Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish continues the club’s embarrassing stance on Luis Suarez’s racism ban
Reds still feeling victimised
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish stuck to his guns over the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra racism row following last night’s defeat to Manchester City, despite the club confirming that they will not appeal their striker’s eight-match ban.
Suarez sat out the City match to start his suspension, prompting suggestions that Liverpool might change their stance on the incident. The club had been widely ridiculed – including on this site – for a statement released after the Uruguayan star was found guilty and for allowing their players to wear t-shirts in support of Suarez, again after he had been found guilty.
Having read the 115-page document outlining the reasons for the guilty verdict – branded “appeal proof” by some legal experts – and decided against appealing, the Reds might have been expected to opt for a more remorseful tone. But Dalglish again come out guns blazing in his press conference.
Asked if Evra deserved an apology, Dalglish said: “Ask a linguistic expert, which certainly I am not. They will tell you that the part of the country in Uruguay where he [Luis Suarez] comes from, it is perfectly acceptable. His wife calls him that and I don’t think he is offended by her. We have made a statement and I think it is there for everybody to read. Luis has made a brilliant statement and we will stand by him.”
On the decision to wear the t-shirts after Suarez had been found guilty, he added: “Why not? If they want to show their support for their team-mate, what’s wrong with that? It was a fabulous statement to make visually of their support for a guy who is endeared in the dressing room, one of their closest friends in the dressing room, and all of his friends in the dressing room can speak up adequately and perfectly well for him.
“And I think it is very dangerous and unfortunate that you don’t actually know the whole content of what went on at the hearing. I’m not prepared, and I can’t say it, but I am just saying it is really unfortunate you never got to hear it. That’s all I’m saying.”
So, is Dalglish a loose cannon who’s gone off-message? Far from it: he’s towing the party line.
The club has released another misjudged statement, which reads: “It is our strongly-held conviction that the Football Association and the panel it selected constructed a highly subjective case against Luis Suarez based on an accusation that was ultimately unsubstantiated.
“The FA and the panel chose to consistently and methodically accept and embrace arguments leading to a set of conclusions that found Mr Suarez to ‘probably’ be guilty while in the same manner deciding to completely dismiss the testimony that countered their overall suppositions.”