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Drawing a line: No action from FA over Old Trafford fracas

Phil Dowd has reported no further disciplinary measures are necessary despite angry exchanges between Manchester United and Liverpool on Saturday.

Patrice Evra celebrating under the nose of Luis Suarez.
Patrice Evra celebrating under the nose of Luis Suarez.
Image: Jon Super/AP/Press Association Images

NO FURTHER DISCIPLINARY action will be taken by the FA after Saturday’s controversial meeting between Manchester United and Liverpool.

Following Luis Suarez’ refusal to shake the hand of Patrice Evra in the pre-match formalities, Evra reportedly sought out Suarez in the tunnel at half-time.

Both sets of players had to be restrained during the subsequent bust-up and, after United had held on for a 2-1 win, Evra, purposefully and over-exuberantly, celebrated in the Uruguayan’s path as he headed for the tunnel.

Referee, Phil Dowd, rushed to subdue the United captain and held him back while the remaining players left the field. Had Dowd noted any extraordinary incidents in his report the FA would have been forced to investigate matters.

Instead, Dowd has signalled that he has dealt with every incident and did not feel any further action was necessary.

Less than 24 hours after the fracas, Liverpool FC, Suarez and manager, Kenny Dalglish, all issued apologies for their part in the bad tempered afternoon.

The association will hope that the apology, accepted by United, will finally put an end to the combustible matter which began when Evra reported racial abuse on 15 October.

Throughout the investigation and subsequent eight game bam, Suarez has always maintained his innocence. Before Saturday’s game he had informed Dalglish that he would shake his accusers hand, only to renege on that promise.

Many have called for the abolition of the pre-match convention which requires both starting line-ups to shake hands.

The FA have no plans to do away with the ritual, however, speaking to BBC radio 5 live, FA chief executive, Mark Palios, said:

“It’s clearly symbolic and its symbolism has its place in the game. If it can cause more problems in a particular circumstance it’s right for the clubs to dispense with it.”

“From a player’s perspective, it’s very difficult to shake someone’s hand if you don’t want to. But players have a responsibility to their club and to the wider interests of the game and it’s disappointing if he had agreed to shake his hand.”

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Sean Farrell

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