PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor has branded Luis Suarez’s conduct at Old Trafford yesterday as “disrespectful, inappropriate and embarrassing”.
Suarez has found himself in the spotlight again after refusing to shake Patrice Evra’s hand before Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United.
The Reds striker was making his first start since he completed an eight-match ban for racially abusing Evra in the reverse fixture at Anfield in October.
Although it had been claimed earlier in the week that Suarez would shake Evra’s hand, the fact he did not meant the entire issue will now bubble on, with the United skipper clearly annoyed and Alex Ferguson so incensed he branded the Uruguayan “a disgrace” immediately after the game.
And Taylor, who has worked tirelessly to stamp out racism within the game, feels it is time for the Football Association to step in.
“What Suarez did was disrespectful, inappropriate and embarrassing,” he said.
“If anything, Patrice Evra was the victim and he was prepared to put his hand out.
“These players are expected to be role models but if we have a situation where nobody accepts the findings of hearings and just carries on regardless, all you get is anarchy.
“Now the Football Association have to step in because the whole situation has gone too far.
“Suarez had a chance to put everything to be yesterday, in front of a worldwide audience.
“The fact that he chose not to is, quite frankly, depressing.”
Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier believes the PFA and the League Managers Association (LMA) need to get involved and bring the issue to a swift end.
When asked if Liverpool should punish Suarez for what happened, the Frenchman told BBC Radio 5’s Sportsweek programme: “No. I think that probably the players’ association, and maybe the LMA as well, should get together with the managers and the players and sort that it out secretly very quickly.”
Houllier, who managed the Reds for six years until 2004, added about the incident at Old Trafford: “I regret what happened because it would have been good to put everything to bed and move on to something else, because it created a bit of tension. I was at the game and I could feel that the atmosphere was a bit toxic.
“I’m a bit disappointed because it overshadowed the quality of the game.
“It was a good game of football, between two good sides. To be honest I’m not pleased because we should talk about the football, about the quality of the game and in fact we are just talking about what he did or didn’t do, about the non-handshake.”