Tag Archives: disciplinary

Luis Suarez followed by Mike Tyson on Twitter after biting Branislav Ivanovic

Iron Mike shows solidarity with fellow infamous biter Suarez… by following him on Twitter!

PUBLISHED:

00:52 GMT, 22 April 2013

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UPDATED:

01:30 GMT, 22 April 2013

Luis Suarez might have had a sleepless night after facing the furore over his shocking bite of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, but he does have some good news – he's gained a new follower on Twitter.

His new subscriber is none other than Mike Tyson, who surely would have felt sympathy for the Liverpool striker, having sparked a biting storm of his own after the former heavyweight champion bit Evander Holyfield on the ear in 1997.

Spot the difference: Luis Suarez bites Branislav Ivanovic, while Mike Tyson gets a taste of Evander Holyfield

Spot the difference: Luis Suarez bites Branislav Ivanovic, while Mike Tyson gets a taste of Evander Holyfield

MIKE TYSON BITES EVANDER HOLYFIELD EAR DURING THEIR FIGHT

Suarez sank his teeth into Ivanovic's arm midway through the second half of the 2-2 draw, before going on to score in the dying seconds to steal Liverpool a point.

Liverpool have confirmed the striker will face a club sanction while the Uruguayan faces a wait to hear of any disciplinary action from the FA.

Tyson knows all about the fall-out of
biting an opponent, being disqualified from the world title fight and
fined 2 million after taking a chunk out of Holyfield's ear.

Perhaps he could Tweet Suarez a few tips on how to stop all the cannibal jokes…

Following: Tyson's profile revealed he had subscribed to Suarez's page just after the biting incident

Following: Tyson's profile revealed he had subscribed to Suarez's page just after the biting incident

Holyfield

Ivanovic

Victims: Evander Holyfield grimaces after Tyson's attack (left), while Ivanovic points out the incident (right)

VIDEO Mike Tyson bites off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear

Luis Suarez appears to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

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Mark Halsey referee Callum McManaman tackle Massadio Haidara pulled from Premier League

Ref Halsey DROPPED to League One after Haidara horror tackle at Wigan

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

01:43 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

07:59 GMT, 26 March 2013

Mark Halsey, the official who did not send off Callum McManaman for his high tackle on Massadio Haidara, has not been given a Barclays Premier League game to referee this weekend.

Halsey did not issue a red card to Wigan striker McManaman during his side's 2-1 win over Newcastle on March 17 because, he said later, his view of the challenge on Haidara was blocked.

Shocker: Halsey failed to punish Wigan's Callum McManaman for this 'challenge' on Massadio Haidara

Shocker: Halsey failed to punish Wigan's Callum McManaman for this 'challenge' on Massadio Haidara

Dropped: Halsey will take charge of Friday's League One clash between Coventry and Doncaster

Dropped: Halsey will take charge of Friday's League One clash between Coventry and Doncaster

Because of the international break, this weekend will be the first round of Premier League fixtures since the incident, and Halsey's only top-flight outing will be as the fourth official for Reading's trip to Arsenal.

McManaman's tackle was greeted with outrage, but could not be punished in retrospect by the Football Association because one of Halsey's two assistants saw the incident, provoking a debate about the merits of disciplinary system.

Halsey will referee Friday's npower League One game between Coventry and Doncaster.

Six Nations 2013: Brian O"Driscoll cited for stamp on Simone Favaro

O'Driscoll cited for stamp on Italy openside Favaro during Ireland's Six Nations defeat

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

18:15 GMT, 18 March 2013

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UPDATED:

23:18 GMT, 18 March 2013

Brian O'Driscoll has been cited for stamping on Simone Favaro in Ireland's 22-15 RBS 6 Nations defeat by Italy on Saturday.

A brief statement issued by tournament
organisers confirmed that independent citing commissioner Aurwel Morgan
has decided the incident warranted further scrutiny.

The date and location for O'Driscoll's hearing has yet to be announced.

Ouch: Brian O'Driscoll was sin-binned for this stamp during Ireland's final Six Nations clash

Ouch: Brian O'Driscoll was sin-binned for this stamp during Ireland's final Six Nations clash

Cooling off: O'Driscoll spent ten minutes watching the match

Cooling off: O'Driscoll spent ten minutes watching the match

O'Driscoll was sent to the sin-bin for only the second time in his 14-year professional career in the first half of the match at the Stadio Olimpico.

