Manchester United's Patrice Evra has been advised that he will need secondary evidence of the racist abuse he says he received from Luis Suarez at Anfield last Saturday, with the Football Association likely to start their investigation by speaking to him within 24 hours.
The FA has been given clearance by United to speak to the player, who was on a day off yesterday having arrived back in Manchester shortly before dawn after United's 2-0 Champions League win in Bucharest. But if Evra is to pursue his claim that the Uruguayan used "the N-word" 10 times he will need to present witness statements, images or other forms of evidence. The prospects of a case being brought against Suarez are looking increasingly remote, with the anti-discrimination organisation Kick it Out also of the view that hard evidence is necessary for this case to go anywhere. Sky Sports' footage of the running dispute between Evra and Suarez has produced nothing to back up the French defender's case.
Evra still wants to proceed with his complaint, as his manager Sir Alex Ferguson indicated in Bucharest on Monday. But Ferguson also said that the case was a "difficult" one for Evra. His reasons for using that word were ambiguous but the manager is aware of the advice Evra has received and knows he may be fighting a losing battle against the Liverpool player. Evra declined to discuss the issue as he left the National Arena in Bucharest late on Tuesday.