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FA charge Suarez with racial abuse

Liverpool say that they remain “fully supportive” of their Uruguayan striker as he attempts to clear his name.

Image: Tim Hales/AP/Press Association Images

LIVERPOOL STRIKER LUIS SUAREZ has been charged with racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a Premier League match last month.

In a statement released this evening, the FA confirmed that Suarez had made reference to Evra’s race when the pair clashed during the 1-1 draw at Anfield on 15 October.

At the time, Suarez immediately denied the allegations, reported by Evra and manager Alex Ferguson to match referee Andre Marriner after the game.

Liverpool said this evening that they “remain fully supportive” of the Uruguayan striker and that he would plead not guilty to the charge when he returns from international duty later this week.

The FA’s decision comes following an independent investigation into Evra’s complaint that Suarez used a racist term “more than ten times” during an altercation between them.

“The FA has today charged Liverpool’s Luis Suarez following an incident that occurred during the Liverpool versus Manchester United fixture at Anfield on 15 October 2011,” a statement read this evening.

It is alleged that Suarez used abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Manchester United’s Patrice Evra contrary to FA rules.

It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra.

“The FA will issue no further comment at this time.”

In an interview with Uruguayan newspaper El Pais last week, the Liverpool striker insisted that the name he called Evra was commonly accepted and considered to be inoffensive in Spanish-speaking countries.

However, this evening’s decision indicates that the FA believe the incident to be based on more than linguistic or cultural differences.

In response to the charge, Liverpool said that they expect Suarez to request a personal hearing with the FA.

“The Club this afternoon received notification from the Football Association of their decision to charge Luis Suarez and will take time to properly review the documentation which has been sent to us,” a club statement said.

“We will discuss the matter fully with him when he returns from international duty, but he will plead not guilty to the charge and we expect him to request a personal hearing.

Luis remains determined to clear his name of the allegation made against him by Patrice Evra.

The Club remain fully supportive of Luis in this matter.

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Niall Kelly

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