Tag Archives: words

Chris Samba: Russian clubs vow to hunt down fan who threw banana

Russian clubs vow to hunt down 'b*stard' who threw banana at Samba

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UPDATED:

23:27 GMT, 22 March 2012

The Russian fan who threw a banana at Chris Samba has been described as a 'b*stard' in an official statement by the clubs looking to track him down.

Anzhi Makhachkala and Lokomotiv Moscow decided to put an end to a war of words by issuing a joint statement about the incident that happened after their match on Sunday.

Target: A banana was thrown at former Blackburn defender Samba

Target: A banana was thrown at former Blackburn defender Samba

Samba, who joined Anzhi from Blackburn last month, threw a banana back into the crowd after it landed by him as he left the pitch.

The clubs say they have identified the perpetrator and have released a statement which may have been a little lost in translation.

In the English version posted on the Anzhi website, they said: 'The common task of the concerned parties is to find and make public a concrete bastard whose conduct raised talks not about football itself or the quality of game but about regular scandal.'

The word 'podonka', contained in the Russian version, can also be translated more gently as 'scoundral'.

The statement continued: 'Such people cannot be referred to true experts and fans of football. They have nothing in common with real supporters of the clubs. Such personalities can be characterized by just one word – provocateur.

'Only by joint actions we can come to that the provocations of such kind would never become a usual event in the Russian Football. We'll make all our efforts so that to find this person and punish him in a proper way.

'We stress that owing to the videotapes recorded by cameras the provocateur and his movement in the stadium before, during and after the match became known to us.

'Conduct of a single provocateur mustn't be treated as racist actions of the fans and can't serve as grounds for the disciplinary sanctions imposed on the clubs as they don't reflect a real situation on the stadium before, during and after the match. Such position will help us to avoid not only emergence of imitators-followers but put an end to any attempt of disgracing the club-opponent.'

Home team Lokomotiv initially claimed the incident didn't happen, before later claiming that an Anzhi supporter had in fact thrown the banana.

Anzhi insisted Lokomotiv prove or retract the statement, but the two sides have now decided to work together rather than trade insults.

Samba admitted he had been saddened by the incident, which comes after several alleged racist incidents in Russian football over the last few years.

Gareth Bale is no diver, insists Harry Redknapp

Bale is no diver! Redknapp leaps to defence of Wales winger

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UPDATED:

23:53 GMT, 10 March 2012

Heated: Osman confronts Bale about his actions

Heated: Osman confronts Bale about his actions

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp
defended Gareth Bale against accusations of diving after the latest
incident in which the Welshman's honesty appeared to be questioned.

Leon Osman exchanged angry words with
Bale after the Spurs man took a tumble following a fair-looking
challenge in Everton's 1-0 victory over Tottenham at Goodison Park.

He was recently accused of winning
penalties against Arsenal and Stevenage but Redknapp said: 'He runs so
quickly and when you're running at the pace he does and you change
direction, you get clipped and you go over.

'When you're that quick, it can
happen so I don't think he goes over too easily. He gets chopped down an
awful lot but that's also part of the game and he has to accept it.'

Hugh Roberton: British imports should learn National Anthem

Start learning God Save The Queen! Olympics chief fires warning to Plastic Brits

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UPDATED:

15:49 GMT, 9 March 2012

Olympics minister Hugh Robertson has entered the row over 'Plastic Brits' by saying every athlete representing Team GB at the London 2012 Games should know the words to the national anthem.

American-born hurdler Tiffany Porter, who has opted to represent Britain despite living in the USA all her life, was challenged to say the words of 'God Save The Queen' after being named as British team captain for the athletics indoor world championships.

Porter, who has dual nationality via her British mother, insisted she did know the first lines to the anthem, and 5,000m star Mo Farah branded the question 'unacceptable'.

Overcoming hurdles: Tiffany Porter at the World Indoor Championships

Overcoming hurdles: Tiffany Porter at the World Indoor Championships

Other athletes drafted into the British team last year include Cuban-born triple jumper Yamile Aldama, USA's 400m runner Shana Cox and long jumper Shara Proctor of Anguilla. Two Ukrainian women, who had hoped to be named as part of the British wrestling team, learned earlier this month that their applications are unlikely to be approved by the Government.

Robertson insists there should be no fast-tracking of foreign-born athletes into Team GB simply because they might win medals – and that those that are accepted should know the words of God Save The Queen.

He said: 'If you are going to represent Britain at the Olympics then I think it is sensible to know the words of the national anthem.
“I would say that would be even more necessary if you think you are going to win a medal.

'I am pretty clear on this issue – anyone who wants to compete for Great Britain must go hold a British passport or go through the full naturalisation process.

'What I am against is giving special treatment to people simply to allow them to compete for this country.'

Robertson said there were many examples in the history of British sport of people who had moved from other countries but embraced the new team.

'Cricket is a classic case,' he added. 'Allan Lamb came from South Africa to play for England but I would argue now that he is British rather than South African. I would also regard Kevin Pietersen as a bona fide Brit.'

It is not just athletics and wrestling that have been looking abroad to strengthen their teams.

British cycling have announced that German-born 19-year-old Philip Hindes will travel to the world championships in Melbourne in early April and he is a likely member of Team GB at the Olympics.

Hindes has a British father but represented Germany at the junior world championships in 2010 before joining the Great Britain sprint academy at the age of 18.

Speaking after winning her heat in the 60m hurdles to advance to the semi-finals, Porter declined to be drawn on the issue.

'I'm focusing right now on competing and I'm very excited to be here,' she said. 'I'm focusing on doing my best tomorrow and in the finals. Right now I'm just focusing on competing and I'm going to do my very best out here today.'

Glen Johnson: Patrice Evra made it clear he didn"t want to shake Luis Suarez"s hand

Glen Johnson exclusive: Evra made it clear he didn't REALLY want to shake Suarez's hand

Glen Johnson was five players down the line when Luis Suarez seemingly refused to shake hands with Patrice Evra at Old Trafford last month. He didn’t see it.

The Liverpool defender has watched it plenty of times on television since, though, and he is convinced of what happened.

‘Evra was clever at Old Trafford,’ said Johnson, extending his hand directly towards me. ‘Because – I’m not being funny – but if I wanted to shake your hand I would stick it right out in front of me like that. But if my hand is down here, almost by my side, then it’s because I really don’t want to shake your hand.

On the ball: Glen Johnson is convinced Luis Suarez would never use racist words and backs him over the Patrice Evra handshake affair

On the ball: Glen Johnson is convinced Luis Suarez would never use racist words and backs him over the Patrice Evra handshake affair

‘Luis didn’t shake his hand because Evra’s hand was down there. What else is Luis supposed to do Would you go to shake someone’s hand if their hand is way down there by their side Course not. But then, because Luis didn’t do it, Evra has pulled him back by his arm as he walked on, as if to say to everybody: “Look, I wanted to shake his hand and he didn’t…”

‘He’s following Luis with his eyes as if to say: “Right he’s gone, he’s gone (past me) so I’ll pull him back now…” Evra probably stayed up all night thinking about how to do that. The whole thing was ridiculous.’

This week Johnson became the first member of Kenny Dalglish’s squad to talk in detail about the Suarez-Evra episode, a saga that shook football and – in many people’s eyes – left a dent in Liverpool’s reputation.

It would appear that those who think the resentment surrounding this awful dispute has vanished are quite wrong.

Controversy: Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra caused a storm with their non-handshake

Controversy: Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra caused a storm with their non-handshake

Controversy: Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra caused a storm with their non-handshake

Glen Johnson is the guy who got dragged into a race storm that had nothing to do with him.

Liverpool’s only black first-team player, the England defender has been criticised by other black sportsmen for standing by Luis Suarez after the Uruguay forward was found by the FA to have made racist comments to Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a game last October.

Former United defender Paul McGrath took to Twitter on seeing Johnson join his team-mates in wearing T-shirts in support of Suarez as they warmed up before a game at Wigan.

‘If I was in Glen Johnson’s position, I would have thrown the shirt to the floor,’ said McGrath.

Weeks later, Worcester and England sevens rugby player Marcel Garvey used the same social network to call Johnson an ‘Uncle Tom’. The term is used to describe blacks who are willingly subservient to whites. When we met this week, Johnson remained baffled. Admirably phlegmatic, but baffled all the same.

‘It’s only an issue because I am the only black lad in the club,’ he shrugged. ‘If it’s bad that the other lads supported Luis then that should be seen as just as bad as me supporting him. But people are on to me because I am black.

‘The McGrath thing … that’s actually racist. Saying what he said is racist. He is only saying that to me because I was the only black lad wearing the T-shirt. He’s targeting me because of my colour.

‘Listen, I’m my own man. If I have something I want to say or do then I will do it. The reason I wore the T-shirt is because I know 100 per cent Luis Suarez is not racist. He is one of the lads in the team that I get on with best of all at the club.

‘I am still on Twitter but I don’t use it much now. I was getting pathetic stuff on there. But that is what people go on it for, to give people stick. I haven’t spoken to Paul McGrath about it. I don’t care what he thinks, really. I don’t know anything about him. But for someone to say that, it sums them up. It’s their problem.

Getting shirty: Johnson showed his support for Suarez, like the rest of his team, by wearing controversial t-shirts before a Premier League game at Wigan

Getting shirty: Johnson showed his support for Suarez, like the rest of his team, by wearing controversial t-shirts before a Premier League game at Wigan

‘As for the rugby guy… well, that was really intelligent wasn’t it I don’t know who this geezer is either. He should stick to playing rugby.

‘If I was to react to everyone’s comments I would be arguing every single day, you know Like I say, for someone like that to write such a stupid message … well, make your own judgment.’

Johnson sat down with me this week in Warrington as part of an obligation to promote a new England sticker collection for children. Scheduled to do a host of media engagements, he was willing and courteous as he talked and signed card after card that would subsequently be distributed to youngsters.

Traditionally not an easy interviewee, the 27–year-old nevertheless spoke openly, intelligently and at length about the Suarez issue. It is clear he has no doubt about his team-mate’s innocence.

Along with many others, I have been fiercely critical of Liverpool’s handling of the affair. Nevertheless, Johnson’s reasoning was compelling to listen to, even if it was not enough to persuade me Dalglish and his club dealt with the issue as well as they should have done.

‘The evidence was Luis’s word against Evra’s,’ argued Johnson. ‘I’m not saying Evra is lying but it’s his word against Luis’s, isn’t it So how did it all turn out to be so strong in Evra’s favour I work with the lad every day. There is no way he said that.

‘With the media these days and the way it was going to be blown up, maybe the T-shirts thing wasn’t the right thing to do. How should I say this We wore them to show our support for Luis. It wasn’t to send a message to everyone else. It was just for him.

Critical: Paul McGrath had his say on the matter after the Wigan match

Critical: Paul McGrath had his say on the matter after the Wigan match

‘It seemed to come across that we were making a point. We weren’t. It was the club’s idea. But obviously we all agreed. We didn’t really think about how people would react.’

The core argument of Suarez’s defence was that the word ‘negrito’ — which he was found to use to Evra at Anfield last October — is not an abusive term in South America. Suarez has played in Europe since 2007. Many impartial judges believe he should have known better.

Johnson, though, accepts Suarez’s defence. He tweeted his support of his friend the day after the T-shirts came out at Wigan. His loyalty to Suarez is admirable. It is clearly genuine, as is his fear that Suarez may turn his back on the Barclays Premier League.

‘I wrote what I thought on Twitter,’ Johnson recalled. ‘Then when I saw him the next day he came over and said thanks and that it meant a lot to him. I didn’t write that for him to come and say thank you. I just wanted to let people know my point of view. Like it or hate it, I don’t care.

‘It was nice for him to see his team-mates supporting him, I guess. But what people don’t appreciate is that these things stick with people and it can ruin careers. He could get almost forced out of Liverpool. He’s a good lad and a fantastic player and all he wants to do is get on and play football.

