Tag Archives: salute

Stiliyan Petrov says he is lucky to be alive following leukaemia battle

I’m lucky to be alive! Villa captain Petrov reveals he is on the road to recovery in leukaemia battle

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

12:47 GMT, 17 April 2013

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UPDATED:

13:09 GMT, 17 April 2013

Stiliyan Petrov has revealed he is on the road to recovery following a battle with leukaemia after being diagnosed with the disease in March last year, saying he is lucky to be alive.

The Aston Villa club captain spoke about his experience with treatment for the disease and his appreciation of the fans who supported him at matches.

Defender Petrov, who has won 106 caps for his native Bulgaria, has not retired from the professional game and said he is lucky, due to the amount of people who die from the leukaemia.

Happy Birthday: Stiliyan Petrov has revealed he is on the road to recovery following his battle with leukaemia

Happy Birthday: Stiliyan Petrov has revealed he is on the road to recovery following his battle with leukaemia

'When it happened I knew what kind of
disease it was but I didn’t know anything about what kind of treatment
it was,' he told AVFC.co.uk

'While the treatment was going on I
was surprised how long things were dragging on, it kept dragging and I
kept thinking “when is this going to finish” but with a lot of patience
and a lot of support from family and friends and everybody I managed to
pull through. I had my hard moments but I had good moments as well.

'I can say I’m lucky because some
people with this disease will die very quickly and I managed to keep
battling and still be here, still standing. It’s really good, that’s a
great thing.'

Salute: Petrov acknowledges the Villa Park crowd, showing their support by applauding in the 19th minute

Salute: Petrov acknowledges the Villa Park crowd, showing their support by applauding in the 19th minute

Villa

Villa fans hold an applause in the 19th
minute of every game – marking Petrov's squad number – and the
midfielder paid tribute to the supporters who have stood by their
skipper.

'Yeah, the 19th minute has been just
incredible. It’s just showing their appreciation and their support. I
don’t know how I can thank the fans because it’s been incredible.

'Sometimes I have a joke with some
friends when they text me saying, ‘You’ve still got that applause in the
19th minute, when are they going to stop!’ But it’s been incredible.

Touching: Young Villa fans hold up a message in support of their captain

Touching: Young Villa fans hold up a message in support of their captain

In action: Villa skipper Petrov playing last season before the diagnosis ruled him out of contention

In action: Villa skipper Petrov playing last season before the diagnosis ruled him out of contention

'I’ve got a great wife, a strong,
great wife and she’s been unbelievable, incredible in this journey. The
kids as well, my mom and dad, my brother, my wife’s mum, they’ve all
been so strong and close beside me. Other friends as well, I can’t start
naming names because there are so many, they’ve been so supportive
every single day.

'To have support every single day from
people who have their own problems and their own life but they keep
finding the time to send you a message or call you, it’s just
unbelievable.'

Thoughts: Tributes to Petrov were displayed by teams around the Premier League

Thoughts: Tributes to Petrov were displayed by teams around the Premier League

Petrov also spoke about the club's current form, and has backed his team-mates to stave off any relegation fears after seeing Saturday's 1-1 draw against Fulham.

'I was there at the game against Fulham and I’ve come to a lot of games this season when I’ve had the chance,' Petrov said.

Back on track: Petrov was watching Villa's 1-1 draw against Fulham, with Charles N'Zogbia's opener (above)

Back on track: Petrov was watching Villa's 1-1 draw against Fulham, with Charles N'Zogbia's opener (above)

'I needed to have clearance from the doctors to go around crowded areas, so I constantly needed to be feeling well in order for me to be around people.

'I was really impressed by the performance against Fulham because the boys kept going right until the last minute. There are still a lot of games to come, a lot of points to be picked up, so there’s nothing to worry about.'

World Twenty20: Australia through to last four

Australia advance to last four of World Twenty20 despite narrow defeat to Pakistan

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UPDATED:

14:24 GMT, 2 October 2012

Australia sustained a 32-run defeat in their final Super Eights match against Pakistan, but were still able to celebrate a place in the World Twenty20 semi-finals while their conquerors faced an anxious wait in Colombo.

