Luis Suarez 'is a bit of target' in diving debate says Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre

 

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre admits striker Luis Suarez has become a target in the debate about diving but believes everyone has to be treated equally.

The Uruguay international found himself in the spotlight again when his theatrical fall in Sunday's goalless draw at Anfield had Stoke manager Tony Pulis calling for three-match bans for those who go to ground too easily.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has defended his player and while Suarez has been singled out as the main culprit by recent headlines Ayre believes it would be of greater benefit to consider a wider issue.

"I think it's reputation because of what happened last season," he said.

"I am not surprised by the reaction because we all feel he is a bit of target.

"Now everything Luis Suarez does is in the spotlight.

"But if we are going to treat people because of something they do on the pitch then we should treat everybody equally.

"I am not saying that anyone in particular is targeting him, what I am saying is if there is going to be a debate - whether it's a media debate or other - then it has been to be a fair one about everybody and not about Luis Suarez, which seems to be the case."

Ayre echoed the views of Rodgers by pointing out Suarez has probably been denied more penalties than he has won.

"If you look from the start of this season, or perhaps the end of last season through to last weekend, I think it is fair to say Luis hasn't had the luck of the draw really in terms of decisions," he told Sky Sports News.

"It was proven on many occasions that he was denied what he should have been given - hopefully that changes as the season goes on.

"I just feel his style of play, the way he kind of nips in and out, he's just a target for tackles and defenders if you like.

"The most important thing is it doesn't affect Luis, he just turns it on each week and puts himself out there and he will keep going and that is what we need from him."

Former Juventus forward Alessandro del Piero claims he turned down a summer move to Liverpool out of respect for the victims of the Heysel disaster.

The 37-year-old, who was a free agent after his contract expired with the Italian champions, signed for Sydney FC despite late claims he had been approached about a move to Anfield.

"The negotiations with Sydney were already at an advanced stage and then I thought about what happened at Heysel," Del Piero told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Juve and Liverpool have worked hard to mend their relationship, but for a lot of people it's something that can never be forgotten."

Suarez admits he needs to improve his behaviour on the pitch and not get so agitated.

The striker, currently in South America preparing for a World Cup qualifier against Argentina, was suspended for last month's defeat by Colombia and then booked for arguing with the referee on his return four days later against Ecuador.

If he gets another yellow card on Friday he will miss Tuesday's game in Bolivia.

"As the years go by you realise what you have to correct," Suarez told El Pais.

"I'm 25 and there are things I must improve, like my attitude on the pitch.

"But that's how I've played since I was a kid. I try to correct it but there are times when my anxiety makes me play that way.

"Everyone knows I gesture a lot, talk and protest, and those are things I must improve on."

PA

Arts & Entertainment
tvGrace Dent on TV
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Life & Style
The exterior of a central London Angus Steakhouse
food + drink
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Sport
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives in the rain during the qualifying session of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai
sport
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Arts & Entertainment
filmLife for Leslie Mann's can be challenging sometimes
Voices
For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'
voices...but don't forget rest of the year
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit