December 3, 2021

What did Luis Suarez say to Patrice Evra during infamous Manchester United v Liverpool match?

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WARNING: This article contains language referring to race used by the Uruguayan that some readers may find offensive

Football fans will remember the infamous Premier League match in 2011-12 between Liverpool and Manchester United when Luis Suarez was accused of racist language directed at Patrice Evra.

It was an ugly moment to witness as a football fan, and the controversy around the incident is not a positive memory for anyone.

Goal has what you need to know about what happened between Suarez and Evra in 2011.

What did Suarez say to Evra?

According to the FA report published in 2012 as a result of the investigation, Suarez told Evra: “Porque tu eres negro”. “Negro” means “black” in Spanish.

The report continues: “Mr Evra said that at the time Mr Suarez made that comment, he (Mr Evra) understood it to mean ‘Because you are a n*****’.

“He now says that he believes the words used by Mr Suarez mean ‘Because you are black’.”

Suarez explained in his book: “The second important point is that I said to Evra: ‘Por que, negro?’.

“‘Por que’ means: ‘Why?’ It was me asking him why he was complaining, first about the foul and then about me touching him.

“I told [Damien] Comolli this, but by the time my version had been passed down the line to the referee it ended up not as ‘Por que, negro?’, but as ‘Porque eres negro’, which changes the meaning drastically; ‘porque’ doesn’t mean ‘why?’, it means ‘because’ – the phrase became ‘because you are black’.

“I never said, nor would ever dream of saying, ‘because you are black’. I certainly never said, and never would say, that I would not talk to Evra, or anyone, because they are black.”

Liverpool were also criticised for wearing t-shirts in support of Suarez during the aftermath of the controversy.

Evra revealed in 2020 that he received an apology from the club – nine years on.

“When I did the punditry on Sky and Jamie Carragher apologised after eight years, I was so surprised,” Evra told the official Man Utd podcast.

“He said they made a big mistake that day and he apologised. It really touched me and now I will respect Liverpool as a football club because, when this happened, I was really disappointed with the club.

“I received an email from the chairman of Liverpool apologising for what happened nine years ago. He said I was welcome to come to Liverpool if I need anything. It really touched me because it’s better late than never, but I was surprised that Liverpool supported that kind of attitude.”

How long was Suarez banned for?

As a result of the incident, Suarez was banned for eight matches and given a £40,000 fine.

During the return Premier League meeting in February at Old Trafford, Suarez was embroiled in further controversy when he refused to shake Evra’s hand pre-match.

Then-manager Kenny Dalglish and Suarez later apologised for the incident.

“I have spoken with the manager since the game at Old Trafford and I realise I got things wrong,” Suarez said at the time. “I have not only let [Dalglish] 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.”

Dalgilsh said: “All of us have a responsibility to represent this club in a fit and proper manner. That applies equally to me as Liverpool manager.

“When I went on TV after yesterday’s game I hadn’t seen what had happened, but I did not conduct myself in a way befitting of a Liverpool manager during that interview and I’d like to apologise for that.”