Pakistan will know their fate only after the result of South Africa versus India this evening, but Australia successfully booked their place in the last four as they edgily reached their qualification target of 112 runs.

Their final score of 117 for seven was nowhere near enough to win the match, with Pakistan making 149 for six in the first innings.

We're through: Australia advanced to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 despite suffering a 17-run defeat to Pakistan

We're through: Australia advanced to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 despite suffering a 17-run defeat to Pakistan

Starc the Star: Australia celebrate after Mitchell Starc removes Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez

Starc the Star: Australia celebrate after Mitchell Starc removes Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez

Big hitter: Nasir Jamshed of Pakistan goes for a boundary in the final Super Eight match in Colombo

Big hitter: Nasir Jamshed of Pakistan goes for a boundary in the final Super Eight match in Colombo

Australia skipper George Bailey won the toss and opted to field first, Mitchell Starc making good on that call when he removed the dangerous Mohammad Hafeez for four with the first ball of the second over.

The left-armer should have added the scalp of Nasir Jamshed for a duck two deliveries later, but he was dropped by Glen Maxwell at slip.

Jamshed was soon off the mark and a couple of quick boundaries by Imran Nazir got Pakistan's innings going.

The on-song Shane Watson accounted for Nazir (14) just before the end of the powerplay, but Jamshed continued compiling runs steadily alongside Kamran Akmal.

Fifty run salute: Jamshed celebrates his half century as Pakistan beat Australia to give themselves a chance of reaching the semi-finals

Fifty run salute: Jamshed celebrates his half century as Pakistan beat Australia to give themselves a chance of reaching the semi-finals

Butter fingers: Umar Akmal drops his bat as he scrambles through for a single

Butter fingers: Umar Akmal drops his bat as he scrambles through for a single

Jamshed struck Pat Cummins for the first six of the day in the 11th over and followed with a second off Xavier Doherty moments later.

Four more off Brad Hogg brought up Jamshed's 50 and Akmal clubbed a six of his own off the veteran spinner.

Doherty eventually prised out Jamshed for 55 and Starc returned to remove Akmal and Shahid Afridi as he returned three for 20.

Only Abdul Razzaq, with 22 off 17 balls, made a significant contribution in the closing overs.

Australia's dangerous opening pair failed a trial by spin, both Watson and David Warner lbw for eight to Raza Hasan and Hafeez respectively.

Eyes on the ball: Kamran Akmal plays a shot

Eyes on the ball: Kamran Akmal plays a shot

Number three Mike Hussey provided the backbone of the innings, making 54 not out in 47 balls, including the boundary that ensured his side would continue in the competition.

But he was the only man to get to grips with the Pakistan attack.

Bailey hit a four and a six before falling for 15 to Saeed Ajmal, who also deceived Matthew Wade and Cummins with successive balls.

Hafeez and Hasan finished with with two wickets apiece as Cameron White and Maxwell also fell to turn.

London 2012 Olympics: Liam Tancock reaches 100m backstroke final

Liam takes control as Adlington inspires Tancock to reach 100m backstroke final

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UPDATED:

22:14 GMT, 29 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Liam Tancock revealed that Rebecca Adlington’s bronze medal inspired him to clinch a place in the final of the men’s 100 metres backstroke.

Tancock put aside his usual tactic of going out quickly from the start to swim a more controlled race, and it paid off handsomely as he finished as the third-fastest qualifier for this evening’s final in the Aquatics Centre.

The Exeter swimmer revealed that coming out to swim as Adlington was still giving interviews on the side of the pool following her success had spurred him on in front of the roaring home support.

Salute: Liam Tancock waves to the crowd after reaching the 100m backstroke final

Salute: Liam Tancock waves to the crowd after reaching the 100m backstroke final

He said: ‘After seeing Becky get the bronze and Lizzie get the silver for Team GB in the cycling I was absolutely buzzing.’

Tancock, a 50m specialist, turned a fraction behind French favourite Camille Lacourt, but fought back to clock 53.25sec, just trailing his rival.