The 34-year-old lifted his right leg and brought it down on to the chest of Favaro, the Italy openside, who yelled out in pain and writhed around on the turf.

The act was out of character for O'Driscoll, who has a fine disciplinary record, and was evidence of his frustration as Ireland slumped to a first Six Nations defeat by Italy.

However, he was lucky to have escaped a red card for an incident that clouded what is thought to have been his 125th and final Test in a green shirt.

Sendoff O'Driscoll could have appeared for the final time in the Six Nations

Sendoff O'Driscoll could have appeared for the final time in the Six Nations

The recommended suspension for a low
end stamping offence is two weeks, the mid range five weeks and top end
nine weeks, up to a maximum of one year.

While the offence was serious, O'Driscoll's lack of previous disciplinary issues will count in his favour.

It will be hoped by his province
Leinster that he is available for the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final
against Wasps on April 5 and for as much of their RaboDirect Pro 12
title push as possible.

A statement issued by the Six Nations
read: 'Brian O'Driscoll, the Ireland centre, has been cited by the
independent citing commissioner for an alleged stamping or trampling on
an opponent, contrary to Law 10.4 (b), in the RBS 6 Nations match
between Italy and Ireland on Saturday 16th March 2013. Details of the
Hearing will be announced later.'

Meanwhile, Ireland wing Luke Fitzgerald has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee against Italy.

London Welsh face charges over fielding of ineligible player

London Welsh face charges over fielding of ineligible player

By
Andrew Baldock, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:51 GMT, 26 February 2013

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UPDATED:

18:08 GMT, 26 February 2013

London Welsh are to face a Rugby Football Union competitions hearing after being charged with fielding an ineligible player in 'a number' of Aviva Premiership games this season.

The RFU has announced that the hearing will take place on March 5 in London. The issue relates to the registration of scrum-half Tyson Keats.

The governing body also said that London Welsh's former rugby manager Mike Scott is the subject of a separate RFU disciplinary hearing relating to the registration of the same player.

In the dock: Keats' inclusion has landed Welsh in hot water

In the dock: Keats' inclusion has landed Welsh in hot water

Scott has been charged under RFU Rule 5.12 for 'conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union or the Game' Scott's case will be heard at a later date.

London Welsh, Premiership newcomers this season, are currently three points above bottom club Sale Sharks with six league games remaining.

Should the Keats matter go against them, they could be facing a considerable points deduction and probable fine.

Sportsmail understands that Keats was ineligible for nine Premiership games that he appeared in this season. The news will be a hammer-blow to the club, who were promoted via last season's Championship play-offs.

In a statement, the RFU said: 'London Welsh are to appear at an RFU competitions hearing charged with fielding an ineligible player in a number of Aviva Premiership matches this season.

Not guilty: Keats isn't to blame for his club's predicament

Not guilty: Keats isn't to blame for his club's predicament

'The case relating to the registration of scrum-half Tyson Keats will be heard on Tuesday, March 5, by a panel of Jeremy Summers (chairman), Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty and Dr Julian Morris at the offices of Slater & Gordon, Chancery Lane, London.

'The club's former rugby manager Mike Scott is the subject of a separate RFU disciplinary hearing relating to the registration of the same player, and has been charged under RFU Rule 5.12 for 'conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Union or the Game'.

'That case will be heard at a later date.'

London Welsh said tonight that they brought the matter to the RFU's attention after conducting an internal investigation earlier this month.

The club also said they wanted to stress than no fault in the matter resides with Keats.

London Welsh chief executive Tony Copsey said: 'This is obviously a serious matter which the club has not only brought to the attention of the RFU, but is also working closely with the RFU to provide full co-operation while the case is being prepared and ultimately heard next week.

'Due to the sensitive nature and the impending hearing, the club is unable to make any further comment at this time.'

Stephen Lee being investigated over match-fixing allegations

Lee has 'case to answer' as World Snooker Association investigate match-fixing allegations

is ongoing.'

The rules that Lee will face a hearing over relate to betting, specifically providing information that 'is not publicly available” and deliberately influencing “the outcome or conduct of a game or frame'.

FULL WPBSA STATEMENT

As a result of the referral by the Gambling Commission on 5th October 2012, Nigel Mawer the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA, launched an investigation into alleged match fixing by Stephen Lee in relation to matches at the Malta Cup 2008, the UK Championship 2008, the China Open in 2009 and the World Championship 2009.

The WPBSA has gathered a large amount of material from the Gambling Commission, West Midlands police and third parties in relation to these allegations. This has been a complex investigation where the material has had to be traced, recovered and re-evaluated with regard to the WPBSA rules.

The available evidence has now been considered and in accordance with the Disciplinary Rules, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee has decided that there is a case for Stephen Lee to answer in relation to a breach of the WPBSA Members Rules. These alleged breaches relate to four matches at the Malta Cup 2008, two matches at the UK Championship 2008, one match at the China Open 2009 and one match at the World Championship 2009.

The case will be heard at a formal independent hearing arranged by Sport Resolutions UK at a date to be arranged.

Stephen Lee is currently suspended from competition and Jason Ferguson, the Chairman of the WPBSA, has decided that the suspension will remain in force until the conclusion of the hearing or hearings and the determination of this matter.

The investigation into the suspicious betting in relation to Stephen Lee's Premier League match with John Higgins on 11th October 2012 is ongoing.

1. WPBSA Members Rules and Regulations (2008-9): Section II

2.8 A Member shall not provide to any other person any information relating to snooker or billiards which that Member has by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available with the intention that it be used by the other person for or in relation to betting.

2.9 A Member shall not directly or indirectly:

2.9.1 solicit or attempt to solicit any person (whether a Member or not) to enter into any arrangement (whether or not in return for payment or any other form of remuneration or benefit);

2.9.2 agree or attempt to agree any arrangement (whether or not in return for payment or any other form of remuneration or benefit); or

2.9.3 accept or receive or offer to receive or give or offer to give, payment or any other form of remuneration or benefit, in connection with influencing (in any way) the outcome or conduct of a game or frame (or any other part thereof) of snooker or billiards.

Mario Balotelli won"t leave Manchester City – Roberto Mancini

Mario's going nowhere, the Sheikh loves him too much, insists City boss Mancini

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UPDATED:

10:47 GMT, 31 December 2012

Roberto Mancini insists Mario Balotelli will not be sold by Manchester City – and claims owner Sheikh Mansour loves the Italian firebrand.

The controversial striker has failed to impress for the Premier League champions this season – scoring just one league goal- and continues to be dogged by disciplinary problems.

But Mancini remains defiant in his support of Balotelli – but has warned him to clean up his act.

Joker of the pack: Mario Balotelli (centre) has disappointed this season

Joker of the pack: Mario Balotelli (centre) has disappointed this season

'I think Mario will stay but the future depends mostly on him,' he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

'Sheikh Mansour likes Balotelli because he recognises the talent and he exports the name of the City over the world.

'We need to consider that Mario was made as a major investment, and this is not a club that throws its capital through the window.'

Controversy: Balotelli stormed off after being replaced against Sunderland

Controversy: Balotelli stormed off after being replaced against Sunderland

Mancini admitted he has taken the 22-year-old to task in light of his performances on and off the field.

'The relationship between me and him is always good, even if one day he does something,' he added.

'I love him because for many years we live together. I've seen him grow. But the professional relationship is another thing and I've told Mario what I need from him.

Colourful: Italian Balotelli continues to make headlines off the pitch

Colourful: Italian Balotelli continues to make headlines off the pitch

'The time of cheap talk is over. Balotelli is 22 years old and now it's time to be professional. I ask from him seriousness and commitment in training, a more stable private life and correct behaviour on the pitch.

'[Roma forward Francesco] Totti is Mario's best example. If Francesco is able to have this continuity of performance at the highest level at the age of 36 years, it's because he has behaved as a professional.

'Mario now has returned to training and could be on the bench against Stoke. Otherwise, he could play against Watford in the FA Cup on January 5.'

Leeds 40 Wakefield 26: Justin Poore sparks mass brawl

Leeds 40 Wakefield 26: We know it's Boxing Day but this is ridiculous! Poore behaviour leads to mass brawl

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UPDATED:

15:10 GMT, 26 December 2012

Wakefield's Australian prop Justin Poore made an unforgettable first appearance on British soil when he was sent off against Super League champions Leeds for sparking a Boxing Day brawl.

