I wasn’t racist to Evra – Suarez

The Uruguay star is closing in on a comeback but has reopened old wounds over an incident which occurred during his time in England

Luis Suarez has again protested his innocence over the clash with Patrice Evra which resulted in the then Liverpool striker being found guilty of racially abusing the Frenchman.

Suarez, who left Merseyside for Barcelona over the summer, admitted he has made mistakes in a controversial career but insisted he should not have been punished for his verbal spat with Evra during the Reds’ clash with Manchester United in October 2011.

The Football Association handed Suarez, 27, an eight-match ban and a €50,000 fine after studying video footage, details in the referee’s report and statements from other players on the pitch.

In a wide-ranging interview with Barcelona’s media channel, Suarez felt he had been incorrectly sanctioned.

“When I say I’m sorry it’s because I regret something,” he said. “Being sorry implies regret. But they have also sometimes judged me on things that aren’t true, such as the racism thing. I was accused without evidence and that’s what grieved me the most.

“The others were actions when it was me who did wrong. I accepted that and begged forgiveness, but the racism thing, when I was accused without evidence, that did upset me.”

The Uruguayan is currently serving a four-month suspension for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup – an act for which he expressed his regret.

He added: “It is good to accept that you have made a mistake and that’s what I did. I left it a few days because you have to remember that I’m only human and sometimes it’s hard to face the truth.

“I found it hard to take in and to realise what I had done. Those were days when I didn’t want to know about it. I just wanted to be with my wife and children, who supported me through that time. I didn’t want to listen to anybody, or speak to anybody. I didn’t want to accept it.”

Suarez scored twice for Uruguay in the 3-0 win over Oman on Monday as he builds up his fitness ahead of his long-awaited debut for Barcelona which is scheduled for a week on Saturday against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

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