PFA chief Gordon Taylor happy to assist in row between Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez
Monday 17 October 2011
Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor was today ready to act as a mediator in the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra race row.
The Football Association are investigating a complaint from Manchester United defender Evra, who accused Liverpool striker Suarez of racially abusing him during Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at Anfield.
Suarez yesterday said he was "upset" by Evra's allegation, which he has categorically denied.
Speaking at the Professional Players Federation (PPF) annual conference today, Taylor said he would be prepared to mediate between the players if necessary.
He told Press Association Sport: "It's something we've done in the past and it's something I hope we'll be asked to do in the future.
"We need to try to cool down and reflect on what happened and to contact the FA and see what form their inquiry will take.
"It's good to get this put behind us as quickly as possible instead of letting these things fester and become blown up again."
He added: "It's very disappointing to have two of our players from different countries at odds over a very serious issue.
"Only by having a full inquiry on such matters can we get to the bottom of it and try to make sure that such problems don't arise again in the future."
PPF chairman Brendon Batson, a campaigner for greater black and ethnic minority representation in the game, told Press Association Sport: "Obviously, something has gone on to the extent that Evra made a complaint, and I know that Suarez has denied making any comment.
"For the good of the game, and for the reputation of the players involved and the clubs involved, we need to get to the bottom of it."
Evra made an accusation of racism three years ago against a member Chelsea's ground staff, a claim that was ultimately dismissed.
Batson was confident the authorities treated every allegation "seriously".
He added: "It's on the evidence that's available.
"I know the referee didn't hear it but he included it is his report because of the complaint from Evra.
"Whatever investigation is going to be done has to be thorough and very transparent as well."
Kick It Out chairman Lord Herman Ouesley believes any footballer guilty of racism must face "severe action" from both the Football Association and the club but stressed "you would have to be able to prove it beyond reasonable doubt".
The head of football's equality and inclusion campaign said in a statement: "There were incidents in the second half (of Saturday's match) and Evra seemed to get very agitated so something was obviously bugging him because he was quite incensed.
"But if this happened he should have brought it to the attention of the referee at the time.
"No doubt the FA will take the matter seriously and consider the complaint fully in order for them to take appropriate action."
Ironically the allegations have arisen at start of Kick It Out's One Game, One Community campaign which runs until October 31 and features, among other fixtures, Liverpool's home match to Norwich this weekend.
The programme is part of a simultaneous initiative across the continent with Football Against Racism in Europe's Action Week, with this week's matches in the Champions League and Europa League being used as a basis for activities at 40 matches.
Throughout Kick It Out's 18-day campaign in the UK clubs will be making holding matchday events at their dedicated fixture with players wearing T-shirts promoting the initiative.
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