‘I can’t understand how people don’t get that in his culture the word “negro” or “negrito” is genuinely normal. Just because he’s out of his country he is not going to stop using his mother tongue. If we went to another country, we would use our slang, wouldn’t we I can’t see why somebody can get in trouble for using his culture in another country.

‘I work with him every day. I know what he is like. Other people don’t. I will not change my view.’

Brought up in Greenwich, south London, Glen Johnson used to fight with those who called him names associated with his colour. Happily for him, he has not had to put his fists up during his years in the professional game with West Ham, Chelsea, Portsmouth and now Liverpool.

‘Obviously, racism was there,’ he reflected. ‘Like any kid I had my fights growing up after somebody called me something stupid and I reacted the wrong way.

‘But I think the game is OK. We have had the two big issues this season, with two high-profile players who you wouldn’t expect it from. But I have never had it in a game from another player. Never.

‘When something like this happens then it seems to put it in people’s minds again and then it happens more for a period until people forget about it again.

‘It’s very frustrating for all the people who work in the anti-racism campaigns. They must think their work is being undone. But I don’t feel like that at all.’

Johnson can empathise with Suarez a little. He, too, has had image problems. During his time at Chelsea and Portsmouth, his commitment to the game was questioned.

Settled: Johnson is enjoying life on Merseyside, and is in a rich vein of form

Settled: Johnson is enjoying life on Merseyside, and is in a rich vein of form

Two stories stuck with him, one suggesting he forgot his passport on a Chelsea trip — it was actually a club official’s fault — and another that he had tried to steal a toilet seat, of all things, from a hardware store.

‘There were a lot of things said and written that weren’t great,’ he said. ‘It has died down a bit and it is all about football now, which is what I want to be known for. But it took a while and that’s why I feel for Luis. Mud sticks. The B&Q one was ridiculous. There was nothing else to do but laugh.

‘I mean, come on, did anyone really believe I would do that What thief walks through the till trying to pay with their credit card in their hand They are normally running out of the door, aren’t they

‘The thing is that things like that affect everybody. My mum is hearing things she doesn’t need to be hearing. My brother is hearing things he is having rows about.

‘But it’s gone now. Now it’s just about the football. That’s how I want it.’

Settled: Johnson was an 18million signing from Portsmouth by Rafa Benitez

Settled: Johnson was an 18million signing from Portsmouth by Rafa Benitez

Brought to Liverpool by Rafael Benitez, Johnson suffered a little under Dalglish’s predecessor Roy Hodgson last season. The current West Bromwich manager didn’t always seem to trust his defensive work. It is something Johnson has heard before.

‘It’s just a talking point, isn’t it’ he said. ‘They just say it about everyone. As you get older you improve all areas and hopefully I have.’

Johnson is settled at Anfield. What’s more, he may yet be about to find the England team is managed by Harry Redknapp, the man who first gave him first-team football at West Ham and subsequently took him to Portsmouth. Johnson — who once described Redknapp as his ‘mentor’ — said: ‘Only Harry can decide if he wants it.

‘All I can say is that he’s a fantastic man, a great manager. He has helped me a lot. At the age of 15 he believed in me and gave me the chance to train and play with the first team. He helped my family out a lot when I was growing up. All that side of it.

‘Then he signed me again at Pompey and that was when I played for him properly. He has always had faith in me and that’s welcoming. Not everyone has.’

Say what you like about the modern Liverpool, but it would be wrong to question the club’s unity or sense of purpose. The Premier League season may not yet yield the top-four finish many would consider a pre-requisite, but Liverpool do have the Carling Cup on the shelf.

Liverpool also have Kenny Dalglish, their iconic manager, who is clearly as revered inside the home dressing room as he is on the Kop. Happily for Johnson and his team-mates, though, the Scot has abandoned his early attempts to join in during training.

