Liverpool striker Luis Suarez yesterday issued an apology after receiving an eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra, but stopped short of saying sorry to the Manchester United defender.
Liverpool said on Tuesday they had accepted Suarez’s ban for calling Evra a “negro,” but the player issued a statement the same day maintaining his innocence.
However, in another statement issued yesterday, Suarez said: “I never, ever used this word in a derogatory way and if it offends anyone, then I want to apologize for that.”
“I told the panel members that I will not use it again on a football pitch in England,” he said.
The Uruguayan international served the first match of his ban during Tuesday’s 3-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester City.
In the 115-page written ruling from the case released on Saturday, the Football Association (FA) panel said Suarez had given “unreliable” and “inconsistent” evidence during the hearing, where elements of his testimony were “incredible.”
A Liverpool statement released on Tuesday maintained that the case against Suarez remained “highly subjective” and was “based on an accusation that was ultimately unsubstantiated.”
However, the club said it wished to draw a line under the affair despite disagreeing with the verdict.
“There are ultimately larger issues than whether or not Luis Suarez has been treated fairly by the FA in this matter,” it said.
Suarez said in another statement issued on Tuesday he had done no wrong.
“In my country, ‘negro’ is a word we use commonly, a word which doesn’t show any lack of respect and is even less so a form of racist abuse. Based on this, everything which has been said so far is totally false,” Suarez said. “I will carry out the suspension with the resignation of someone who hasn’t done anything wrong and who feels extremely upset by the events.”