11 Feb 2012

Liverpool’s Suarez branded ‘a disgrace’ for Evra snub

The simmering feud between Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra explodes at Old Trafford, as Manchester United top the Premier League with a 2-1 win.

On his first start since serving an eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra at Anfield in October, Liverpool’s Suarez refused to shake his hand during the traditional pre-match handshake.

After being snubbed Evra attempted to force the issue by grabbing the arm of his opponent. Suarez shrugged him off but then found himself blanked by Rio Ferdinand as the tensions between the two teams threatened to boil over.

At half-time Evra reportedly tried to confront Suarez in the tunnel, prompting the attention of stewards and police.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said after that match that Suarez was “a disgrace to Liverpool football club”. Sir Alex argued that not shaking Evra’s hand before today’s match could have caused a riot.

However Wayne Rooney, who scored twice to lead Manchester United, was not willing to get involved in the handshakes row.

When asked about it he told Sky Sports News: “We are all professionals, we have to go and do our jobs on the pitch. We have to concentrate on that.

“I think that’s between the two individuals, it’s not for us to get involved in.”

Luis Suarez, who appeared to snub the outstretched hand of Evra, said on Twitter 'everything is not that it seems'

After the match, a debate struck up online over the snub. Suarez said on Twitter: “We lost and we are sad because we have made a big effort…Disappointed because everything is not that it seems…”

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, the Uruguay international’s staunchest defender in the wake of the race row which exploded last October, said earlier this week he hoped the match would draw a close to the saga which has rumbled on for far too long.

“It’s time for all of us to draw a line under what happened and move forward,” said the Scot on Thursday.

“People are already speculating on the pre-match ceremony but from Luis’s point of view we have spoken to him and I know he will shake the hand of Patrice Evra and the other Manchester United players before the game.”

The snub has attracted further controversy for Suarez who was banned for seven matches while playing for Ajax after biting an opponent.