly what's happened to them then I think we'll be going in the right direction because the first thing that needs to happen is that we can't be silent about it.'

The 21-year-old admitted abuse can inspire him, adding: 'Sometimes it gives me that bit more fire to prove people wrong and that I can rise above it.'

Gay football players should have no fears about coming out, says David Bernstein

There's no reason to be afraid! FA chief Bernstein says gay players should have no fear about declaring their sexuality



00:13 GMT, 21 December 2012

Football Association chairman David Bernstein has insisted that no player should be afraid of coming out as gay after the governing body agreed an action plan to tackle discrimination.

Under the plan agreed by the FA Board clubs will face sanctions for failing to deal with racism and discrimination by players, coaches or their fans.

The FA also says it will strive for at least 10 per cent of referees and level one coaches coming from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Safe: David Bernstein believes no footballer should fear coming out

Safe: David Bernstein believes no footballer should fear coming out

Players and coaches arriving from abroad will have to undergo mandatory induction lessons to ensure they are aware of the 'British cultural environment'.

The plan, which will now be submitted to the Government, follows a Downing Street summit called in February after the Luis Suarez and John Terry racial abuse cases.

Bernstein said: 'This is a very important day. Ensuring the game is inclusive and combats discrimination has been – and remains – at the top of my agenda.

'There remain challenges ahead in this area and all of football would agree we need to find more ways of developing more black and ethnic minority coaches and creating pathways for them.

'Equally, no football player should fear coming out as gay at the risk of suffering discrimination and we continue to strengthen our support programmes to ensure the game is open to all regardless of their sexuality.

'The over-riding message remains that there is simply no place for any form of discrimination in football.'

The action plan has been agreed by the FA, Premier League, Football League, Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), the League Managers' Association (LMA) and referees' bodies.

Decision: An action plan was formed after racial abuse cases involving Luis Suarez (pictured left) and John Terry

Decision: An action plan was formed after racial abuse cases involving Luis Suarez (pictured left) and John Terry

Both the PFA and LMA say they would be in favour of players and managers having it made clear in their contracts they would face action for racist language.

The plan states the organisations would support 'standard clauses that address discriminatory language and behaviour, in managers and coaches' contracts.'

In relation to possible action against clubs, the plan states the FA would work 'with the Premier League and Football League to sanction clubs who repeatedly fail to sanction their employees, who breach their contract or code of conduct, or deal inadequately with fans in relation to discriminatory language or behaviour.'

The action plan should be implemented immediately, say the FA – and certainly underway by next season.

The FA will set up an 'Inclusion Advisory Board' to oversee the action plan, and will also call 'on UEFA to consider minimum standard codes of conduct' as part of the European governing body's club licensing system.

There have been suggestions that a miminum five-match ban will be brought in for racism but that is some way down the line – it will be considered by a working group.

Backed: Culture secretary Maria Miller agreed with the FA chairman

Backed: Culture secretary Maria Miller agreed with the FA chairman

The action plan states it will 'review the sanctions regime to ensure that it is timely, appropriate, proportionate and effective at all levels'.

It also calls for the recruitment process for managers and coaches to be reviewed with a voluntary code set up.

Culture secretary Maria Miller welcomed the action plan.

She said: 'While we have made significant progress in this area over the last two decades, recent incidents have shown a need for concerted action.

'We want to see this action plan implemented and the football authorities to show strong leadership on anti-discrimination at both the professional and grassroots levels of the game. The sports minister will continue to work with the football authorities to make progress in this area.'

Miller said she was 'encouraged' by the proposals to improve the ethnic diversity of coaches.

Foreign players set for British culture lessons following Luis Suarez and John Mikel Obi race rows

Foreign players set to be sent for lessons on British culture in bid to avoid repeat of Suarez-Evra race row



09:52 GMT, 11 December 2012

Foreign footballers arriving in
Britain to play in the Premier League may have to take cultural lessons
as part of a series of measures to try to stamp out race-related
offences in the game.

More than 60 per cent of players in
the English top flight – and around 20 per cent of players in the
football league – are foreign, although the number is falling year on

Controversy: Liverpool's Luis Suarez (left) received ban for abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra

Controversy: Liverpool's Luis Suarez (left) received eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra

These lessons on the ‘British cultural environment’, which essentially offer foreign players a crash course on life in England, form a key part of a new Government proposal.

