Liverpool plea to United fans: please don't abuse Suarez

 

Liverpool are considering seeking talks with Manchester United to reduce the prospect of Luis Suarez facing some of the worst abuse visited on an opposing player at Old Trafford when the two clubs meet in the Premier League on 16 February.

The Liverpool manager, Kenny Dalglish, is understood to be determined that the controversy surrounding the United defender Patrice Evra's claims against Suarez will not prevent him from starting the Uruguayan in what will probably be his second game back after suspension. That raises the question of how the pre-match handshake between the two players will unfold, though the potential for abuse also causes Liverpool concern.

United were yet to hear from Liverpool on the subject yesterday and, though they will need to see what the club are proposing before assessing it, they are not dismissing the idea of working with them in some way. The first contact between the two may be frosty, given how much emphasis Dalglish has placed on the unreliability of Evra as a witness during Suarez's disciplinary case. Evra's name was notably absent when Suarez finally made a public apology for offence caused by his use of the word "negro" in the Anfield match of 15 October.

An intermediary may be required to help communication between the two clubs, and the Premier League is understood to be willing to act as one. It is possible that Greater Manchester Police may also encourage dialogue. In the past, the force has asked the staff and players of Manchester's two clubs to desist from comments and actions which might be deemed inflammatory in the build-up to derby games. The same may apply next month, when Dalglish will need to put behind him any lingering feelings about Suarez's eight-game ban.

United have done a lot of work in recent years to prevent the awful chants against the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, including a message from the United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, in the match programme and the chief executive, David Gill, broaching the subject with a leading fans' forum. One small-scale measure United now take is to broadcast DVDs of their opponents in action through the away concourses before games to help to improve the atmosphere.

Dalglish also wants the FA to help shield Suarez from abuse, though Liverpool must make contact and work with the governing body if they want assistance. Spurs undertook concerted work with the FA to prevent homophobic and racist abuse at their game with Chelsea before Christmas. Liverpool certainly need to mend some fences with the FA if they are to get help from the organisation now.

More immediately, the club seek progress past Oldham Athletic in their FA Cup third-round tie tonight, a game which has significance for Jamie Carragher, who can anticipate his first start for Dalglish since the Carling Cup win at Chelsea on 11 November. In the intervening two months, Carragher has managed only seven minutes of action – and even that was in central midfield, as a replacement for Jonjo Shelvey at Aston Villa.

Carragher has lost his place on merit, with the combination of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel helping establish Dalglish's defence as one of the most effective in the Premier League. However, Skrtel was unconvincing in Tuesday's 3-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester City, conceding a late penalty and struggling with Sergio Aguero. At 33, Carragher is playing to reassert his position at the heart of Liverpool's defence

The arrival of Paul Dickov's League One side also offers Dalglish a chance to give Steven Gerrard a start.

Dalglish has lost only four of his previous 39 FA Cup ties as Liverpool manager, though his club have succumbed to lower-league opposition five times in the past 12 seasons – capitulating to Blackburn (2000), Crystal Palace (2003), Burnley (2005), Barnsley (2008) and Reading in 2010.

News
Sir David Attenborough
people
Life and Style
Young girl and bowl of cereal
food + drink
News
Comic miserablist Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
peopleDirector of new documentary Misery Loves Comedy reveals how he got them to open up
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Life and Style
David Bowie by Duffy
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hell, yeah: members of the 369th Infantry arrive back in New York
booksWorld War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel
News
advertisingVideo: The company that brought you the 'Bud' 'Weis' 'Er' frogs and 'Wasssssup' ads, has something up its sleeve for Sunday's big match
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Environment
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaking at a fracking protest outside Parliament on Monday (AP)
environment
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness