Following a tempestuous Barclays Premier League game on Saturday lunchtime, Manchester United defender Evra launched a furious attack on Uruguayan Suarez forcing an FA investigation, which will continue on Sunday.
Evra was part of the United squad that travelled to Romania on Monday morning for their Champions League match against Otelul Galati.
In the spotlight: Patrice Evra arrives at Manchester airport on Monday morning
However, after the claims and the ensuing furore:
- Suarez denied any abuse and fought to clear his name.
- Sky Sports found no footage that supports Evra.
- It emerged that referee Andre Marriner did not hear any of the alleged 10 racist comments.
- While supporting their player, United are leaving the matter to the France left back.
Isolated: Manchester United are leaving the matter to Evra
Controversial clash: Luis Suarez (left) and Patrice Evra
Suarez used his official Twitter page to issue a statement on Sunday, in which he expressed his bitter disappointment. He categorically denies abusing Evra and the 24-year-old also has the unconditional backing of Liverpool.
He said: ‘I’m upset by the accusations of racism. I can only say that I have always respected and respect everybody. We are all the same. I go to the field with the maximum illusion of a little child who enjoys what he does, not to create conflicts.’
A Liverpool spokesman added: ‘Luis is adamant that he has not used language of that nature and the club is totally supportive of the player.’
Marriner was informed of the alleged incident after the game and included Evra’s claim in his match report.
Full support: Liverpool are backing Suarez
The FA will now request to meet the Frenchman. Under their guidelines, Evra has to be the first man interviewed. If he maintains the allegations, Suarez will also have to explain himself. There is no time frame on how long the FA inquiry will take but it will not be rushed given the extreme sensitivity of the case.
The Liverpool striker found himself at the centre of a storm when Evra claimed in an interview with a French television station that Suarez had used the same racial insult ‘more than 10 times’ during the 1-1 draw at Anfield. It is understood the alleged word was ‘n*****’.
An FA spokesman said: ‘Referee Andre Marriner was made aware of the allegation at the end of the fixture and has subsequently reported this to the FA. The FA will now be making inquiries into the matter.’
Denial: Suarez used his Twitter account to refute Evra's claims
Had Marriner heard any abusive language from Suarez, he would have shown a red card.
United will back Evra with whatever action he decides to pursue. But one anticipated problem is he did not complain about it during the game, which means he would need support from independent witnesses.
Evra, who walked out of Anfield on his own and was the last United player to board the team coach, told Canal Plus: ‘I was very upset. In 2011 you can’t say things like this. He knows what he said, the ref knows it. It will come out.
Watch this space: The FA are conducting an investigation
‘I won’t repeat what he said, but it was a racist word and he said it more than 10 times. He tried to wind me up. I won’t make a huge deal out of it but it is very upsetting and disappointing.’
Marriner was forced to speak to Evra and Suarez after they tangled midway through the second half and subsequently booked Evra for persistent dissent.
United's in-house television channel MUTV were forced to edit an interview with Phil Jones following Saturday’s game after he spoke out over the challenge from Rio Ferdinand on Charlie Adam. He said the Scotland midfielder dived to win the free-kick.