The fact is that Suarez’ suspension was wrong from the start.
Dimwits at the Football Association, spurred on by cerebrally-challenged, (average) former footballers at the BBC – the likes of controversial and dim Steve Claridge and token former black players, Mark Bright and Garth Crooks – failed to understand that Suarez’ use of the word “negro” could be nothing more than the standard use of a word so common it is polite across South America and many Spanish-speaking parts of Central and North America.
Evra is no innocent. What makes things even more ridiculous is the idiot Rio Ferdinand (another Manchester United player) sticking his oar in by refusing then to shake Suarez’ hand. This is the same Rio Ferdinand (once England captain) who has been made infamous by super injunctions, a truly disgraceful private life and his comments about Chelsea and former England Captain John Terry (involved in a race row with Ferdinand’s cousin Anton which is due in court in the summer).
There is no racism in the Premiership. There are plenty of idiots in the BBC, football teams and in the terraces who are either McCarthyite in their desire to create a racist sandstorm or dumb enough to think that racism exists. In reality racism left the higher echelons of English football over a decade ago.
Sir Alex Ferguson – facing a season where his side will win nothing – is suddenly proving himself out of touch in terms of Suarez and football in general. Ferguson’s comments today (when asked about the handshake snub, Fergie raged: "I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe it. I had a chat with Patrice this morning and he said, 'I'm going to shake his hand — I have nothing to be ashamed of, I want to keep my dignity' and then Suarez refuses. He's a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club. Some players should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again.”) these comments are so out of touch they are laughable.
"With the history that club's got and in a situation like today, he could have caused a riot. I was really disappointed in that guy. That was terrible what he did,” Ferguson concluded.
Who does Ferguson think he is?! A riot? Get a grip, man. Football is just football.
Suarez probably should have shaked Evra’s hand. But if Suarez – who the BBC pundits and others are openly branding a racist (second division player and drink drive criminal Claridge actually called Suarez a “villain”) – thinks that Evra created the race incident for dark reasons (sour grapes at Liverpool’s revival have been mentioned) then Evra’s handshake should never have been accepted by Suarez.
It’s clear Ferguson has finally lost his grip. Manchester City are unbeatable in the Premier League this season. United went out early of the Champions League to lowly Basle. United were knocked out of the League Cup by even lowlier Crystal Palace – and, as aforementioned, Liverpool soundly knocked United out of the FA cup. Ferguson has bought a dreadful goalkeeper in De Gea amidst other weak signings - Manchester United are getting beaten by all and sundry - and Ferguson is resorting to bringing back players from retirement like Paul Scholes while the Manchester United academy fails to produce.
Ferguson has a comment for everything – but few listen to him now he has lost his grip on reality. He's a manager on the edge. He's done really well. Finally, he's done for. It is time to write Ferguson off.
Patrice Evra will be retired soon enough. He is no gentleman as his celebrations next to Luis Suarez and the Old Trafford crowd showed today. He is a stirrer who - if Suarez meant "negro" in a defamatory way - deserved as much of a ban as Suarez.
Suarez meanwhile has a very bright future; not just in the cups Liverpool hopes to win; starting with a final this month at Wembley against Cardiff. Suarez has a great chance of winning the public over as a Liverpool player – he has already won over the Kop and that takes a lot. The race row will give him an extra edge that will help his football as he seems to flourish with crowds on his back (he scored a consolation goal for Liverpool today).
Here’s a prediction – within one year Manchester United will have disposed of Ferguson; within two years Evra will be history (playing for some French club or another inferior league such as the US league). Meanwhile Suarez’ star will have risen and silverware will have returned – unbesmirched by any racism – to Anfield. For now Manchester City will be the team to watch in Manchester however much Ferguson and others try to keep the headlines concocting nonsense such as the Suarez controversy by rubbing shoulders with clubs as loved and huge as Liverpool (clubs who can at least dominate the town in their name).
Retire, Ferguson. You are a fool.