FA charges Suarez over racism allegation

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is to be charged with racism by the FA. The charge relates to an allegation made by the Manchester United defender Patrice Evra that Suarez abused him on several occasions during Manchester United’s recent match against Liverpool.

The FA had conducted an enquiry to ascertain whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed with the charge. Suarez has always denied that his remarks had any racial implications, and is expected to defend himself robustly against the charges and demand a personal hearing.

There has been some speculation that the issue may be related to use of the Spanish word "negrito" which is commonplace in Suarez’s native Uruguay, and has no pejorative racial connotations.

Suarez has been away on international duty with Uruguay, but Liverpool released a statement: "Luis remains determined to clear his name of the allegation made against him by Patrice Evra. The club remain fully supportive of Luis in this matter."

If found guilty of the charge, Suarez could find himself facing a ban of eight matches, or more if the FA want to impose additional sanctions for protesting his innocence. It has already been suggested that Liverpool might press for action to be taken against Evra if the charge is shown to be unfounded.

The allegation and the charges are unlikely to improve relations between Liverpool and Manchester United, whose rivalry is already bitter. It remains to be seen what effect the charge will have on Suarez, who has been in superb form for club and country.

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