Suarez sorry for 'disgraceful' act

Ferguson hits out at Uruguayan for not shaking Patrice Evras hand

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez apologised on Sunday for not shaking Patrice Evra's hand before his side's 2-1 defeat at Manchester United.

In poor light : Luis Suarez (left) refuses to shake Patrice Evra’s hand before their match at Old Trafford. AFP

The Uruguayan was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Evra in October but refused to shake the Frenchman's hand during Saturday's pre-match Premier League ritual, prompting widespread condemnation.

“I have spoken with the manager since the game at Old Trafford and I realise I got things wrong,” Suarez said in a statement issued by Liverpool.

“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. I would like to put this whole issue behind me and concentrate on playing football.”

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish, who has backed his striker throughout the saga, said he had not realised Suarez had not shaken Evra's hand while United manager Alex Ferguson branded the Uruguayan a “disgrace”, saying he should be never be allowed to play for the Anfield club again.

“He's a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club -- that player should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again,” Ferguson told Sky Sports. “The history that club's got and he does that -- a situation like today could have caused a riot. It was terrible what he did.”

Ferguson also said the Suarez’s behaviour caused tension. “It was a terrible start to the game, a terrible atmosphere it created. I just could not believe it because Patrice and I had a chat this morning and he said, ‘I'm going to shake his hand, I've got nothing to be ashamed of. I want to keep my dignity’.”

The match itself, between two of England's great rivals, was a tense affair and scuffles took place in the tunnel at halftime and fulltime.

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre also said Suarez had been wrong as the club tried to limit the damage after a raft of criticism from players, fans and the media.

“We are extremely disappointed Luis Suarez did not shake hands with Patrice Evra before yesterday's game. The player had told us beforehand that he would, but then chose not to do so,” said Ayre. “He was wrong to mislead us and wrong not to offer his hand to Patrice Evra. He has not only let himself down, but also Kenny Dalglish, his team-mates and the club. It has been made absolutely clear to Luis Suarez that his behaviour was not acceptable.

“All of us have a duty to behave in a responsible manner and we hope that he now understands what is expected of anyone representing Liverpool Football Club.”

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