FA tell United and Liverpool not to discuss racism dispute


RACISM ROW:THE ENGLISH Football Association has instructed Manchester United and Liverpool not to discuss or take any more questions on the racism dispute between Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez because of the potential for it to inflame relations between the two clubs.

Senior FA officials have contacted both clubs and asked them not to talk about the matter while the investigation is under way into Evra’s allegations that he was called a “nigger” at least 10 times during the 1-1 draw at Anfield last Saturday.

The FA’s investigators interviewed Evra at United’s training ground on Thursday and will travel to Liverpool early next week to ask Suarez for his version of events.

Suarez strongly denies the allegations, with Liverpool’s backing, and the FA will ask the Uruguayan whether he can prove there is no case to answer by providing witnesses who can vouch for him.

Similarly, Evra was asked if he knew of any team-mates who could corroborate his accusations, with the growing sense that if none is forthcoming the FA may feel there is little option but to drop the matter on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

United have taken care not to say anything that could be construed as determining which player is telling the truth, and the annoyance at Old Trafford stems from the fact Dalglish has made it clear he disbelieves Evra.

Ferguson was planning to discuss it at yesterday’s press conference but the FA have moved quickly to prevent the row escalating.

“They interviewed Patrice yesterday and I have plenty to say on the subject but I suppose I will have to adhere to what they are saying. I would like to say something about Pat in this particular instance but let them get on with their investigation.”

Evra made the allegation on French television and there are suggestions he will go on Canal Plus again tomorrow, though it is not clear whether he will discuss what happened with Suarez.