In the second semi-final, Matt Grevers swam 52.66 to win, but the American was the only man in that heat to beat Tancock’s time.

Although Grevers is the hot favourite for gold, the British swimmer knows he will have the advantage of having him in his peripheral vision — a factor that has given him real reason for optimism.

Here we go: Tancock starts his 100m backstroke semi-final

Here we go: Tancock starts his 100m backstroke semi-final

‘I just went out there and did my thing, and coming third in qualifying means I have got a good lane to swim in for the final, which is all you can ask for,’ he said.

‘I was actually really pleased with my swim. It was tough this morning but this support really does make a difference. ‘I did a decent time again. I’ll go back and try to find a few tenths or hundredths hopefully.

‘I’m definitely up for this. The crowd is tremendous and thanks to all of you guys out there for helping me swim fast.’

Assen victory sees Stoner pull level with Lorenzo in MotoGP title race

Assen victory sees Stoner pull level with Lorenzo in MotoGP title race

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UPDATED:

15:56 GMT, 30 June 2012

Casey Stoner drew level with Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP title race after winning the Dutch Grand Prix in Assen.

Lorenzo saw his 25-point championship lead wiped out by Stoner after he was taken out by Alvaro Bautista on the first corner of the race.

Stoner started from pole position and held off his Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa to win, with Andrea Dovizioso claiming third place after overtaking Ben Spies on the final lap.

Victory salute: Casey Stoner triumphed in Assen

Victory salute: Casey Stoner triumphed in Assen

The Australian drew level with Lorenzo on 140 points in the MotoGP title standings with Pedrosa third on 121 and Britain's Cal Crutchlow fourth with 77.

Crutchlow, racing two weeks after breaking his ankle, was hampered by the early crash and dropped back to 15th place but he recovered well to finish fifth.

Stoner told BBC Sport after his third win of the season: 'I didn't see that Lorenzo had crashed as I was focused on the fight at the front but what a difference a day makes.

'I had a big crash in practice on Friday but we managed to pull through for the race. Today has worked out perfectly for me.'

Fuming: Jorge Lorenzo walked away from his bike after this crash

Fuming: Jorge Lorenzo walked away from his bike after this crash

Lorenzo was left furious with Bautista for the collision, an incident which has been placed under investigation by race officials.

Stoner later Tweeted: 'I feel sorry for @lorenzo99 he doesn't deserve that to happen and I don't want points that way. Thanks for everyone's support today!!'

The two Honda riders dominated the race and Stoner took the lead from Pedrosa with 10 laps remaining.

Some of the most exciting action came from watching Crutchlow pick his way through the field and then battle past Hector Barbera, Valentino Rossi and then Nicky Hayden to finish a creditable fifth.

Dovizioso caught up with Spies with three laps remaining and the pair were involved a thrilling tussle for the final podium position.

Dovizioso made his move heading into turn one of the final lap and then held his advantage to claim third place.

O"Brien retains grip on Classics as 20-1 shot Was lands Oaks shock

O'Brien retains grip on Classics as 20-1 shot Was lands Oaks shock under Heffernan

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UPDATED:

16:02 GMT, 1 June 2012

Aidan O'Brien's Was claimed victory in the Investec Oaks at Epsom in the hands of Seamus Heffernan.

The 20-1 chance was ridden positively in the early stages of the mile-and-a-half contest, just tracking the early pace set by Nayarra, with stablemate Twirl also well to the fore.

Classic shock: Was (right), ridden by Seamie Heffernan, wins the Investec Oaks

Classic shock: Was (right), ridden by Seamie Heffernan, wins the Investec Oaks

Investec Oaks 2012 result

1 Was (J A Heffernan) 20-1

2 Shirocco Star (D Holland) 16-1

3 The Fugue (William Buick) 11-4 Fav

12 ran Also: 9-2 Vow 4th

Non Runners: 6, 11

Leading fancy Vow ranged up to make a race of it at the top of the home straight, but Was quickened best of all against the far rail to take top honours by a neck.

Shirocco Star ran a stormer to finish second, with 11-4 favourite The Fugue coming from a long way back to claim third and Vow fourth.

