Patrice Evra: 'If I hadn't shaken Luis Suarez's hand, I would not be respecting the stories of the clubs'
Monday 24 September 2012
Patrice Evra has confirmed there was never a chance he would not shake Luis Suarez's hand at Anfield yesterday.
Almost 12 months after the bitter racism row between the pair first surfaced, they finally shook hands to end their personal dispute.
Ahead of Manchester United's 2-1 Premier League win over Liverpool, it was part of a sequence of events aimed at ensuring an emotional day passed off peacefully.
It achieved its goal too, until long after the final whistle, when a couple of Liverpool fans ran across the main stand to goad the United contingent with a Munich gesture.
"The most important thing today was respect," Evra said. "It was a game between two big clubs.
"There was a big tragedy. People were talking about a handshake but the stories of the clubs is bigger than that. If I hadn't shaken Suarez's hand, I would not be respecting the stories of the clubs.
"In the end I am glad this time he shook my hand. More importantly, it was important to respect the families. It was not an easy day."
The response of the United fans to the taunts was depressingly predictable, chanting "Always the victims" and "Murderers" - reminders of the Merseyside club's own recent tragedies in Hillsborough and Heysel.
Social networking sites were flooded with responses as the bitterness spilled over.
Yet neither manager was able to shed any light on the matter.
And all Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers could say was that the battle against those who let both clubs down will go on.
"What was done at the end I cannot comment on as I didn't hear or see anything," he said.
"There is an intense rivalry here and you don't want that to end because that is all a part of what makes this the biggest game in British football.
"But it is on the field where competition should be and everything else, songs from Liverpool or Manchester supporters, any of us that have any human decency don't like to hear that.
"The fight will go on if there is a continuation of that but certainly at this club the work that has gone on in the last couple of weeks is something I am very proud of and the tributes today were fantastic."
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo applauded by Liverpool fans after master-class for Real Madrid, despite Manchester United ties
Angel Di Maria injury latest: Argentina international set to play in Manchester United vs Chelsea match
Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Cristiano Ronaldo says he is playing Barca - not just Lionel Messi - in El Clasico
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
Erik Lamela goal: Best tweets and reaction to Tottenham man's Rabona
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'