It is a response to Prime Minister David Cameron’s demands for tougher action to tackle discrimination in football at an anti-racism summit back in February.

According to the BBC, the giant document ‘English Football’s Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan’ – which contains 93 points – will also recommend that clubs bring in mandatory anti-discrimination clause in all players’ and managers’ contracts.

Premier League football has been blighted by a run of embarrassing high-profile cases. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight games by the FA for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Fall out: Referee Mark Clattenburg was wrongly accused by Chelsea's John Obi Mikel

Fall out: Ref Mark Clattenburg was falsely accused by Chelsea's John Obi Mikel

The case revolved around the semantic ambiguity of the word ‘negrito’. It is a term widely used in Suarez’s native Uruguay but the FA dismissed the argument claiming Suarez should and would have known better.

More recently, former England captain John Terry was banned for four matches for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, Chelsea falsely alleged that referee Mark Clattenburg had racially abused John Mikel Obi, Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong accused Swansea City supporters of making racist gestures towards him and Manchester police are investigating alleged racist abuse during the Manchester derby.

The Government are hoping to make an announcement before the end of the year, but any new protocol would not come into effect until next season.

Bobby Campbell who sits with Roman Abramovich at Chelsea talks to Sportsmail

'If I told you any more, I would have to kill you…': Inside Roman's inner circle, Sportsmail speaks to Bobby Campbell, the former Chelsea boss who sits next to Abramovich at every home game



14:16 GMT, 3 December 2012

Bobby Campbell got on the bus from his home on the King’s Road this morning and made his way to the luxurious health club at Stamford Bridge.

The former Chelsea manager, 75, is there most days, working out and spending time talking to staff at the fitness suite as part of his daily routine.

On matchdays he has another routine, spending time with owner Roman Abramovich and his close associates before home games.

In the box: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (right) in the stands with Bobby Campbell on his left

In the box: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (right) in the stands with Bobby Campbell on his left

Friends: Campbell (left) described Abramovich as a 'wonderful' man

Friends: Campbell (left) described Abramovich as a 'wonderful' man


Assistant to manager John Hollins, Bobby Campbell took over as caretaker manager at the club at the back-end of the 1987-88 season when the boss was sacked.

Although he could not help in the remaining eight games as the club were relegated he helped them fly back up to the top flight the following season.

Then he led them to fifth place – a record high for the Blues at the time.

After finishing 11th in 1991 he was moved on as manager and appointed personal assistant to Ken Bates.

Campbell's record as Chelsea manager:

P163 W77 D44 L42

‘Roman is a wonderful man and I have a very good relationship with him,’ revealed Campbell just as he stepped off a big red London bus outside Stamford Bridge this morning.

‘He is a good man, but you have to remember he is Russian and there is a big cultural difference which people don’t want to accept in this country.

‘I accept him because I know the man and I respect him and like him. I have been invited to watch games with him for seven or eight years and I have learned a lot from him.

‘They are a decent bunch of lads, there is no doubt about it. They really are good people with Chelsea’s best intentions at heart.

‘I can’t tell you much more about my relationship with Roman, other than to say if I did, I would have to kill you.’

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Asked if he was part of the decision-making process behind the decision to sack Roberto Di Matteo and hire Rafael Benitez, Campbell said: ‘I’d best take the fifth amendment on that.’

Campbell has been back at Chelsea for seven or eight years, part of the inner circle of confidantes that Abramovich relies on for advice and guidance.

They met after he was introduced to Abramovich’s right-hand man Eugene Tenenbaum at the fitness centre built at the back of Stamford Bridge ‘around seven or eight years ago’.

Since then he has been a regular presence at Stamford Bridge, watching teams assembled under Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo from the comfort of Abramovich’s box.

Bobby Campbell

Bobby Campbell with Dave Beasant

Welcome to Chelsea: Bobby Campbell, pictured as manager of the Blues, with his signing Dave Beasant

Bobby Campbell with Dave Beasant

Campbell, who led Chelsea to promotion from the old Second Division under Ken Bates in the late Eighties, insists everyone is getting it wrong about their Russian owner.

He added: ‘He wants the best for Chelsea and he has invested a lot of money in the team and the club. They are very committed and they are good men.’

It is clear that Campbell, now 75, has Abramovich’s ear after spending a lifetime in the game.

He spent the early part of his playing career with Liverpool and Portsmouth before he eventually went on to manage at Fratton Park.