The 27-year-old former Parramatta forward was given his marching orders by referee Jamie Leahy after clashing with Leeds prop Ryan Bailey just 20 minutes into the festive challenge match at Headingley.

Poore had already conceded three penalties in an inauspicious start to his Wakefield career and he could now miss the start of Super League XVIII in February if he is banned by the disciplinary committee.

Festive cheer: Wakefield and Leeds players square up on Boxing Day

Festive cheer: Wakefield and Leeds players square up on Boxing Day

Festive cheer: Wakefield and Leeds players square up on Boxing Day

Ouch: Ryan Bailey was cut in the clash

Ouch: Ryan Bailey was cut in the clash

Bailey was sin-binned for his part in
the fracas, along with team-mate Mitch Achurch, who was also making his
first appearance in British rugby league, and Wakefield winger Ben
Cockayne.

Leeds hooker
Paul McShane, making his return from a loan spell with Widnes, became
the fourth player to be shown a yellow card when he was sin-binned on 57
minutes for a high tackle.

Wakefield,
fielding a near full-strength team, were never able to overcome their
numerical disadvantage as they went down to a makeshift Leeds outfit in
front of a crowd of 9,347.
Star
of the show was acting captain Danny McGuire, one of three members of
the Rhinos' Grand Final-winning team, while new faces Joe Vickery and
Joel Moon also caught the eye on Leeds' new 1million pitch.

Vickery,
a 23-year-old Australian trialist, boosted his chances of securing a
contract by scoring two well-taken tries in the first 22 minutes while
Moon was named the Rhinos' man of the match.

It was from McGuire's perfectly-judged grubber kick that Vickery opened the scoring on five minutes, although Wakefield hit the champions with two well-executed tries in three minutes from skipper Danny Kirmond and new signing Reece Lyne to take a 12-6 lead.

A superb one-handed pass from ex-Salford centre Moon gave the impressive Vickery the chance to jink his way over for his second try and delicate footwork from McShane created the first of two touchdowns for prop Brad Singleton.

McShane's second conversion made it 16-12 but Cockayne brought the scores level on the stroke of half-time when he took Lyne's pass to score the visitors' third try.

Leeds edged back in front four minutes into the second half when McGuire's long pass got winger Jimmy Watson over for their fourth try and the England half-back took complete control to create further tries for winger Jamel Chisholm, substitute Alex Foster and Moon.

Centre Dean Collis and former Leeds full-back Richard Mathers added further tries for the Wildcats and Paul Sykes kicked a third goal but Leeds had the final say when Singleton went over for their eighth try, with McShane kicking his fourth goal from six attempts.

UEFA appeal against own punishment for Serbia for racism against England

Embarrassed UEFA appeals against its OWN sanctions on Serbia for racism in England U21 match

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UPDATED:

14:03 GMT, 26 December 2012

UEFA have appealed against the sanctions its control and disciplinary body imposed on Serbia following the incidents in the U21 Euro 2013 play-off match against England in Krusevac on October 16.

Michel Platini, president of the European football governing body, was embarrassed by the leniency shown towards Serbia who were only fined 65,900 for the racist behaviour of their supporters.

In addition to the fine issued on December 13, the Serbian U21 side was ordered to play their next match behind closed doors.

Appeal: Michel Platini was embarrassed by the leniency of UEFA's sanctions

Appeal: Michel Platini was embarrassed by the leniency of UEFA's sanctions

Four players were given suspensions between two and four games and two coaches were also banned.

Danny Rose, who was dismissed after the
final whistle for kicking the ball away in anger, complained he had been
subjected to monkey chants throughout the match and as he left the
pitch.

Astonishingly, England players Steven Caulker and Tom Ince were also hit with suspensions by the Control and Disciplinary Body.

An official statement by UEFA read: 'As per the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, the UEFA disciplinary inspector has the right to open disciplinary investigations and to lodge appeals against decisions taken by the Control and Disciplinary Body.

'Having reviewed the motivated decisions for the sanctions imposed in this specific case, which have also been provided to all parties, the UEFA disciplinary inspector felt it necessary to immediately confirm his intention to appeal on UEFA's behalf.'

Shocking: England players including Danny Rose (left) were racially abused

Shocking: England players including Danny Rose (left) were racially abused

In what could prove to be a ridiculous twist, the UEFA disciplinary inspector could appeal against UEFA's appeal.

Tuesday January 8 is the date which the inspector must appeal by, and is also the same deadline which the FA must adhere to if they are to appeal against the sanctions against the England players.

Although issuing a larger fine may well be the outcome of the appeal, a more stringent and effective punishment could be the docking of points for future qualification campaigns.

After the initial punishment was issued PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: ‘This is a totally inadequate fine which sends a very poor message out to the football world.

‘I intend to write to Michel Platini
expressing our dissatisfaction and will be asking UEFA to exercise its
powers to appeal against the wholly disproportionate punishments imposed
against Serbia.

‘In addition, we will strongly support the FA in their appeal against the decision to suspend Steven Caulker and Thomas Ince.’

Angry: Rose squares up to Serbia player Milos Ninkovic

Angry: Rose squares up to Serbia player Milos Ninkovic

FA general secretary Alex Horne had condemned the sanctions, which he deemed to be too lenient given the nature of the incident.

'We are disappointed with the sanctions levied by UEFA with regards to the racist behaviour displayed towards England's players,' Horne said earlier this month.

'Let's be clear, racism is unacceptable in any form and should play no part in football.

'The scenes were deplorable and we do not believe the sanction sends a strong enough message.'

Serbia have a history of similar incidents. In 2007, when they met England at this level at the finals in Holland, Nedum Onuoha was subjected to racial abuse.

Their players also brawled with England at the final whistle, charging at England’s bench after Matt Derbyshire made it 2-0.

UEFA fined them around 16,000 at the time, but then after an appeal, doubled it.

List of punishments issued for events during the game
The Serbia Under 21 nation team ordered to play their next UEFA competition home match behind closed doors.
The Football Association of Serbia was fined 80,000 euros.Serbia fitness coach Andreja Milunovic was suspended from all football-related activities for two years, the second of which is suspended for a probationary period of three years.
Serbia assistant coach Predrag Katic was suspended from all football-related activities for two years, the final six months of which are suspended for a probationary period of three years.
Serbia's Goran Causic suspended for four UEFA national team competition matches.
Serbia's Ognjen Mudrinski suspended for three UEFA national team competition matches.
Serbia's Filip Malbasic was suspended for three UEFA national team competition matches.
Serbia's Nikola Ninkovic was suspended for two UEFA national team competition matches.
The disciplinary proceedings opened against Serbia player Aleksandar Pantic were dismissed.
The FA has received a warning for improper conduct by its team (more than five cautions).
England's Steven Caulker suspended for two UEFA national team competition matches.
England's Thomas Ince suspended for one UEFA national team competition match.

Luis Suarez interview: Liverpool striker says people can call him racist, diver and cheat but he sleeps soundly every night

LUIS SUAREZ EXCLUSIVE: Racist Diver Cheat People can call me what they want but I still sleep soundly every night
The Liverpool star discusses what it is like to be one of football's most reviled figures in his first major interview
'What matters most to me is my family, the Liverpool fans and the team. Anything else that goes on is not my problem''Liverpool are the club I wanted to play for, and now that I’m here, I want to stay for a long time'

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UPDATED:

23:11 GMT, 22 December 2012

Luis Suarez never directly expresses his exasperation. He is polite, engaging and thoughtful. But he sits with arms folded for most of the interview, as though he fears that judgment has already been made and that nothing he can say will change the verdict.

The controversies are well recorded: his abuse of the Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, which the FA deemed a racial slur, a verdict Suarez still disputes; his reputation for too readily going to ground in the penalty area; his handball on the line that prevented Ghana from progressing to the 2010 World Cup semi-finals; and his general aggression on the pitch.

Suarez, 25, gives the impression that the insults which come his way as a result of his reputation are of no consequence and that the support of his family and his football club, Liverpool, are all he needs. Indeed, he is dismissive of the suggestion that, as a result of the Evra affair — for which Suarez served an eight-match ban — many would now regard him as racist, even though the FA Disciplinary Commission made it clear in their judgment that they did not.

At ease: Luis Suarez says he is unconcerned with the criticism he attracts

At ease: Luis Suarez says he is unconcerned with the criticism he attracts

‘I still sleep soundly every night,’ insists Suarez. ‘I’m not worried about everything people say. I don’t care what people outside Liverpool think.’

Suarez has always maintained that the Spanish word he admits using in his infamous clash with Evra, ‘negrito’, can, at times, be acceptable in his native Uruguay. Suarez now knows that it is not acceptable in England to refer to somebody’s race in this way, but he claims that he remains perplexed by the response to the incident.

‘I don’t understand, but that’s football,’ he says. ‘It’s in the past now. I fought hard to get where I am and now all I care about is playing football for Liverpool.’

He even remains outwardly unmoved by the fact that Chelsea’s former England captain, John Terry, received a four-match ban for racial abuse, half the punishment meted out to Suarez. ‘They’re different situations,’ he says. ‘Terry is Terry and Suarez is Suarez — they’re different issues, and I never cared about the Terry case.’

Yet, tellingly, when it comes to other aspects of the way he is perceived, Suarez does want to explain. On the diving, he wants people to know what it is like to have muscular 6ft 2in centre-halves bearing down on you as you run towards goal or attempt a cute turn.

Going to ground: Suarez falls after a challenge from Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen

Going to ground: Suarez falls after a challenge from Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen

‘Sometimes you’re standing there and someone comes flying in, so you move your leg out of the way or you go to ground because you’re scared of getting hit,’ he says. ‘If I leave my leg there so the referee can see it’s a foul, I risk suffering a big injury. That’s why sometimes your instinct tells you to go to ground. It’s a split-second instinct, not a conscious decision you make on the pitch. Of course, I don’t want people to go around saying “this guy just dives”.’

The swallow-dive celebration Suarez performed in front of David Moyes after his goal in the Merseyside derby in October was the Uruguayan’s response to pre-match accusations of diving from the Everton manager, a riposte made even more pleasing when Everton captain Phil Neville was booked for simulation in the same game.

‘Everton was a special case, because the Everton manager came out and spoke about me before the match, saying that people like me are going to turn supporters off going to matches,’ says Suarez.

‘And then, in the match, the Everton captain dived. So that’s why sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut. Moyes can talk about me if he knows me, or at least after the match, but before the match it’s not right.’

Courting controversy: Suarez celebrated his goal in the Merseyside derby with a dive in front of Everton boss David Moyes

Courting controversy: Suarez celebrated his goal in the Merseyside derby with a dive in front of Everton boss David Moyes

Suarez’s default position is a defensive one. ‘What matters most to me is my family, playing for Liverpool, the Liverpool fans and the team. Anything else that goes on is not my problem. I don’t read the papers or watch TV. Every time they boo me or chant something about me, it just gives me more confidence to keep playing. I’ve been booed in Holland and in Uruguay — as a professional footballer you need to have thick skin and just get used to it. But right now I’m at the club I wanted to play for, I’m really enjoying myself out on the pitch, because I fought for a long time to get here and I’m happy the club acknowledge what I’ve done, which is the only thing that matters to me.

‘If we’re playing away from home, I know I’m going to get booed. But I also know that if they boo me, it’s not only because of anything I’ve supposedly done, but also because they’re afraid, because they know I’m a player who is a threat to their team. And that’s why they try to unsettle me and keep me quiet in the game … almost. But I never let that happen.’

And he is a potent threat. The skill and the inventiveness were never in doubt but the finishing that seemed awry last year is now much improved, as 11 Premier League goals — including one in the 4-0 victory over Fulham — and three in cup competitions testifies. For some, he is the player of the season so far.

Intriguingly, though, he says he does want to change. Regarding diving, he says: ‘Yes, of course. I’m trying to change and to avoid doing it because I know that football is different here, and it’s helping me at the same time. I’ve discussed it with both managers I’ve played under here, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers. Kenny also used to tell me not to protest so much, that I should focus more on playing football, that I have a lot of qualities and so should forget about referees. And Brendan has also told me a few things to help me improve.’