Even with Kissed having been withdrawn earlier in the day, Was featured among five O'Brien-trained fillies in the race, with 1,000 Guineas third Maybe the most fancied.

Was won her only juvenile appearance at the Curragh last August, but was beaten into third in last month's Blue Wind Stakes at Naas.

Everyone else in the shade: Aidan O'Brien (left) and John Magnier (right)

Everyone else in the shade: Aidan O'Brien (left) and John Magnier (right)

Everyone else in the shade: Aidan O'Brien (left) and John Magnier (right)

In a race where it proved sensible to be prominent off a slow gallop, the three-year-old showed plenty of dash to claim a surprise victory.

Shirocco Star's run was particularly meritorious given she was fractious in the preliminaries.

Oaks queen: Heffernan gave Was a positive ride to land the spoils at Epsom

Oaks queen: Heffernan gave Was a positive ride to land the spoils at Epsom

Seamus salute: Heffernan celebrates his Oaks win

Seamus salute: Heffernan celebrates his Oaks win

The Fugue and William Buick were
short of room in the early stages and ended up further back than ideal,
but she finished off her race well and arguably goes down as an unlucky
loser.

Vow travelled like the winner for a long way and ran a creditable race in fourth.

Maybe
was another filly who was a long way back for much of the journey in
the hands of the trainer's son, Joseph, before staying on for fifth.

Heffernan said: 'I had enough horse to take two lengths when I needed it.

'I've been very lucky in these colours and I have the owners to thank for trusting me.

'I was on the bridle and had plenty of petrol. When you have plenty of petrol you can go where you like.'

O'Brien was securing his fourth Oaks success, with his last victory in the Epsom Classic arriving with Alexandrova in 2006.

The master of Ballydoyle was also preserving his unbeaten record in British Classics this term after Camelot and Homecoming Queen struck in the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas respectively.

O'Brien said: 'Seamus gave her a lovely ride, she came on lovely from her first run so we were delighted.

'She's a very good looking filly with a great pedigree. He's a great fellow, Seamus, a world-class jockey. He knows all these horses inside out and and nobody deserves it more.'

O'Brien said of Maybe, who ran on to take fifth: 'She ran well, she was coming there and coming there but a mile and a quarter might be as far as she wants to go.'

Darryl Holland, rider of Shirocco Star, said: 'I don't think she was unlucky. The way the race was run it was a bit tactical.

'The winner had the rail and kept out-battling me towards the end.

'I was pressing the button at the furlong marker but the other horse just pulled out a bit more.

'I needed a better gallop and I had to be handier than I wanted to be at an earlier stage.'

Can't catch me: Was and Seamus Heffernan hold on to win the Oaks

Can't catch me: Was and Seamus Heffernan hold on to win the Oaks

Johnny Murtagh said of Vow: 'They went very slow and I thought I had it at one stage but I thought she'd quicken better than she did.'

Was now has the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh in July as a possible conditional aim.

O'Brien said: 'There's no doubt she's progressing all the time and she's a filly who we are really looking forward to.

Tactical affair: Was (right) just held off Shirocco Star

Tactical affair: Was (right) just held off Shirocco Star

'It (the Irish Oaks) is possible, but we need to let the boys speak about things during the week.'

Maybe could revert to a mile for the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot later in the month.

O'Brien said: 'She might even go back (in trip) to the Coronation – she has a miler's pace.'

Deserved Classic success: Heffernan takes the plaudits after a great ride on Was

Deserved Classic success: Heffernan takes the plaudits after a great ride on Was

Roberto Martinez credits players with beating the drop

It's all about the players! Martinez hails Wigan stars after beating the drop

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UPDATED:

23:07 GMT, 7 May 2012

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez hailed his players after they beat Blackburn 1-0 at Ewood Park to secure their future in the Barclays Premier League while condemning Rovers to the npower Championship.

Only a win would have saved Steve Kean's side from relegation, but Antolin Alcaraz's 87th-minute header handed Wigan the points and sealed Blackburn's fate in a nervy game.

Martinez praised the performance of his side during the last 13 games of the season which culminated in tonight's crucial win.