‘When he first started he trained with us for a couple of sessions but he needed a few days’ rest afterwards and knocked it on the head,’ smiled Johnson. ‘At the end — after the hard work — we have little games and he would join in but everybody was too scared to go near him. It was like, “You can’t tackle Kenny Dalglish!”

‘It was good to see, though. He was a legend as a player and is a legend around the club. He came in and steadied the ship and brought a fantastic coach in Steve Clarke.

‘Training is sharper and he just put a smile on everybody’s face.

‘We are a tight unit. We defend together and do everything together. We are close on and off the pitch. Kenny Dalglish is good at that.

‘He places an emphasis on it and makes sure he involves everybody. We look forward to going into training and you can see that on people’s faces.’

Johnson accepts a campaign that ends without a place in next season’s Champions League cannot be considered an unqualified success.

‘No, I wouldn’t say that it would be a success,’ he said. ‘We need to be in the top four. That’s what we would take above all others.’

Race for fourth: Liverpool are the outsiders to secure a Champions League place

Race for fourth: Liverpool are the outsiders to secure a Champions League place

He is clearly a player, though, who is intelligent enough to understand what the club has been through this season. There is a sense that the next one cannot start soon enough. Time to wipe the slate clean.

Johnson has only been at Anfield for two-and-a-half years but has a clear understanding of the importance of the club’s reputation. It is obvious that he takes no pleasure from discussing the Suarez case.

There is no attempt to antagonise Manchester United or indeed Evra. It ought to be stated here that — in this interview — he was merely asked some questions and he answered them candidly.

Like everybody else, he wants to get back to the football.

‘People are now singing, week in week out, that Liverpool are a racist club,’ he sighed. ‘Well, no. We are not. We have had one incident concerning racism that we believe isn’t true. So how can people think like that People wanted something to happen that day. I don’t know why they didn’t just scrap the handshakes like they did before the Chelsea-QPR game.

‘It’s sad because those Liverpool and United games are known for big rivalries, big tackles, great football, love of the game.That day everything was not about the football and that was very sad. It was about everything else.

‘It was good that both clubs came out afterwards and said, “We are over it, it’s in the past. Let’s move on”. That’s how it should be.

‘Everybody should now start loving hating each other again. For football reasons.’

Glen Johnson is a brand ambassador for Topps Match Attax England 2012 — the Official England Trading Card Game — and the all-new England Sticker Collection. For further information, please visit toppsfootball.co.uk. Find Match Attax on Twitter @ToppsMatchAttax

Newcastle"s Ranger and Walsall"s Smith fined by FA for homophobic Twitter comments

Newcastle's Ranger and Walsall's Smith fined by FA for homophobic Twitter comments

Newcastle forward Nile Ranger and Walsall's Manny Smith have been fined 6,000 and 1,200 respectively and warned as to their future conduct after admitting making homophobic comments on Twitter.

The pair were charged by the Football Association on Monday along with Manchester United striker Federico Macheda. All three were accused of acting in a way which was 'improper and/or brought the game into disrepute', including 'a reference to a person's or persons' sexual orientation'.

Fine: Ranger

Fine: Ranger was warned about his future conduct

An FA statement read: 'Newcastle United's Nile Ranger and Walsall's Manny Smith have been fined 6,000 and 1,200 respectively and both warned as to their future conduct after each admitting a charge of using abusive and/or insulting words including a reference to a person's sexual orientation.

'The charges relate to Twitter comments and both players requested a paper hearing.'

No details of the case involving Macheda, currently on loan at QPR, were confirmed.

West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison was last week fined 7,000 by the FA in response to a homophobic remark made on Twitter.

Morrison, who completed an undisclosed switch to Upton Park from Manchester United at the end of January, is reported to have made the comment in response to another Twitter user.

The 19-year-old was also warned as to his future conduct by the FA.

Ravel Morrison homophobic tweet: Fined 7,000 by FA

West Ham youngster Morrison fined 7k by FA over homophobic tweet

West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison has been fined 7,000 by the FA in response to a homophobic remark made on Twitter.

Morrison, who completed an undisclosed switch to Upton Park from Manchester United at the end of January, is reported to have made the comment in response to another Twitter user.

