Barcelona and former Liverpool forward Luis Suárez says he is not racist and the incident with Manchester United's Patrice Evra in October 2011 still bothers him, insisting the allegations against him were not true.
Evra accused Suárez of racial abuse, and Suarez was found guilty, banned for eight matches and fined £40,000 (more than $63,000) by the Football Association.
From Barcelona’s website:
"When I say I’m sorry it’s because I regret something. 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."
Suárez also addressed his two previous biting incidents. In April 2013, the forward bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, which got him banned for 10 matches. He also bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during Uruguay's 1-0 win at the World Cup on June 24, 2014. That incident resulted in a four-month ban from playing official matches. He was allowed to participate in friendlies.
Suárez is set to make his competitive debut for Barcelona against Real Madrid on Oct. 25. He apologized for his actions, and said he will not bite opponents any more.
“It is good to accept that you have made a mistake and that’s what I did,” Suárez told FCBarcelona.com. “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 realize what I had done.
Barcelona leads La Liga with 19 points through seven fixtures this season. Their next match is Saturday against Eibar.
- Scooby Axson