Pure delight: Wigan secured their Premier League survival with a win

Pure delight: Wigan secured their Premier League survival with a win

'It doesn't seem real yet,' Martinez said. 'Its a great feeling because you could feel the tension and it was a cagey affair. To do that and to keep a clean sheet – to have that and what it means is incredible. Eight years in the Premier League

'It's been a great run but football is about the players. It's very easy to say the right things but what matters is when you cross the white line to be brave and arrogant.

'All I do is allow them to enjoy their football and the credit goes to the players. You get really high pressure. We've been in the bottom three for a long time. They made the football club proud and the chairman proud.'

Wigan owner Dave Whelan revealed he has mixed emotions following the result but was full of praise for the achievements of Martinez.

Salute: Wigan boss Roberto Martinez

Salute: Wigan boss Roberto Martinez

'I'm really sorry that we put Rovers down,' Whelan, a former Blackburn player, also said on Sky Sports 1. 'I had 11 fantastic years here. Of course I'm Wigan Athletic through and through but I'm really sorry Rovers have gone down.

'He (Martinez) has had faith from day one and we had a really tough start to the season but he always believed and had faith in this players.

'As the season has gone along we've played better and better and I think Roberto has proved once and for all that he is a quality manger.

'I believe Roberto will go to one of the top European clubs when the time is right but hopefully we can hold on to him for one or more years.

'We can't do things like Man City and Man Utd and the big clubs but if we can be in the top half of the Premier League it would be a wonderful achievement.'

Wigan captain Gary Caldwell spoke of his relief after his side avoided the drop for the second season in a row.

Contrasting emotions: Wigan's win condemned Blackburn to relegation

Contrasting emotions: Wigan's win condemned Blackburn to relegation

'I'm happy. We put ourselves in a very precarious position early in the season and as a club we have to be better than that,' Caldwell said. 'Our start to the season wasn't good enough. All credit to everyone at the football club as we dug in.'

Caldwell also hailed the calm Martinez brought to the side in the latter stages of the campaign.

'(He deserves) great credit,' he added. 'When everyone else started panicking and the world tells you you're going down he stays calm and remains true to his principles.

'We showed great belief in our system and our style of play. This has to be the platform for the football club to progress and moved on.'

Kevin Mitchell beats Felix Lora on points

Rusty Mitchell labours to win as Dagenham Destroyer returns to the ring at York Hall

Kevin Mitchell returned to the ring with an unconvincing points win over Felix Lora at a packed York Hall in London.

The 27-year-old had been out of action since stopping John Murray in Liverpool last year.

And the 'Dagenham Destroyer' showed a little rustiness as he made hard work of what looked a straightforward assignment on paper.

Salute to the crowd: Kevin Mitchell celebrates with son Vinnie after defeating Felix Lora

Salute to the crowd: Kevin Mitchell celebrates with son Vinnie after defeating Felix Lora

Lora, also 27, came in to the fight with a less than impressive 14-8-5 record but Mitchell had been prepared for a tough ten rounds.

And that was exactly what he got as he pushed all the way in a bout that struggled to get out of second gear.

Lora hit the canvas in the first round but had clearly slipped and it was Mitchell who landed the more meaningful blows in what was a tentative opening three minutes.

On the canvas: Mitchell stands over Lora after knocking him down

On the canvas: Mitchell stands over Lora after knocking him down

The fight came to life in the second round when Lora was down again, this time from a smart left hand. He survived the count however and Mitchell was unable to finish his man there and then.

The visiting fighter showed no ill-effects from his knockdown as the bout settled down again in the third. Mitchell was reliant on his jab, with neither man able to string together fluid combinations.

As Lora continued to look for an unlikely one-punch knockout, Mitchell fought somewhat on the back foot in the fourth session and the underdog continued to control the centre of the ring in the fifth. After Mitchell slipped to the ground, the pair squared up on the bell and had to be dragged back to their respective corners.

Putting the pressure on: Mitchell has Lora on the ropes

Putting the pressure on: Mitchell has Lora on the ropes

The York Hall crowd had been slightly muted to this stage but roared the home favourite on at the start of the seventh. The expected fireworks failed to materialise however although Lora did end the round with a bloodied nose.

