Opposition players are targeting Suarez, says Ayre

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has defended Luis Suarez after the striker received further criticism over diving.

Stoke City boss Tony Pulis called for the FA to punish Suarez for falling too easily during their trip to Anfield last weekend.

Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce called on the FA to take action after describing diving as “a cancer within the game” prompting the Uruguayan FA to write a letter to president Sepp Blatter, and Ayre believes Suarez is being punished for his previous reputation.
“I think [he has a] reputation because of what happened last season,” Ayre told Sky Sports News.

“Now everything Luis Suarez does is in the spotlight, but if we are going to treat people because of something they do on the pitch then we should treat everybody equally.

“I am not saying that anyone in particular is targeting him; what I am saying is if there is going to be a debate, whether it’s a media debate or other, then it has to be a fair one about everybody and not about Luis Suarez which seems to be the case.”

Ayre is hoping the criticism doesn’t affect the 25-year-old, claiming the striker is being unfairly singled out.

“I am not surprised by the reaction because we all feel he is a bit of target,” he said.

“If you look from the start of this season or perhaps the end of last season through to last weekend, I think it is fair to say Luis hasn’t had the luck of the draw really in terms of decisions.

“It was proven on your channel and others that on many occasions that he was denied what he should have been given.

“I just feel his style of play, the way he kind of nips in and out he’s just a target for tackles and defenders if you like.

“What I would say he has not had the rub of the green in terms of decisions but hopefully that changes as the season goes on.

“The most important thing is it doesn’t affect Luis, he just turns it on each week and puts himself out there and he will keep going and that is what we need from him.”

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