Carragher Admits Guilt in Suarez-Evra Racism Row
By Samuel Victor Akpan
Eight years after the famous racism row between Uruguayan Luis Suarez and Frenchman Patrice Evra, former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher says he and the entire Liverpool players were wrong in wearing T-shirts in support of then team mate Luis Suarez.
Suarez was judged to have racially abused Evra during a Premier League clash at Anfield back in October 2011, an act for which he was handed an eight-match ban and a £40,000 fine by the Football Association. He also denied the allegations.
Following investigations into the incident by the FA, the now Barcelona forward was found guilty of using insulting words towards Evra- the then Manchester United defender- calling him “negro” a couple of times and saying “I don’t speak to blacks” during an off the ball incident.
Liverpool at the time- and managed by Kenny Dalglish- showed support for Suarez by wearing T-shirts in a warm-up session just before a game against Wigan.
But Jamie Carragher, a teammate of Suarez then says even though he felt uncomfortable about the idea of wearing the T-shirts, he lacked the “courage” to go against the decision.
Speaking to SkySports, Carragher said: “There is no doubt that we made a massive mistake. That was obvious. We got there, had our lunch and then we had a team meeting. I just remember in the team meeting, I don't know whether it was the manager or Steve Clarke asking one of the players: 'Are you still wearing the shirts?' That was the first I had heard of it.”
"I am not lying on that and saying 'I wasn't a part of it' because as a club, we got it wrong and we were all part of it. I was vice-captain. But that was the first I had heard of it that afternoon. So I am not sure who was actually behind it. I know you mention the manager, but I don't think Kenny had anything to do with it, to be honest, it was the players who Luis was close to in the dressing room who really wanted to support their mate and their friend.”
"What I would say is that maybe I, as an individual, lacked the courage to say I wasn't wearing it. Because once the squad has decided... I have to look at myself. I didn't have enough courage. Maybe there were others. I don't think everybody within Liverpool thought that we were doing what was right. But as a family, as a football club, your first reaction - no matter what someone does - is to support them even if they are wrong. And that is wrong. I am not condoning it, but that is the first reaction. Apologies. We got it massively wrong."
The infamous game at Anfield ended 1-1 and the replay at Old Trafford witnessed more drama as Suarez refused to exchange handshakes with Evra during the pre-match pleasantries.
Image via SkySports.