Suarez says sorry! Liverpool striker admits he should have accepted Evra's hand
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has apologised for not shaking hands with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra before Saturday's Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford.
The Uruguayan, who was banned for eight matches after racially abusing Evra during the league game between the sides at Anfield in October, had been expected to shake hands with the Frenchman but failed to do so, causing an angry reaction from Evra.
Suarez has now said sorry for his actions and Reds boss Kenny Dalglish also apologised on Sunday for his conduct in the post-match interview.
Snubbed: Patrice Evra grabs Luis Suarez after the Liverpool striker ignores him
Anger: Evra is bristling as referee Phil Dowd (right) steps forward
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Dalglish was quizzed by Geoff Shreeves about Suarez's snub and almost lost his temper with the Sky reporter.
Dalglish claimed he did not know Suarez refused the handshake.
The Scot has been criticised for defending his player in the aftermath of the race row that stretches back to last October but Dalglish and Suarez have now shown some remorse over the latest incidents.
'I have spoken with the manager (Kenny Dalglish) since the game at Old Trafford and I realise I got things wrong,' Suarez said in a statement on the Liverpool official website.
'I've not only let him down, but also the club and what it stands for and I'm sorry. I made a mistake and I regret what happened.
'I should have shaken Patrice Evra's hand before the game and I want to apologise for my actions.
'I would like to put this whole issue behind me and concentrate on playing football.'
Praise me: Evra (right) made a point of celebrating wildly at the final whistle
Calm down: Evra is restrained by referee Phil Dowd after the match
Heart on his sleeve: Evra was clearly delighted with United's win
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Dalglish said: 'Ian Ayre has made the club's position absolutely clear and it is right that Luis Suarez has now apologised for what happened at Old Trafford.
'To be honest, I was shocked to hear that the player had not shaken hands having been told earlier in the week that he would do.
'But as Ian said earlier, all of us have a responsibility to represent this Club in a fit and proper manner and that applies equally to me as Liverpool manager.
'When I went on TV after yesterday's game I hadn't seen what had happened, but I did not conduct myself in a way befitting of a Liverpool manager during that interview and I'd like to apologise for that.'
Under scrutiny: Kenny Dalglish has apologised for his post-match reaction
Rio Ferdinand delivered a snub of his own when he refused to shake Suarez's hand but later claimed Evra had gone too far with his post-match celebrations.
The Frenchman reacted exuberantly at the final whistle, appearing to goad Suarez with his actions.
And Ferdinand tweeted: 'I'm sure Patrice Evra will feel that
his celebrations at the end were maybe a bit much….emotions etc
probably got the better of him…'
In a separate statement, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said the club was misled by Suarez.
'We are extremely disappointed Luis Suarez did not shake hands with Patrice Evra before yesterday's game,' he said. 'The player had told us beforehand that he would, but then chose not to do so.
Claim: Dalglish was under the impression Suarez would shake hands
'He was wrong to mislead us and wrong
not to offer his hand to Patrice Evra. He has not only let himself
down, but also Kenny Dalglish, his teammates and the club. It has been
made absolutely clear to Luis Suarez that his behaviour was not
has now apologised for his actions which was the right thing to do.
However, all of us have a duty to behave in a responsible manner and we
hope that he now understands what is expected of anyone representing
Liverpool Football Club.'
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson described Suarez as 'a disgrace' and suggested he should never play for Liverpool again while Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor branded the player's conduct 'disrespectful, inappropriate and embarrassing'.
Taylor added: 'If anything, Patrice Evra was the victim and he was prepared to put his hand out.
'These players are expected to be role models but if we have a situation where nobody accepts the findings of hearings and just carries on regardless, all you get is anarchy.
Out of line: Suarez thumps the ball into the crowd at half time at Old Trafford
Hot head: Suarez appeared to be fired up as Liverpool lost at Old Trafford
'Now the Football Association have to step in because the whole situation has gone too far.
'Suarez had a chance to put everything to be yesterday, in front of a worldwide audience. The fact that he chose not to is, quite frankly, depressing.'
The pre-match incident set the tome for a fiery encounter at Old Trafford and players from both teams were involved in a melee in teh tunnel at half-time.
Suarez scored for Liverpool – after a Wayne Rooney double – but the match was overshadowed by the handshake incident just before kick-off.
Suarez also booted the ball into the crowd and complained to referee Phil Dowd that Ferdinand should have been penalised for a challenge on the Reds forward. Replays showed the defender got the ball.
Having already defended his man in a flash TV interview, Dalglish opted not to make himself available for further discussion on the matter.
Long-time friend Alan Hansen did not say on Match of the Day whether he had spoken to Dalglish prior to transmission.
What's going on Evra complains that Suarez refused to shake his hand
However, his own observation was withering in its condemnation.
'Liverpool FC made a statement that there would be a handshake,' he said.
'Luis Suarez was party to the statement. He knew about it and obviously agreed with it. To snub Patrice Evra was, in my view, totally unacceptable.
'The football club and the manager have given him total and unequivocal support through thick and thin.
'He has let Kenny Dalglish down, the club down and himself down.'