Patrice Evra revisits 2011 incident with Luis Suarez at Anfield in UTD Podcast


”After it was in the papers, and Manchester United received so many threatening letters about me. People said: ‘We’re in jail, we’re Liverpool fans. When we get out, we’re going to kill you and your family’. For two months, I had security everywhere I went. They were sleeping in front of my house. Everywhere I went, the security followed me. It was a tough time, but I wasn’t scared. My family were scared: my wife and brother, but I wasn’t. I couldn’t understand why people hated me so much. They didn’t know the truth.”

Suarez was charged by the Football Association and, in the December, found guilty and handed an eight-game ban, in addition to a £40,000 fine. However, it was not the end of the matter as Liverpool reacted furiously to the decision.

”When we went to the hearing with Luis Suarez and he started lying and saying when he says ‘negro’, he means ‘friend’,” recalled Evra. “I said: ‘That is not my name. My mum gave me a name, not a colour’. I know that, in South America, when some fans see a black player they will call him ‘negro’ and sometimes it’s nice, sometimes not nice. Anyway, my name is not ‘black’, it’s Patrice.

“So we argued, but Sky have some good footage where you can see him actually say it. In the end, he admitted it and he was banned for eight games, and he had a massive fine. I remember after that, Liverpool played a game and they all wore the T-shirts saying ‘support Suarez’. He had been banned for racist abuse, had been fined and they support him that way. I was confused and upset.

“But, when I did the punditry on Sky and Jamie Carragher apologised after eight years, I was so surprised. He said they made a big mistake that day and he apologised. It really touched me and now I will respect Liverpool as a football club because, when this happened, I was really disappointed with the club. I received an email from the chairman of Liverpool apologising for what happened nine years ago. He said I was welcome to come to Liverpool if I need anything.

“It really touched me because it’s better late than never. But I was surprised that Liverpool supported that kind of attitude. When you have those kind of problems, people around you just think you are crying. Even when I said: ‘You will see the report’, people thought I was still talking about it. I wasn’t still talking about it – I even named Suarez Player of the Year that year. I could evaluate Suarez on the pitch and know the person he was. It was a tough, tough, tough time.”


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