Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has lodged a formal complaint of racial abuse against Liverpool star Luis Suarez. The Senegal-born Evra claims Suarez used a racial slur toward him multiple times during Saturday's 1-1 draw between the two teams, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that Evra will take the allegations to the FA (English soccer's governing body), who will fully investigate them.
"I spoke to Patrice and he is adamant he wants to follow it on," Ferguson said. "It is not an easy one for us. Everyone knows Manchester United and Liverpool have great responsibilities in terms of things that happen on the field. Saturday was terrific. Both sets of fans were good. There was not any of that silly chanting we have had in previous years. Both sets of fans deserve praise for that.
"It is not something we would want to level against Liverpool and it is not against Liverpool. Obviously Patrice feels very aggrieved at what was said to him. It rests in the hands of the FA now."
The two players were involved in a running verbal dispute throughout the second half of Saturday's game. Evra first reported his allegations to referee Andre Marriner. The inclusion of the claims of racial abuse in the referee's official report automatically triggered the FA investigation.
Suarez denied the allegations in a statement released by the club Saturday. The next day, he personally refuted Evra's claims, according to the Guardian.
"I'm upset by the accusations of racism," he said. "I can only say that I have always respected, and respect, everybody. We are all the same."
Gordon Taylor, the CEO of the PFA (England’s professional soccer players' union) has offered to act as a mediator in the dispute between the two stars.
The Guardian reports he said, "It's good to get this put behind us as quickly as possible, instead of letting these things fester and become blown up again. It's very disappointing to have two of our players from different countries at odds over a very serious issue. Only by having a full inquiry on such matters can we get to the bottom of it and try to make sure that such problems don't arise again in the future."
In 2008, a Manchester United staff member accused a Chelsea groundskeeper of making racist remarks at Evra as the player was warming down after a game between the two teams. A fight between the player, groundskeeper and others ensued.
A subsequent FA investigation found there was no evidence of racial abuse. Evra was fined £15,000 ($23,630) and banned four games for his part in the fracas.
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