News24

British PM enters racism row

2012-02-13 14:14

London - British Prime Minister David Cameron is set to enter the row on racism within English football by calling a Downing Street meeting to discuss the issue.

According to several reports in the British press, Cameron and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt are to hold a "round table discussion" with football officials and players' representatives later this month.

Cameron's intervention comes following some high-profile incidents.

Controversy was stirred Saturday when Liverpool striker Luis Suarez refused to shake hands with Manchester United's Patrice Evra before their clubs' match at Old Trafford.

Suarez has only recently returned for Liverpool after serving an eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra during a game in October.

Meanwhile Chelsea's John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy while he awaits a criminal trial on charges of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand. Terry denies the charges.

At a charity reception last month, Cameron said: "My message is clear: we will not tolerate racism in Britain. It has absolutely no place in our society and where it exists, we will kick it out.

"Our football governing bodies, clubs and footballers themselves have a vital role to play as role models in this respect."

Suarez later apologised to Evra for refusing to shake hands but the Uruguay forward was still subjected to a strong dressing down from his club as Liverpool finally tried to bring an end to the simmering race row on Sunday.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had branded Suarez a disgrace, while Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor called the Liverpool star's actions "disrespectful, inappropriate and embarrassing".

Suarez finally showed some contrition Sunday.

"I have spoken with the manager (Kenny Dalglish) since the game at Old Trafford and I realise I got things wrong," Suarez said on Liverpool's official website.

"I've not only let him down, but also the club and what it stands for and I'm sorry. I made a mistake and I regret what happened.

"I should have shaken Patrice Evra's hand before the game and I want to apologise for my actions."

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre led the criticism of Suarez.

"We are extremely disappointed Luis Suarez did not shake hands with Patrice Evra. The player had told us beforehand that he would, but then chose not to do so," Ayre said.

"He has not only let himself down, but also Kenny Dalglish, his team-mates and the club."

Suarez's actions lit the fuse on an always volatile fixture and police and stewards were reportedly called into the tunnel area to calm the situation after Evra tried to confront his rival at half-time.

Suarez scored in the 80th minute with Liverpool trailing 2-0, but United held on to win and Evra embarked on a wild post-match celebration that saw him appear to taunt the South American by celebrating right next to him.

AFP

Comments
  • hannes.handogg - 2012-02-13 14:25

    This circus is getting ridiculously blown out of proportion. Yawn. Bring on the Super 15!

      Hoo - 2012-02-13 15:40

      @Hannes stem saam... (..maar solank daai klein rasistiese terroris idol standbeeldjie daar in midde london staan??, moet hulle vir hul bietjie 'onrus', di 'african way' kry... )Bring on the Super 15!

      Louis - 2012-02-13 17:36

      What reaction will we get when they start sing kill this person kill that person, like kill the boer is sung here, or what will happen when they form a black managers forum and a black this and black that. I bet if they did an Cameron interferred he'd be called a racist.

  • Thando - 2012-02-13 16:01

    Heres the "innocent" Evra - a disgrace to blacks everywhere : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEwLkCRziD8

      Thando - 2012-02-13 18:53

      The reason i posted it is because Evra is not the person he tries to appear like on tv

  • Jeffrey - 2012-02-13 16:39

    Rio Ferdinand might be the link to all of this. Gets his brother to lodge a claim of racism so that John terry is stripped of captaincy so that he is next in line. Secondly gets Evra to lay a claim of racism so that a player in a rival club, who at times made him look like an amateur in defence is suspended. Not so far fetched if you think about. Strange how all the racism reports have Manchester United links. just putting it out there. Maybe Uncle (cant understand what you saying) Fergie put them up to this to get back at two of his bitter rivals. also not so far fetched if you think about it. But yes guys BRING ON THE SUPER 15. LETS SEE REAL MEN PLAYING SPORT!!!!!

      arthurcrafford - 2012-02-13 17:33

      I agree the Ferdinand family seem to have a chip on there sholder.(what am i????) I think this is a way to get players from good clubs suspended so they can hang on to past (lol) glory.

  • Sharmilen - 2012-02-13 22:49

    You lot have a choice.............watch football or not..........if watching Super15 gets you going then by all means go ahead as it seems you have no idea about football. But please don't waste you pathetic comments on these pages.........rather save it for Naas & co.

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