11 Feb 2012

Suarez Keeps Racial Flame Burning 

The latest Northwest derby between Manchester United & Liverpool ended with the Mancunian team taking the three points in a 2-1 victory, but it was the refusal of Luis Suarez before the game, to shake the hand that Patrice Evra offered him, that will make all the headlines.

His refusal to shake Evra's hand simply stoked the flames of a fire that has been intensively burning since October last year, a decision that will only intensify the hatred & rivalry between the two clubs.

Luis Suarez is dragging the so called good name of Liverpool Football Club through the mud, & it's time that they realised this and acted upon it. This is a player that the club stood by, despite being found convicted of racially abusing Patrice Evra in the teams Premier League game at Anfield in October last year, the FA hit Suarez with an eight match ban after a guilty verdict.

Prior to today's game, the cameras were focused and ready for the first time the two players had featured in a starting eleven against each other since that game in October, & the refusal of Suarez to shake the hand that Evra quite clearly, but maybe reluctantly offered him, was a sour gesture that will make all the headlines & overshadow what was a huge result for Manchester United in their pursuit of retaining the Premier League trophy.

As the final whistle was blown, Evra proceeded to stamp around the Old Trafford turf like a Bear triumphant in defeat of a rival,  beating his chest. The home crowd, like the Frenchman  enjoyed every moment of this, & tempers got heated as Liverpool players tried to intervene as Evra jumped around Suarez in front of a jubilant Stretford End. 

What was even more baffling was Kenny Dalglish's post match interview, in which he said that he did not know that Suarez refused the offer of Evra's handshake before the match, surly a blatant lie, & an attempt to deflect the players shocking & distasteful antics. It seems there will be no kind of closure on this chapter in the battle between the two clubs, what is worrying for Liverpool is that the respect of the football world for the Anfield club has changed dramatically, but not in their favour. 

Suarez could have gone a long way to easing tensions between the two players  & clubs today by shaking Evra's hand, by refusing, he simply kept the racial flame burning instead of attempting to try & blow it out.