He went on to manage Chelsea but Campbell couldn’t save them from relegation in 1988 when he was appointed manager.

They lost their First Division status in the play-offs during a game marred by hooliganism against Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge on May 28 1988.

A year later he won promotion back to the top flight, but eventually moved upstairs to work with Bates after he the club’s former owner brought in Ian Porterfield.

Campbell is embedded in the club’s history and first met Abramovich when he returned to England after a spell living in Florida.

He added: ‘I went to live in Florida because my son is a professional tennis player, but when I returned to England I went back to live on the King’s Road.

‘I’ve been there ever since and when I started going to the fitness centre I was introduced to Eugene Tenenbaum.

King's Road: Campbell lives in Fulham and regularly goes to the gym at Chelsea

King's Road: Campbell lives in Fulham and regularly goes to the gym at Chelsea

‘He is a lovely man and we used to talk all the time. I like them because I respect them and they respect me.

‘I know Chelsea are hated – they were hated when I was manager there. Everyone hated us.

‘I brought in a wonderful man called Dennis Signy (a brilliant journalist who passed away in June 2012) to work unpaid at Chelsea as my advisor.

‘Not much has changed since – no-one like them now, but they have the wrong impression.’

Rory McIlroy says Olympic decision not yet made

What a furore! McIlroy feels the heat after GB dilemma causes a storm


19:24 GMT, 10 September 2012



01:43 GMT, 11 September 2012

Rory McIlroy issued an open letter on Monday defending his thoughts about his Olympic allegiances, after Sportsmail's exclusive interview caused a backlash among some Irish supporters.

The world No 1 had admitted he would be in a delicate position when it comes to choosing whether to represent Ireland or Team GB when Rio 2016 rolls around – and he soon discovered exactly the depth of the issue.

He suffered abuse from a significant number of his 1.25million Twitter followers as well as criticism from established broadcasters on Irish TV.

Fine form: Rory McIlroy is destroying the competition

Fine form: Rory McIlroy is destroying the competition

In a wide-ranging interview on
Monday, the 23-year-old had spoken honestly for the first time about his
dilemma and admitted: 'The fact is I have always felt more British than

And the admission from a player whose
early golfing education was funded in part by the Golfing Union of
Ireland brought responses ranging from sympathy and understanding to
vile abuse.

The depth of feeling was such that
McIlroy, currently in New York, felt compelled to confirm what he had
said to Sportsmail and explain his position through his official Twitter

He said: 'Having just won three out
of my last four tournaments, including a second major championship, I
was hoping my success on the golf course would be the more popular topic
of golfing conversation today!

Concentration: McIlroy is focusing on the Ryder Cup

Concentration: McIlroy is focusing on the Ryder Cup

'However, the issue of my cultural
identity has re-emerged and with it, the matter of my national
allegiance ahead of the Rio Olympics in 2016.

'I am in an extremely sensitive and
difficult position and I conveyed as much in the interview. I am a proud
product of Irish golf and the Golfing Union of Ireland and am hugely
honoured to have come from very rich Irish sporting roots.

'I am also a proud Ulsterman who grew
up in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. That is my
background and always will be.

'As the world No 1 right now, I wish to be a positive role model and sports person that people respect and enjoy watching.

'I wish to clarify that I have absolutely not made a decision regarding my participation in the next Olympics.

'On a personal level, playing in the Olympics would be a huge honour.

Red hot: McIlroy had hoped people would be talking about his performances rather than his cultural identity

Red hot: McIlroy had hoped people would be talking about his performances rather than his cultural identity

'However, the Games in Rio are still
four years away and I certainly won't be making any decisions with
regards to participating any time soon.'

That may placate some of his critics, but McIlroy's fears that the issue would cause him a huge problem have been confirmed.

He may also have been exasperated at
the timing of the interview's publication – the day after his triumph at
the BMW Championship – but Sportsmail had held it back, aware of the
problems it might cause and anxious not to create a fuss that could
damage his performance during that tournament.

Leading Irish radio presenter Pat
Kenny of RTE had led the complaints during his programme, in
conversation with the station's sports reporter Paraic Lodge.

