Luis Suarez racism hearing underway
Wednesday 14 December 2011
The Football Association have today begun the disciplinary hearing into claims that Liverpool striker Luis Suarez racially abused Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Suarez has been charged with abusing Evra, and referring to his "ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race" by the FA.
The hearing is expected to last for two days with the outcome expected by the end of the week. Both players are due to give evidence to the hearing.
The charge followed a month-long investigation and the Uruguay striker immediately denied the accusation. Liverpool say they remain "fully supportive" of the 24-year-old.
Evra made the claims immediately after the match at Anfield on October 15, telling French TV station Canal Plus that Suarez had used a racist insult to him "at least 10 times".
If Suarez he is found guilty he could be banned or fined, or both.
Evra said: "There are cameras. You can see him [Suarez] say a certain word to me at least 10 times."
Both players spoke to FA officials during the investigation and there have been suggestions that Suarez was unaware language that is acceptable in Uruguay is viewed as racist in Europe.
Suarez told Uruguayan media earlier this month: "There is no evidence I said anything racist to him. I said nothing of the sort.
"There were two parts of the discussion - one in Spanish, one in English. I did not insult him. It was just a way of expressing myself. I called him something his team-mates at Manchester call him, and even they were surprised by his reaction."
Evra reported his complaint to match referee Andre Marriner, who included it in his report.
The FA announced the charge last month, alleging Suarez used "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" towards Evra.
"It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra," said the FA.
Liverpool said after the charge: "Luis remains determined to clear his name of the allegation made against him by Patrice Evra.
"The club remain fully supportive of Luis in this matter."
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