If Mitchell was expecting his opponent to tire, he was disappointed as Lora landed several right hands in the eighth round. Both men shook off the shackles briefly but again it was Lora who landed the more telling blows.

Mitchell did land a superb left hook in the penultimate round as the exertions of his rival seemed to begin to take their toll before the fight threatened to turn into a tear-up in the last as both fighters sought to impress with Mitchell finishing the stronger.

Boxing clever: Kevin Mitchell lines Lora up for a shot

Boxing clever: Kevin Mitchell lines Lora up for a shot

And the crowd rose to acclaim their winner as Mitchell was declared the victor by a score of 98-92.

The Dagenham man had hoped to use this fight as a stepping stone to a summer showdown with Scotland's WBO champion Ricky Burns but on this evidence, Mitchell will need to find another gear to challenge for a world title.

Earlier on the card, former Olympian Bradley Saunders stopped journeyman Jason Nesbitt in the third round of his eagerly-awaited professional debut.

Getting the shots away: Bradley Saunders lands a punch on Jason Nesbitt

Getting the shots away: Bradley Saunders lands a punch on Jason Nesbitt

Winning well: Saunders celebrates his victory

Winning well: Saunders celebrates his victory

After a disappointing Games in Beijing in 2008, Saunders, 25, opted to remain amateur but his plans to compete in London were derailed by injury.

Instead he turned professional last year and will now look to build on this victory, having overpowered the 38-year-old from Birmingham.

Elsewhere, Enfield's Frank Buglioni, 22, was taken beyond the first round for the first time in his short professional career by Ryan Clark.

But the rising star of the super-middleweight division stalked his 22-year-old opponent from Lincolnshire round the ring and dominated for the allotted four rounds to improve his record to three wins without defeat.

Mitchell is expected to be back in the ring on the undercard of George groves' British and commonwealth super middleweight title defence against Kenny Anderson at Wembley Arena on March 16.

Luis Suarez race row: Liverpool striker mum hits out

I fear for my Luis! Suarez's mum insists Liverpool striker's not racist as she hits out at the FA

Luis Suarez's mother has broken her silence over the race row that has rocked her son, claiming she fears for his welfare.

Liverpool striker Suarez has just begun an eight-game ban after being found guilty by an independent commission of racially abusing Patrice Evra in October.

The Uruguayan has launched a staunch defence of his character, with the overwhelming backing of his club, on the basis the language used is commonplace in his homeland.

At last: Luis Suarez issued an apology for the racial abuse inflicted on Evra

At last: Luis Suarez issued an apology for the racial abuse inflicted on Evra

And now his mother has revealed she
has concerns about how the forward will move on with his life when the
ban comes to an end, while remaining steadfast in her belief at her
son's innocence.

'The truth is that I laugh when they
call my son racist,' she said. 'Nothing could be further from the truth.
It's a shame because it had been a perfect year for Luis.

'I know my son. I know he has to calm down a bit with things like the salute he made to rival fans. But he's no racist.

'One thing is his conduct on the
pitch and another is that they accuse him of being a racist. Nothing
could be further from the truth.

'I’m worried now when I see him on the pitch. I know he’s going to have to look after himself.

Show of support: Liverpool players donned Luis Suarez T-shirts before their 0-0 draw at Wigan

Show of support: Liverpool players donned Luis Suarez T-shirts before their 0-0 draw at Wigan

'I'm very worried about his future.
He has his whole future in front of him and there’s a stain on his
character. I hope this will strengthen his character and serve as a
lesson.

'The FA went to town with him by banning him for eight matches.'

The 24-year-old has, along with Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, faced fierce cricticsm for their handling of the situtation.

However, on Wednesday, Suarez finally issued a public apology but stopped short of saying sorry to Evra directly.

The Uruguayan accepted that his
decision to call Evra ‘negro’ during the game at Anfield on October 15
last year had caused offence.

Support: Kenny Dalglish has backed his player

Support: Kenny Dalglish has backed his player

He said: 'I admitted to the
commission that I said a word in Spanish once and only once. I told the
panel members that I will not use it again on a football pitch in
England.

'I never, ever used this word in a derogatory way and if it offends anyone then I want to apologise for that.'

Liverpool have acknowledged that
Suarez, whom the independent commission cleared of being a racist, was
guilty of speaking to Evra in an offensive manner and have accepted the
punishment.

They also feel, though, that Evra
should have faced disciplinary charges for the abusive language he used
in a squabble that started after he made comments about Suarez's sister
in Spanish.

Liverpool have been tarnished by Luis Suarez affair

A great club is tarnished: FA express disbelief after Liverpool claim hearing procedure was unfair to Suarez

Less than 24 hours after dismissing the suggestion that they were digging a huge great hole for themselves, Liverpool called in the JCBs on Wednesday.

First they called members of the local press pack into Melwood to a two-hour briefing with Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli.

Then they donned the hard hats and proceeded to dig deeper, not least in daring to suggest that the Football Association now investigate the original investigation into whether Luis Suarez racially abused Patrice Evra.

A sorry saga: Liverpool's Luis Suarez has accepted his ban but still insists he has done nothing wrong

A sorry saga: Liverpool's Luis Suarez has accepted his ban but still insists he has done nothing wrong

Officials at the FA are starting to find the whole thing utterly bemusing when there were no such complaints at the end of an exhaustive hearing. On the contrary, as Sportsmail understands it, the Liverpool legal team thanked the independent three-man panel for their professionalism and for giving Suarez a fair hearing.

But all that has followed, back at Anfield, is a flat refusal to take any responsibility; even to acknowledge that calling an opponent ‘negro’ seven times in two minutes amounted to racial abuse.

After seeing his side lose to Manchester City on Tuesday night, Dalglish even corrected a journalist on his pronunciation of the word. No matter that it is spelt n-e-g-r-o whether you’re in Uruguay or the United Kingdom. Dalglish objected to the fact that the guy was not saying it in a South American accent.

Man in charge: Ian Ayres

Not dealing with it: Kenny Dalglish

Loss leaders: Managing director Ian Ayre and manager Kenny Dalglish have not dealt with the Suarez crisis

Suarez has now fashioned some kind of apology, and it could be seen as the first hint of contrition. But it was an apology so lacking in sincerity that it smacked of another single-fingered salute. There was no reference to Evra, only to anyone he might have offended.

Seriously, who is allowing these statements to leave the building Who is choosing, in a week when the issue of racism in this country is so resonant, to ignore consistently what a serious issue this is

Does Ian Ayre have any say as the managing director, and the man in charge on the ground Or is he still reeling from that other public- relations disaster he caused when he said he wanted to carve up overseas television rights in favour of the bigger clubs, and so stuff ‘clubs like Bolton’

Since Suarez received his eight-match ban Liverpool have tried to stuff the FA, and Evra too, with their accusations. They have cried conspiracy and questioned the credibility of the FA as well as the three-man panel.

Flashpoint: The moment in the Liverpool v Manchester United game in October when Suarez was accused of making racist remarks to Patrice Evra

Flashpoint: The moment in the Liverpool v Manchester United game in October when Suarez was accused of making racist remarks to Patrice Evra

Never mind that Paul Goulding is a highly regarded QC who considered Suarez’s evidence to be ‘incredible’.

Never mind that the FA enlisted the services of an expert in Rioplatense Spanish, who agreed that in the circumstances at Anfield on October 15, the use of the word ‘negro’ would be offensive in Uruguay. One assumes his pronunciation of ‘negro’ would meet with Dalglish’s approval.

The Liverpool manager’s performance on Tuesday night was extra-ordinary. It is impossible not to admire Dalglish, and not just because of the success he has enjoyed as a player and a manager. The man has an aura, he possesses great humility, and even as he faced the media on Tuesday night there was something rather impressive about him.

On this issue, however, he and everyone else at Liverpool have got it horribly wrong. Dalglish stood there at the Etihad Stadium and described that astonishing statement from Suarez, released shortly after the club had confirmed that they would not be appealing against his ban, as ‘brilliant’. He thought the T-shirt demonstration at Wigan pretty damn wonderful, too.