Clear skies ahead: The world No 1 says he has not made a decision on who he will represent at the 2016 Olympic Games

Clear skies ahead: The world No 1 says he has not made a decision on who he will represent at the 2016 Olympic Games

He said: 'He [McIlory] wasn't British when he was taking the help from the GUI, was he

'What a stupid thing to say. From a
PR perspective, I mean, what a stupid thing to say. I just think the
gloss has gone off his efforts for this island, shall we say'

That fuelled a fire that was already burning fiercely.

Typical reaction from his Twitter
followers came from Clodagh Donnelly, who wrote: '@McIlroyRory one word
traitor #playingforteamGB turn ur back on ur own country #disgrace

And one under the pseudonym eire1916
wrote: '@McIlroyRory how about giving back the money you were happy to
take from the Irish sports council when it suited you.#dirtyhun

Lionel Messi in race row with Royston Drenthe

Messi at the centre of race storm as axed Everton ace Drenthe accuses Barca star


08:19 GMT, 9 May 2012



08:44 GMT, 9 May 2012

The world's best footballer Lionel Messi has been dragged into a race row by axed Everton midfielder Royston Drenthe.

Dutchman Drenthe, who has effectively cut short a disappointing spell at Goodison Park, is officially owned by Real Madrid, and came up against Messi during his time in Spain.

It is then that the Holland international alledges he was called a 'negro' by the FIFA world player of the year, the same claims laid at Luis Suarez, another South American, by Patrice Evra.

Head to head: Lionel Messi has been accused by Royston Drenthe over incidents which happened during the latter's stint at Real Madrid

Head to head: Lionel Messi has been accused by Royston Drenthe over incidents which happened during the latter's stint at Real Madrid

Uruguyan Suarez was banned for eight matches and fined 40,000 earlier this season after being found guilty of using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour in a Premier League match in 2011.

The striker, who previously played in Holland with Ajax, defended himself on the grounds of cultural differences and that he was unaware that language acceptable in his country was viewed as racist in Europe.

Drenthe, it seems, appreciates this defence regarding Messi, but nonetheless remains unhappy at having been subjected to the abuse.

In an article on Dutch news website Nu.nl, Drenthe says: 'I played against him many times and we always have problems with each other.

Coming unstuck: Drenthe endured a difficult year at Everton this season

Coming unstuck: Drenthe endured a difficult year at Everton this season

Banned and fined: Luis Suarez

Banned and fined: Luis Suarez

'You know what bothers me so That tone with which he always says, “negro, negro”. I understand that “negro” in South America is very common, but we can not stand it.

'Mahamadou Diarra, my team-mate at Real, could explode if “negro” was aimed at him. The Argentinean Gabriel Heinze and Gonzalo Higuain said it initially on the training ground, but they were stopped.

'When Hercules (the team Drenthe spent a year on loan with last season) played Barcelona, during the game I had a small altercation with him. He gave me a hand in the match and again said a few times, “hola negro”.'

In the same interview Drenthe revealed he is seeking a return to Feyenoord, ending his troubled five-year spell with Real Madrid.

The 25-year-old midfielder has failed to establish himself at the Spanish champions and has found himself out on loan for the past two seasons.

With his future now up in the air Drenthe has admitted he wants to return to his home-town club Feyenoord, who have qualified for the Champions League, claiming he would even call them to initiate a move.

'I want to do what I like and that's play football. In addition Rotterdam is my city,' he said. 'Feyenoord have not called me yet, but of course I would not mind if they did. Maybe I'll call them myself.'

Fabio Capello replacement: The experts speak

Who should replace Fabio Capello The world of sport gives its verdict


Harry Redknapp is the outstanding candidate. The international manager needs to be someone the players want to perform for. Too many managers have made playing for England a chore.


The job is made in heaven for Harry Redknapp. There was a cultural difference between Fabio Capello and his players — the World Cup 2010 experience sounded like Big Brother. Sven Goran Eriksson was fantastic in his man-management skills, he respected you and only stepped in when discipline was needed. Harry will be like that.


I think we need an English manager now, we don’t need anything else lost in translation. Harry Redknapp would be my choice by a distance.

Temporary fix: Stuart Pearce will look after the England team for their friendly against Holland later in February

Temporary fix: Stuart Pearce will look after the England team for their friendly against Holland later in February


As a Nottingham Forest fan I would like any Englishman except Steve McClaren! It has to be Harry Redknapp.


There is only one candidate. I think they will go through the possible charade of drawing up a short list but will get the man they want — Harry Redknapp.