Lucky for some: Suarez hits his 13th goal of the campaign, adding the gloss to Liverpool's win against Fulham

Lucky for some: Suarez hits his 13th goal of the campaign, adding the gloss to Liverpool's win against Fulham

There is a familiar contradiction in sportsmen like Suarez, those who carry a reputation. The image they bear on the pitch is so far removed from their demeanour in everyday life that it is often difficult to reconcile the two. Suarez himself says so.

‘My wife always says that people must think I act crazy at home, too, but that’s not the case,’ he says.

‘Off the pitch I am nothing like the way I am on it. The passion I have for football, it’s very different, I’ve always expressed it like that, that’s the way I play, but I also understand that I need to change. Because it’s not nice to be constantly shouting and back-chatting, it’s not nice for the crowd and for children to see, and it’s not nice for me either. I understand that and I think I’ve made the effort to change a little over the last few months.’

There will not be an immediate transformation, he says, as he tries to strike the balance between retaining legitimate aggression and curbing what is unacceptable. ‘That’s why it’s really hard to change overnight, because of the passion you feel on the pitch. And I don’t like losing, I don’t like giving up a lost ball — say if the ball is going out and I know I can reach it, then I chase it down … that’s the passion you feel on the pitch.’

He draws a direct link between his upbringing and the way he plays now. ‘When you’re a kid, you play in the street, you need to have lots of ambition, drive and strength to play, and that’s what makes you act like that on the pitch.’

Flashpoint: Controversy has been no stranger to Suarez, with the Uruguayan getting an eight-match ban for this clash with Patrice Evra at Anfield last season

Flashpoint: Controversy has been no stranger to Suarez, with the Uruguayan getting an eight-match ban for this clash with Patrice Evra at Anfield last season

For his is that well-told story of the South American boy playing street football, first in Salto and later in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. His father left the family when he was nine years old and he was raised by his mother and grandmother, who provided financial help. He has two sisters and four brothers, one of whom, Paolo, plays for Isidro Metapan, the champions of El Salvador, while two others play professionally at a lower level.

In Suarez’s mind, he has had to battle constantly to be where he is now, playing football for Liverpool. ‘Some kids have things very easy here. They don’t go wanting for anything, their parents help them, and by 18 they already have their own cars. It’s not like that in Uruguay: you have to work really hard and for a lot of years. Even if your parents help you to have a car, you have to work and fight really hard, and show a lot of ambition and hunger to go far, which isn’t the case here.

‘In Holland (where he played for Groningen and Ajax) and it’s happened to me here, too, I would look at players who were moving up to the first team, and they already had expensive cars at the age of 18, which I found amazing. Back when I was in Uruguay, the club used to loan me a car, and it wasn’t until I moved to Holland when I was 20, and then when I moved to Ajax, that I could buy one myself.’

He was signed to Nacional, the Uruguayan champions, as a child but looked like missing the cut at 14.

‘I wasn’t on the path I wanted to be on. I was going out at night, I didn’t enjoy studying and I wasn’t dedicating myself to football. When I was a kid, there were some people around me who were a bad influence. When I met my girlfriend Sofia, who is now my wife, I think it all changed. She was very important for me, because she steered me back on to the path I wanted to be on.

Home team: Suarez is always calm and relaxed with wife Sofia and daughter Delfina

Home team: Suarez is always calm and relaxed with wife Sofia and daughter Delfina

‘When I was single, I would go out at night, but then when I had a girlfriend, I would always go to her house at the end of the night, so I had more peace of mind. So it’s about that, the everyday routine. She would also tell me to study and to focus on my ability to play football, and to forget about everything else.

‘I’m the one out on the pitch, but I think if she hadn’t helped me change my life, I probably wouldn’t have made it. Also, I wasn’t playing at Nacional, I was on the bench, some people told me to look for another club, but there were two people who told me to stay and helped me to get another chance. And then I met my wife and that’s when it all changed.’

At times he seems a throwback to the world of Diego Maradona, the street kid with the ball at his feet made good. In Uruguay they use the word ‘botija’ to describe a player like Suarez, the one with the skill, guile and what locals would call cheekiness.

‘Being crafty, a bit more streetwise than the rest,’ says Suarez, attempting an explanation. ‘That’s very common in Uruguay, just like in Argentina, I think because of the way you grow up as a kid.’

