Anyone with a passing interest in English top flight football will be aware of the bad blood between Manchester United captain Patrice Evra and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.
Evra accused Suarez of racially abusing him when the two clubs met at Anfield in October. Suarez denied the charge but ended up being banned for eight Premier League games because of the incident.
Since the Anfield incident; the media attention has been over-the-top at best. Before yesterday’s game; Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand, who reacted by grabbing the Uruguayan’s hand. At half-time, Suarez had the ball at his feet when the short whistle blew. He was standing right in front of the Manchester United dugout and smashed the ball straight into it. It was this incident, not the refused handshake that deserved to be mentioned again.
But it deserved to be mentioned; not trawled over for 24, 36 and 48 hours plus afterwards with TWELVE super slow motion replays of the refused handshake being shown on Sky Sports immediately after the game!! The panel (including Jamie Redknapp and the well informed former Manchester United player Gary Neville) spent some 15 minutes post match talking about the refused handshake before even mentioning the game (which United won 2-1).
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said after the game that Suarez was a ”disgrace to Liverpool Football Club and should never be allowed play for the club again!!!!!” whilst Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish said that his Sky Sports interviewer was ”bang out of order for blaming Luis Suarez for anything that happened today. When we played United before there was 24 hour TV sports channels, there weren’t problems like this,” before storming off.
In the 24 hours plus following the ”incident” both Suarez and Kenny Dalglish have issued official statements apologising for their actions with the latter stating that ”I acted in a manner un-becoming of a Liverpool Football Club manager.” This should be the end of the affair but in this era of internet, social media proliferation and the aforementioned 24 hours news/sports channels, what is certain is that it will not be the end of incident. Thankfully Manchester United will not play Liverpool for at least another six months.