The 19-year-old was also warned as to his future conduct by the FA after he admitted a charge of using abusive and/or insulting words including a reference to a person's sexual orientation.

Charged: Ravel Morrison is yet to play for his new club West Ham

Charged: Ravel Morrison is yet to play for his new club West Ham

Morrison was charged by the FA last Wednesday and quickly admitted his actions ahead of today's punishment, for which he requested a non-personal hearing.

An FA statement read: 'West Ham United's Ravel Morrison has been fined 7,000 and warned as to his future conduct after he admitted a charge of using abusive and/or insulting words including a reference to a person's sexual orientation.

'The charge was in relation to comments Morrison made on Twitter.'

Twitter storm: Morrison has given explanation to the FA for his tweet

Twitter storm: Morrison has given explanation to the FA for his tweet

Morrison, who is yet to make his
Hammers debut, has not enjoyed the smoothest of starts to his career
with the npower Championship club having also been involved in various
off-field controversies while at Old Trafford.

Manchester United allowed the
teenager to leave despite him being rated as one of the finest prospects
to come out of the club in recent years.

Pepe apologises for stamp on Messi

Pepe apologises for 'unintentional' stamp on Messi's hand after backlash

Real Madrid defender Pepe has apologised for his apparent stamp on Lionel Messi's hand in last night's 2-1 defeat to arch-rivals Barcelona.

But the Portugal international insisted the act, which was missed at the time by the referee, was 'unintentional'.

Words: Gerard Pique has harsh words with Pepe

Words: Gerard Pique has harsh words with Pepe

The 28-year-old was branded 'shameful' and 'embarrassing' in the Spanish press following the incident during the Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg at the Bernabeu, which came when Messi was lying on the ground.

And in a statement on the club's website, Pepe said: 'I wish to say yesterday's incident with Leo Messi was unintentional, but I nevertheless want to apologise to him if he was offended because all I do is defend my team and this institution.

'I give my heart and soul, and the thought of hurting a colleague has never entered my mind.'

Ouch: Lionel Messi is in pain after Pepe stomped on his hand

Ouch: Lionel Messi is in pain after Pepe stomped on his hand

The usually pro-Madrid newspaper Marca pulled few punches in its reaction to the incident.

After the match, coach Jose Mourinho said Pepe had played well for the team, but warned he would be punished if it was found he had deliberately stamped on Messi.

'I haven't seen it, but obviously if it is deliberate he will be punished,' Mourinho said.

'What I can say is that he did a great job for the team.'

Martin Jol sends Mark Hughes flying into a rage

EXCLUSIVE: Fulham manager Jol sends Sparky flying into a rage

Mark Hughes is furious with Fulham manager Martin Jol after he accused the new QPR boss of lacking staying power.

The Dutchman blasted Hughes on Thursday for what he perceives as an inability to stay in a job for a sustained period.

Fuming: Hughes is furious with Fulham manager Jol's comments

Fuming: Hughes is furious with Fulham manager Jol's comments

War of words: Jol accused Hughes of an inability to stay in a job for a long period

War of words: Jol accused Hughes of an inability to stay in a job for a long period

Referring to Hughes's 12-month stay
at Fulham last season, Jol said: 'Hughes is very brave to talk about
ambition. 'If you look at the clubs he has managed – it's been two
years at the most.'

Hughes, whose new team face
Newcastle on Sunday, is apoplectic at Jol. A source said: 'Mark is
deeply disappointed by Jol's comments and feels his words are
completely unfounded.'

Prior to his spell at Fulham, Hughes
spent five years in charge of Wales and four years at Blackburn. The
war of words will add spice to a heated rivalry between the clubs, who
meet on February 25.

Asamoah Gyan could be recalled

O”Neill will speak to Gyan as Sunderland boss sets sights on recalling loan striker

Sunderland boss Martin O”Neill plans to contact striker Asamoah Gyan next week amid speculation he could be recalled from his loan spell in the United Arab Emirates.

