Luis Suarez was banned for 8 games last season after the FA found him guilty of racial abuse after he referred to Patrice Evra as “negro” during an argument. Suarez failed to convince the FA panel that he was using the term in a friendly way, given the pair of them were clearly at loggerheads at the time. Video footage was shown to Suarez of him pinching Evra’s arm and Suarez claimed that was intended to be a “conciliatory” action too, in attempt to “diffuse” the situation, before admitting that was a lie.
Having never apologised for causing Evra offence, whether this was intended, as the independent panel concluded, or not, as he claimed, Suarez had the opportunity to make amends when he played against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Bizarrely, he chose not to shake Evra’s hand, which he later acknowledged was a mistake, with the club also apologising on his behalf.
However, when speaking to Uruguayan television months later, Suarez blamed the ban on Manchester United, claiming the club had plotted to get him banned.
“People at Liverpool are sure that it was a way that Manchester United used to put me out of the team and stop Liverpool,” he said in July 2012. “In England, Manchester United’s political power is strong and you must respect that and shut your mouth.”
Manchester United weren’t to blame for Suarez choosing to call Evra “negro”, something he admitted doing, so it’s puzzling that he could think United created the situation to get him out of the team. Also, what does he think United were trying to stop Liverpool from doing? Liverpool finished an incredible 37 points behind United last season and aren’t competitive rivals anymore.
Suarez’s paranoia doesn’t stop there though, with him claiming today that the reason he gets so much press attention is because the media is controlled by Manchester United. He also seems to imply that Evra was wrong to put in a complaint about the racist remark, claiming that when people refer to his place of origin, he doesn’t “cry” about it.
“When someone comes and says to me something bad about being a South American, I don’t cry, because that happens inside the pitch,” he said. “I have my conscience clean. But as I have said Manchester United controls the media, they are powerful and the media will always help them.”
It genuinely hasn’t crossed Suarez’s mind that he receives so much media attention because he’s a deeply unpopular person. Whether that’s for the 7 match ban he received when he was at Ajax for for biting an opponent, costing Ghana their place in the World Cup semi-finals after using his hand to stop a goal in the dying minutes of extra time, being found guilty of racially abusing an opponent, or repeatedly cheating, people have every reason to dislike him.
Maybe he should worry less about Manchester United and concentrate on their real rivals… the other midtable teams, like Swansea, Stoke and West Ham.