English Premiership

Coach backs under-fire Suarez

2012-10-08 22:12
Luis Suarez (AP)

Liverpool - Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers on Monday blasted what he termed the "vilification" of Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez, branded a diver by Stoke boss Tony Pulis after their draw at Anfield.

Rodgers feels Suarez is suffering from a reputation which goes before him, with the Liverpool boss fearing he will not get a penalty even if he is fouled - and Rodgers has already voiced concerns to referees' chief Mike Riley.

Pulis called for three-match bans for players who dive - making reference to one theatrical fall by Suarez.

But Rodgers said he suspected double standards as he noted Stoke defender Robert Huth escaped punishment despite appearing to stamp on Suarez after the English Football Association confirmed the incident was seen by officials at the time so no further action can be taken.

"As manager of this football club I find it incredible that in nearly all the coverage about Luis Suarez this weekend, very little focus has been placed on the fact that he was actually the victim of a stamping incident within the first five minutes of the game," Rodgers told liverpoolfc.com.

"At this moment there seems to be one set of rules for Luis and another set for everyone else.

"Diving and simulation is obviously a wider issue in football and one that we all agree has to be eradicated from our game but there were other incidents this weekend that didn't seem to generate the same coverage.

"No one should be distracted by the real issue here, both at Anfield and at another game played on Sunday, when Luis and another player were hurt in off-the-ball incidents that went unpunished but were caught on TV cameras.

"I believe some people need to develop a sense of perspective and I also believe in this moment the vilification of Luis is both wrong and unfair," said Rodgers, who after the match praised Suarez for a "terrific" performance.

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