Getting shirty: Liverpool players show support for Suarez

Shirts of support: The Liverpool players, including Suarez, wore T-shirts with the Uruguayan's picture on as a gesture of support

After the game the manager reiterated the point that Suarez’s wife affectionately refers to him as ‘negro’. But this, we were informed again, is a reference to his black hair and not his skin. Good grief, next they will be claiming it is no different from calling someone ‘Blondie’. Oh, I forgot. They already have.

Dalglish has been steadfast in his defence of Suarez and the club’s stance. ‘I don’t think we are digging a bigger hole,’ he said before complaining how ‘unfortunate’ it is that they ‘can’t be more forthcoming’.

But if there is so much more to say, if they honestly believe the points they now wish to make will reveal a serious miscarriage of justice, why did they not appeal Why instead accept the punishment and succeed only in tarnishing the image of a great football club

Out: Suarez will miss seven further games after missing the game with Manchester City on Tuesday

Out: Suarez will miss seven further games after missing the game with Manchester City on Tuesday

They said they accept the verdict, yet still they want high-level talks with the FA in the hope of persuading them to launch an inquiry into the hearing.

It is the procedure they are now disputing, while complaining that Suarez was not allowed to use television footage as part of his defence when Evra was. What would he have shown them Footage from a different game

The FA will be happy to have these discussions, and their stance on the inflammatory statements Liverpool have so far made has been one of dignified silence.

That said, officials studied the statements from Liverpool and Suarez — and read a full transcript of Dalglish’s post-match press conference on Tuesday — and if they push it too far, the governing body will take action.

‘In its determination to prove its conclusions to the public through a clearly subjective 115-page document, the FA panel has damaged the reputation of one of the Premier League’s best players,’ complained the Anfield club.

Before they meet the FA, perhaps they should read the 115-page document again. This time without the blinkers.

Long Walk continues to be an easy stroll for Big Buck"s

Long Walk continues to be an easy stroll for Big Buck”s

Big Buck”s moved another step closer to jumping immortality with a faultless display in the Lough Derg Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

Victory in the Grade One event was the 14th on the bounce for the Paul Nicholls-trained superstar, moving him one ahead of Bula as he closes in on Sir Ken”s record of 16 set in the 1950s.

Peerless: Big Buck

Peerless: Big Buck”s on the verge of immortality as he gets a pat from Ruby Walsh

Young pretender Dynaste set out to test the 3-10 favourite from the front, and for a brief moment going to three out Ruby Walsh had to niggle Big Buck”s along.

But normal service was soon resumed rounding the home turn, and Big Buck”s, racing right-handed for the first time, jumped two out in front and sauntered clear from there.

The exertions in taking Big Buck”s on took a toll on Dynaste, who weakened as Five Dream and Restless Harry took the minor honours.

Happy connections: Owner Andy Stewart (left), Ruby Walsh and trainer Paul Nicholls (right)

Happy connections: Owner Andy Stewart (left), Ruby Walsh and trainer Paul Nicholls (right)

Nicholls said: “He”s all class. He looked fat at Newbury and I thought he was a lot fitter today.

“He”s such a character and you”ve really got to manage him. But he was really good today and I hope he will continue to be hard to beat.

Salute: Walsh and Big Buck

Salute: Walsh and Big Buck”s are led into the winner”s enclosure at Ascot

“We”ll have to see, but I wouldn”t have thought he would run again until Cheltenham.

“He won”t ever go over fences now, he doesn”t like them and he is too good at that job.”

Walsh said: “He”s an incredible stayer with loads of pace. He”s just a very good horse. He”s maturing and growing up.

“Going right-handed wasn”t an issue, it might have been a few years ago but now now. He”s incredible.”

Nichollswas also responsible for Five Dream, and said: “I thought he was going to run a good race on his last run and he will go for the Cleeve Hurdle now.”

David Pipe said of fourth home Dynaste, who was stepping up markedly in class after a facile Haydock win: “It was a good run but that was graded company.

“We will have to sit down and have a think about where he goes next.”