The 26-year-old was loaned to Al-Ain in a deal worth around 6million to the Black Cats in August after becoming unsettled at the start of the season.

Out on loan: Gyan could be recalled from his loan spell in the United Arab Emirates

Out on loan: Gyan could be recalled from his loan spell in the United Arab Emirates

His departure, following those of Darren Bent and Danny Welbeck, left the club short of frontmen, and O”Neill was forced to start with teenager Connor Wickham after just two days of training following a knee ligament injury for his first game in charge against Blackburn last weekend.

It is understood the prospects of Gyan returning to Wearside this season are remote, but O”Neill still plans to make a call out of courtesy.

He said: “The chief executive gave me his number, I haven”t had a chance to call it.

On target: Gyan was shipped out on loan at the beginning of the season

On target: Gyan was shipped out on loan at the beginning of the season

“Really, it was just a matter of me introducing myself to him as much as anything else and finding out how the land lies.

“I think perhaps the club he is involved with have got a pretty strong hold on him in many aspects, but still it would be nice just to have a few words. “That I intend to do some time next week.”

Luis Suarez v Patrice Evra: Everything you need to know on the race row

Suarez v Evra: Everything you need to know about the race row

THE CHARGE

Using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour. It is alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra.

THE CLAIMS

Evra says he was repeatedly racially abused. He complained to referee Andre Marriner and French TV station Canal Plus afterwards. “There are cameras, you can see him. He says a certain word to me at least 10 times.”

Suarez admits using the word “negro” only once and claims it is an inoffensive descriptive term used freely in his native Uruguay. He compares it to the South American players calling Dirk Kuyt “blondie” in training.

Face off: Liverpool

Face off: Liverpool”s Luis Suarez clashes with Manchester United”s Patrice Evra

WHAT HAPPENED

Manchester United faced Liverpool at Anfield on October 15. In the 57th minute Suarez fouled Evra and tempers flared at the next corner. They squared up to each other and Evra asked why Suarez kicked him. Suarez said he should forget about it, these things happen. Evra claims Suarez then became racially abusive, using the word “negro”. Suarez denies using the word in that clash. Evra is clearly wound up, but nearby players do not seem particularly bothered.

A few minutes later Marriner calls the pair together. Suarez apologises and tries to pat Evra on the head. It is alleged Evra said: “Don”t touch me, you South American,” to which Suarez replies: “Porque, negro”

Evra catches Kuyt two minutes later and is booked. He allegedly shouts at Marriner: “You”re only booking me because I”m black.”

Suarez is bemused, saying: “I called him something his team-mates call him and even they were surprised by his reaction.”

THE POYET DEFENCE

Linguistic and cultural differences could determine if Suarez”s use of “negro” is deemed racist. Liverpool say Suarez was apologising when using it, not being aggressive.

Gus Poyet said: “In Uruguay it is a nickname for someone whose skin is darker than the rest. It is not offensive. Such people are part of society. We will defend them, go to war with them, share everything with them and at the same time use thatword.”

It is thought, in their defence, Liverpool also referred to the incident between Evra and groundstaff at Chelsea three years ago, after which an FA hearing described Evra”s account of events as “exaggerated and unreliable”.

Flash point: Suarez and Evra clashed at Anfield last month

Flash point: Suarez and Evra clashed at Anfield last month

THE CASE FOR EVRA

Suarez played for Ajax for three years before arriving at Anfield, so must prove he was unaware of the sensitivity surrounding the term in Europe for all that time.

THE MEN WHO WILL DECIDE

PAUL GOULDING QC (chairman, below): Works at the same Blackstone chambers as the barrister who was successful in representing the FA in Wayne Rooney”s Euro appeal. Qualified FA coach who appeared for Jean Tigana in his successful 2million-plus claim following his sacking as Fulham boss.

BRIAN JONES: Chairman of Sheffield and Hallamshire FA, who wrote to county members six months ago stressing need to fight discrimination.

DENIS SMITH: Ex-Stoke defender who managed York, Sunderland and Oxford United. Now mentor at Stoke academy.