Luis Suarez racism hearing begins

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Luis Suarez racism hearing begins

LONDON - England’s Football Association on Wednesday started a disciplinary hearing into claims Liverpool striker Luis Suarez racially abused Manchester United’s Patrice Evra in a match in October.

Uruguay’s Suarez, following a month-long investigation, has been charged with abusing Evra, and referring to his “ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race” by the FA.

The hearing is set to last for two days, with a verdict expected by the end of this week. Both players are due to give evidence at the hearing.

Suarez has repeatedly denied accusations of racism and Liverpool has insisted they remain “fully supportive” of their player.

The charge relates to the 1-1 Premier League draw between Liverpool and United at Anfield on Oct. 15.

Evra, speaking to French television station Canal Plus immediately after the match, said Suarez had racially abused him “more than 10 times” during the game.

“I was very upset,” Evra told Canal Plus. “In 2011, you can’t say things like this. He knows what he said, the ref knows it, it will come out.

“I won’t repeat what he said, but it was a racist word, and he said it more than 10 times.

“He tried to wind me up. I won’t make a huge deal out of it, but it’s very upsetting and disappointing.”

But Suarez, quoted by Uruguayan media earlier this month, said: “There is no evidence I said anything racist to him. I said nothing of the sort.”

Evra voiced his complaint to referee Andre Marriner, in charge at Anfield, who included it in his match report and the FA announced the charge against Suarez last month.

Liverpool said after the charge: “Luis remains determined to clear his name of the allegation made against him by Patrice Evra.

“The club remains fully supportive of Luis in this matter.”

And only last week Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish insisted: “The staff, players and supporters will stand by him because they know what the truth is.

“We’ll stand by him. It’s only in other people’s interests that if they cannot stop him on the pitch, they have to try some other ways and means to stop him,” the Anfield great added.

Suarez is no stranger to controversy, having been involved in several confrontations at previous clubs.

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