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Feb 12, 2012

Suarez and Dalglish apologise

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and manager Kenny Dalglish have both apologised for their actions in the wake of Saturday's game against Manchester United. United, for their part, have accepted Liverpool's apology and have asked to "move on from this".

• PFA chief slams Suarez
• Fergie: Suarez "a disgrace"
• Dalglish defends his man
• John Barnes blames media

Dalglish has moved to condemn Suarez after reviewing the footage of the incident. And he was forced to make an apology of his own for not conducting himself "in a way befitting of a Liverpool manager" during a television interview after the match.

Liverpool's managing director, Ian Ayre, also strongly condemned the player's actions which led to a heated atmosphere throughout the match.

In a statement on the club's official website, Suarez said: "I have spoken with the manager since the game at Old Trafford and I realise I got things wrong.

"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."

Ayre criticised Suarez for failing to shake his opponent's hand. He added: "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.

"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 teammates and the club. It has been made absolutely clear to Luis Suarez that his behaviour was not acceptable.

"Luis Suarez has now apologised for his actions which was the right thing to do. However, 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."

Boss Kenny Dalglish then came out to join Ayre in berating the Uruguay international.

"Ian Ayre has made the club's position absolutely clear and it is right that Luis Suarez has now apologised for what happened at Old Trafford," Dalglish said. "To be honest, I was shocked to hear that the player had not shaken hands having been told earlier in the week that he would do.

"But as Ian said earlier, all of us have a responsibility to represent this club in a fit and proper manner and 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."

United were happy to accept Liverpool's apology. "Manchester United thanks Liverpool for the apologies issued following Saturday's game," a statement read. "Everyone at Old Trafford wants to move on from this. The history of our two great clubs is one of success and rivalry unparalleled in British football. That should be the focus in the future of all those who love the clubs."

Liverpool's three-pronged gesture of apology follows a negative reaction in the USA to the latest incident. The New York Times said Liverpool's Boston-based owners, Fenway Sports Group, need to act in order to 'repair the club's global image'.

Leading with the headline "Another Ugly Incident Mars Liverpool's Good Name'', the Times wrote: "If the Fenway Sports Group is to be the responsible team owner in soccer that it has proved to be in baseball, it needs to get hold of Liverpool, its club in England's Premier League, and repair its global image fast.

"On Saturday, Liverpool lost at Manchester United, 2-1, allowing United to temporarily move into first place in the Premier League. There is no disgrace in such a loss; United, the defending English champion, is vying to keep that title this season, and it very rarely loses at home.

"But there was disgrace, witnessed by television viewers around the world, in the refusal of Liverpool's Luis Suarez to shake the hand of United's Patrice Evra before kick-off.''

The article concluded by saying: "It is time for John Henry and Tom Werner, leaders of the Fenway Group that controls Liverpool, to state clearly the direction the team will take on this issue.''

Uruguayan newspaper El Pais wrote: "Suarez was among the final players in the team. And the awaited moment arrived and created tension for several seconds. Without hesitation, Suarez avoided the hand of Evra and did not greet him."

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