Liverpool 'embarrassed' by Luis Suarez says Mansfield chairman
John Radford also questions Liverpool fans as ESPN apologises for 'cheat' remark
THE WHIFF of controversy that hangs over Luis Suarez lingers on after his handball goal against Mansfield in the FA Cup. The fall-out from the Uruguayans actions has continued into the week after Mansfield chairman John Radford accused the Liverpool striker of "gloating" and insisted that the Anfield club's directors had been left embarrassed by his actions.
Broadcaster ESPN, which showed the match, also felt obliged to apologise after commentator Jon Champion described the goal as "the work of a cheat".
"ESPN's editorial policy is for commentators to be unbiased and honest, to call things as they see them," said the US station. "Inevitably this can involve treading a fine line on occasion, especially in the heat of the moment. Comments during the Mansfield v Liverpool match caused offence where none was intended and we have spoken to our commentator about this incident."
Radford, on the other hand, did not choose to apologise for his comments after the game. "If one of my players had done that, I'd be embarrassed, and the man should be embarrassed. To be honest, the Liverpool directors felt embarrassed," he said, according to The Times.
He also questioned whether Liverpool had "true fans" and said the Reds support was "probably all corporate, because we outsung them at the game". As if that wasn't enough he accused the Merseyside club of being "all about business," and lamented that "a professional would do that sort of thing to a non-League team".
For the defence, former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler weighed in. "If he has to tell the referee that he handled, do the defenders have to go and tell the ref every time they foul a striker?" he told the Daily Mirror.
But the reaction should come as no surprise, says Andy Hunter of The Guardian. "The reaction to Suarez's handball is typical of the entrenched positions taken on the striker since he was found guilty of using racially abusive language towards Patrice Evra last season," he writes. "Both sides have strayed into the realms of fantasy and hysteria. He committed a blatant foul and got away with it. With most players, professional or amateur, the matter would end there."