SuÃ¡rez is being ‘crucified’ over FA charge, says Liverpool’s Reina
Pepe Reina has issued his support for Liverpool striker Luis SuÃ¡rez after he was handed an eight-game ban by the FA
Pepe Reina believes Luis SuÃ¡rez is being “crucified” over his Football Association charge for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
The Liverpool striker was handed an eight-game ban and a £40,000 fine by the FA after he was found guilty of using “insulting words in reference to Manchester United defender Evra’s colour”.
But Reina has leapt to the defence of his team-mate, insisting SuÃ¡rez is not a racist after the 24-year-old was jeered by the crowd during Liverpool’s goalless draw at Wigan Athletic.
“We are all right behind him. He has our full support,” said the Spain international. “We made a statement earlier and we said what we thought was the truth.
“We were together from the very first minute [of the allegations] and it is the minimum we can do for him. He is not racist. I am 100 per cent he is not racist and he has been accused of racism.
“We showed our support to Luis. We want him and everyone to know we are right behind our team-mate because he is a lovely guy and he has been crucified by some people and it is not fair. Eight games is not even close to be fair.”
Liverpool’s squad made public their support for SuÃ¡rez at the DW Stadium on Wednesday by wearing t-shirts bearing Uruguayan’s name during the warm-up. And the players also released a statement on Liverpool’s website backing the striker.
“Luis SuÃ¡rez is our team-mate and our friend and as a group of players we are shocked and angered that he has been found guilty by the FA.
“We totally support Luis and we want the world to know that. We know he is not racist.
“We are a squad of many different nationalities and backgrounds. All of us support the Club’s commitment to fighting racism. All of us accept there is no place in the game for any form of discrimination. As a group of players we totally support the Kick it Out Campaign.
“We have lived, trained and played with Luis for almost 12 months and we don’t recognise the way he has been portrayed. We will continue to support Luis through this difficult period, and as a popular and respected friend of all his teammates, he will not walk alone.”