But does the phrase accurately describe Suarez ‘I think I am sometimes [that kind of player] but not always. I think maybe the example you’re trying to get at is my handball at the World Cup’

Indeed, it is. That was the day Suarez took a red card for the team and stopped Ghana scoring in the last minute of the quarter-final by blocking a goalbound shot with his hand on the line. The penalty was missed and Uruguay progressed to the semi-finals in the subsequent penalty shoot-out. ‘I think any player in the world would have done that,’ says Suarez. ‘It’s all part of being a little bit crafty, getting the upper hand.’

Public enemy No 1: Suarez attracted the ire of a continent after handballing Dominic Adiyiah's goalbound header off the line

Public enemy No 1: Suarez attracted the ire of a continent after handballing Dominic Adiyiah's goalbound header off the line

While his actions would not be
universally condemned in England — what wouldn’t we do to be in a World
Cup semi-final — it is pointed out that there would be a strong body of
opinion here that would consider such an unsporting act as plain wrong.

‘But if a player is running towards an open goal, you can haul him down
and injure him, and that’s acceptable’ argues Suarez. ‘I think that if
they were doing it for their country …’ he begins. Maybe, it is
suggested, a cultural difference. ‘Right,’ he says. ‘The culture is very
different.’

At Liverpool, the fear must be that he will soon outgrow them, now that they have ceased to become a regular Champions League club, but in August he signed a new five-year contract with the club.

‘All I can say is that my head is here now and for many years to come. My dream and desire is to play in the Champions League and achieve big things with Liverpool, because they’re the club I wanted to play for, and now that I’m here, I want to stay for a long time.’

He cites the club’s tradition and ‘amazing fans’ as the reason ‘we hope that over time, we can take Liverpool back to where they belong’.

He may need some patience for that. ‘Just like I waited to play in the Champions League with Ajax and I had that chance, now I hope the same thing happens with Liverpool,’ he says.

And his enthusiasm for the manager, the club, the city and its people seems genuine. His wife and two-year-old daughter, Delfina, are happy here. He even claims to understand Scouse accents: well, Steven Gerrard’s anyway. Jamie Carragher, he says, is still impenetrable. Some cultural chasms, it seems, are too wide to bridge.

Wayne Rooney coaching young players in Switzerland – video

VIDEO: Watch out Fergie! Rooney reveals taking charge of training in UEFA punishment was kid's play

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UPDATED:

14:22 GMT, 19 December 2012

Wayne Rooney has spoken for the first
time about helping train a group of youngsters on a unique training day
in Switzerland last week that even involved a crossbar challenge to win a
pair of his signed boots.

The England and Manchester United
striker flew to Switzerland's centre of excellence last week as part of
his successful appeal following his dismissal against Montenegro.

He told the FA's website: 'It was great to work with the kids, they were fantastic and have great ability. It's obviously something different for me but I enjoyed it.

In charge: Wayne Rooney training a group of youth players in Switzerland

In charge: Wayne Rooney training a group of youth players in Switzerland

Target men: Rooney organises crossbar challenge

Target men: Rooney organises crossbar challenge

'It was a long time ago that I was in their position but I remember being young and trying to become a professional footballer, going to training in similar facilities to what we have here.

'It's something all footballers go through what these kids are doing here.'

Rooney imparted some tactical nous and drilled the teenagers at Swiss club Payerne.

At the end of training, Rooney even
challenged the players to hit the crossbar from the edge of the area to
win his boots. Four players managed it but only one could repeat it to
scoop the unique prize, which Rooney signed.

But the United striker didn't make the trip to the continent just for the fun of it.

The 27-year-old only received a two-match international ban from UEFA after being sent off during England's final Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro in October 2011.

Rooney was initially banned for three matches for viciously kicking out at Montenegro defender Miodrag Dzudovic, which the disciplinary panel described as an assault, but it was cut to two games after he and Fabio Capello attended an appeal at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland before the Euros.

Watch the video…

The third match of Rooney's ban was suspended for four years.

As a result, Rooney was able to make a goalscoring return in the final group stage game of England's European Championships campaign against Ukraine. He missed the matches against France and Sweden.

One of the conditions of the relatively lenient sentence was that Rooney would take part in a community project supported by UEFA.