The game between Manchester United and Liverpool on Saturday was the perfect opportunity to put to rest the racism controversy that has overshadowed the Premier League for the past three months. Luis Suarez’s return to the Liverpool first team at Old Trafford could have been downplayed, save for a few boos upon his every touch. But his decision to snub Patrice Evra’s hand in the pre-match fair play handshake has caused the spat to erupt once again.
One of the most frustrating things about it, as the Premier League desperately tries to eradicate racism, is that it was all so unnecessary. The Premier League should have intervened before the start of play and prevented the handshake going ahead, just for this game. After all it was inevitable that Suarez would not shake Evra’s hand. Suarez is a man who believes he has done nothing wrong. He said from the beginning that he would carry out the suspension with the resignation of someone who hasn’t done anything wrong.
Would you shake the hand of someone who had publicly humiliated you and called you a racist? I wouldn’t that’s for sure. And that is the exact position that Suarez was in yesterday, he firmly believes he is the victim and therefore he refused to acknowledge Evra.
What was worse than the ‘non-handshake’ of Saturday afternoon was the fact that Liverpool did not wear black armbands in respect of the 54th anniversary of the Munich air disaster. That was classless.