Harry Redknapp because I am an Arsenal fan and would love to see Spurs crumble without him! But mainly because he’s the best man for the job.

Out the door: Capello sensationally quit on Wednesday night

Out the door: Capello sensationally quit on Wednesday night


I would congratulate Harry Redknapp for sure. Culminating a fantastic career with managing the national team would be outstanding.


I do hope it goes to an Englishman. I really, really hope that Harry Redknapp and Spurs and everybody sort themselves out and can do it in a manner in which it works for everybody.

Roy Hodgson would have an opportunity and Sam Allardyce. They are of the right age and right experience to do that role. Outside of them, there probably aren’t too many leading candidates.


I have always suggested an Englishman should be next — not because I think an English manager can do a better job than a foreign guy, just because you represent your country and it is better if the manager is from there. Especially in a big football country like England. It’s now down to the FA to make the right decision.


I understand that Daniel Levy might not be keen on Harry Redknapp leaving his job at Spurs. He has done brilliantly with them.


I think Harry Redknapp is made for the job. You only have the England players together for so long. They come from different clubs and they organise and prepare at their clubs in different manners, so you’ve got all these different things to sort out and Harry, I think, is capable of doing that. The public want him, the players want him.


Barry Fry fits the bill for me. Steeped in the game, very impressive in that TV documentary he did and passionate. Also, make Ron Manager his right-hand man. 'Jumpers for goalposts, young boys in
the park, isn’t it Marvellous.'

Got my vote: Harry Redknapp is the overwhelming favourite

Got my vote: Harry Redknapp is the overwhelming favourite


With all the stuff he has just gone through again, Harry Redknapp must be as tough as an old boot, having coped with all that and kept his team playing. It strikes me he has got everything needed to manage England.


Harry Redknapp has got all the people skills and a very good record, especially at Tottenham. I’d also say Roy Hodgson. He’s also managed national teams and had experienced of managing abroad so I think he would be an excellent candidate.

.... or maybe Barry Fry

…. or maybe Barry Fry


Harry Redknapp has taken Spurs to a different level because of his easy man-management — a great quality to have for a national team coach. Harry is a special manager and a special man, but only time will tell on this one.

PETER COATES (FA Council member)

I wouldn’t be in favour of a foreign manager unless, like Arsene Wenger, they had good experience of working in England. I would be very happy with Harry Redknapp if he took the England job. He has earned it over a long period of time and produced a lot of good teams.


Harry Redknapp is the favourite and rightly so. I would suggest that even if you looked beyond these shores and conducted the search on a worldwide scale, he would be the perfect candidate. If he is appointed, then watch out this summer. I honestly think England would have a fantastic chance in the European Championship.


Harry Redknapp could manage England on a part-time basis. It should be workable until the European Championship but not in the longer term. That would devalue the role.

Mario Balotelli: Roberto Mancini better than Jose Mourinho

Mancini's better than Mourinho… and Manchester's the place for me, insists Balotelli

Mario Balotelli believes Roberto Mancini is a better manager than Jose Mourinho.

Both men have been major influences on the 21-year-old's career, Mancini first at Inter Milan, now at Manchester City, and Mourinho during the spell in between.

Although Balotelli's quirky character has made for tempestuous relationships with the pair of managerial heavyweights, the striker is happy with the manner they have pushed him forward.

Super Mario: City star Balotelli finally appears to be settled in Manchester

Super Mario: City star Balotelli finally appears to be settled in Manchester

However, pushed to choose between them, the striker opts for Mancini, who treats Balotelli with kid gloves at times, whilst at others condemning him in the fiercest manner possible.

'Mourinho Among the best,' he told Italian magazine L'Uomo Vogue. 'On a personal level I would say Mancini and then Mourinho. A coach has to bring 100 per cent out of a player and Mancini is brilliant at doing just that.'

Balotelli has already played down suggestions he wants to move back to Italy.

However, clearly issues exist, not least the way his mannerisms are picked apart, leaving him in the position of being attacked no matter how he behaves.

Not that Balotelli feels the Italian media are any better than their English counterparts. In fact, he believes they are worse.

'I am 21 years old and have spent almost two years away from home,' he said. 'I have adapted quite well, despite the huge cultural differences. But I have no real friends here. If I had to move, right now, I would choose Italy.

