The Sports Matrix: Monday 02 January 2012


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The Independent Online


Liverpool pressed to apologise for Suarez behaviour

Liverpool were last night under pressure to apologise for Luis Suarez's conduct towards Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

Suarez, who has been given an eight-game ban, was found by an independent regulatory commission to have used the words "negro" or "negros" seven times in a two-minute spell of a match at Anfield in October.

Having been issued with the reasons for the commission's decision, Liverpool are yet to declare whether they are to appeal or not.

But Piara Powar, executive director of Football Against Racism in Europe, has warned Liverpool over their conduct. "We would call on the club to think again about their public campaign to dispute the charges and contest the principles involved in the case," he said.

"As a club with a good international standing the vehemence of their campaign is unquestionably causing them reputational harm."

The report paints a picture of club personnel altering statements to fall in line with Suarez's explanation of why he used the word "negro", in contravention of FA rules. page 45


Stoppage-time goal defeats leaders City

An injury-time goal from Ji Dong-won consigned leaders Manchester City to a 1-0 defeat at Sunderland, preventing Roberto Mancini's side opening up a lead over neighbours United. Roberto Mancini said his City players had "lost a big chance". MORE

Anichebe snatches victory for Everton

Victor Anichebe's late goal gave Everton a 1-0 win at West Bromwich to take David Moyes' side above the hosts into ninth. Anichebe, who had not scored for 22 months, pounced on Paul Scharner's poor header in the 87th minute to fire past Ben Foster. MORE

Rooney fined for ignoring curfew

Sir Alex Ferguson deemed Wayne Rooney unfit to train when he arrived on time at Carrington last Tuesday morning after a Boxing Day night out, which Manchester United confirmed resulted in him being fined £160,000 – or one week's wages. Page 42

Fly-halves flourish as Saracens draw

Saracens and Gloucester drew 15-15, Sarries' fly-half Owen Farrell and his opposite number Freddie Burns each kicking five penalties. Both could be named in England interim head coach Stuart Lancaster's Six Nations Championship squad on 11 January. MORE

Bath end losing run with Irish win

Bath defeated London Irish 30-3 at the Recreation Ground yesterday, ending the hosts' four-game losing run. Anthony Perenise and Michael Claassens touched down to help Bath prevail, with Stephen Donald kicking 15 points and Nathan Catt outstanding. MORE

Murray: Lendl can help me win major

Andy Murray believes new coach Ivan Lendl can help him win a first Grand Slam title. "He has got a lot of experience," the Scot said. "He has been through the same things that I have been through, so I am sure he can help me mentally with certain things." MORE

James Lawton

Luis Suarez cannot make seven references to the colour of an opponent's skin in a situation which the panel inevitably concluded was "acrimonious" and escape the charge of racial abuse and provocation. MORE