'If I buy a Fiat Uno, I read that a guy like me would be more suited to a Ferrari. If I buy the Ferrari, I read that I should have been more down to earth and bought the Uno.

'If I laugh, I'm not serious; if I don't laugh, I'm a sulky rich guy who doesn't enjoy doing the best job in the world. Here in England the tabloid press writes about absolutely everything, and always exaggerates.

Men in Mario's life: Balotelli claims Roberto Mancini is above and beyond Jose Mourinho

Men in Mario's life: Balotelli claims Roberto Mancini is above and beyond Jose Mourinho

Men in Mario's life: Balotelli claims Mancini is above and beyond Mourinho

'But the thing that gives me most trouble is that in Italy the tabloids talk rubbish without a shred of truth to it. So many Italians take everything at face value.'

Earlier the striker played down reports linking him with a move to AC Milan.

He told Italian radio station Radio Radio: 'The newspapers are saying that I want to get away from Manchester but I've never spoken to them.

'They can say what they want, but I'm in Manchester, I am under contract with City and until the right time, will not talk about a new contract.'

The 21-year-old striker is tied to City until June 2015 and has no intention of leaving the club in the near future.

'The Premier League has been a new experience, even if at first it was difficult,' he said. 'But if I have to tell the whole truth now, it's that I'm really happy here.'

Arsene Wenger: Players need educating

Wenger: Players need educating to avoid future 'Suarez' incidents

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes all players should be educated over the way they are expected to behave on the pitch.

The Professional Footballers Association are contemplating the introduction of cultural understanding sessions – which so far have initially been aimed at youth-team squads – in an attempt to avoid more controversies such as those surrounding Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Chelsea captain John Terry.

And Wenger would welcome any extra initiatives to help all footballers become more respectful.

Education: Wenger believes players should be coached in how to behave

Education: Wenger believes players should be coached in how to behave

'There is a need to educate both the foreign players and the English players as well, because the English players are not better,' Wenger said.

'You want respect from everybody, foreign players, English players and that everybody is treated exactly the same, not only Suarez but as well the other players.

'As long as you have players live on television who can say “f*** off” to the referee and get away with it, you cannot convince me you don't need to educate players. You have to take the right decisions.'

Liverpool striker Suarez has been banned for eight games by the Football Association after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Chelsea defender Terry is to appear in court for alleged racist comments made to Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, which he denies.

Centre of attention: Suarez is now serving his eighty-game ban

Centre of attention: Suarez is now serving his eighty-game ban

Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra race row hearing starts

Suarez-Evra hearing underway as crucial verdict in race row edges closer

Luis Suarez”s race-row hearing has begun under a clock of secrecy.

The Liverpool striker is charged by the FA with allegedly aiming racist abuse at Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

It is believed the case will last around two days, with Suarez and Evra both due to give evidence.

Row: Patrice Evra (left) and Luis Suarez at Anfield

Row: Patrice Evra (left) and Luis Suarez at Anfield

If found guilty, the uruguyan star can expect to be handed a lengthy suspension from the game.

Evra has claimed that Suarez used an offensive term on several occasions during United”s 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield in October.

Suarez has denied the allegations and has the full backing of his club as he attempts to clear his name.

The disciplinary hearing will focus on the players” versions of events. Suarez”s defence is based around the nuances of the Spanish language and cultural differences.

Night out: Evra with his wife Sandra attend Manchester United

Night out: Evra with his wife Sandra attend Manchester United”s UNICEF dinner at Old Trafford earlier this week

He is expected to argue that what was said is not considered offensive for someone of his background in his native South America.

The FA are closely analysing the semantics of the incident – and that is part of the reason why the case has taken such a long time to resolve.

Suarez told Uruguayan media earlier this month: “There is no evidence I said anything racist to him. I said nothing of the sort.

“There were two parts of the discussion – one in Spanish, one in English. I did not insult him. It was just a way of expressing myself. I called him something his team-mates at Manchester call him, and even they were surprised by his reaction.”

Ploughing on: Suarez has been in the goals for Liverpool

Ploughing on: Suarez has been in the goals for Liverpool

Evra reported his complaint to match referee Andre Marriner, who included it in his report.

The FA announced the charge last month, alleging Suarez used “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour” towards Evra.

“It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra,” said the FA.

Liverpool said after the charge: “Luis remains determined to clear his name of the allegation made against him by Patrice Evra. The club remain fully supportive of Luis in this matter.”