Sunday 19 November 2017

City boss: Suarez T-shirt stunt a mistake

ROBERTO Mancini believes the decision by Liverpool’s players to wear T-shirts to express their support for Luis Suarez, after he was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, was a mistake.

Speaking ahead of the first leg of City’s Carling Cup semi-final against Liverpool tonight, Mancini also insisted the Uruguayan striker should have apologised to the Manchester United player.

The Italian is the first manager to argue that Liverpool's show of unity was misplaced during the furore that surrounded last month’s verdict.

Mancini felt the T-shirt stunt was misguided and, while he argued Suarez was not a racist person, he insisted he should have been more contrite in the circumstances, admitting Suarez was amiss to have used the words he did.

Suarez, who continues to claim he did nothing wrong despite the English Football Association’s verdict, will miss both legs of the Carling Cup semi-final as he is serving an eight game ban.

Asked whether he thought the |decision to wear T-shirts before |Liverpool’s game against Wigan last month was a mistake Mancini nodded and said “maybe”, adding: Mancini said: “Sometimes it can happen on the pitch, a situation like this. It is important to apologise for what you did.

”Sometimes on the pitch you can do something you don’t want to do, because you are nervous, you don’t think on the pitch. “I don’t think Suarez is a racist. I think he made a mistake, probably, yes. Everyone can make a mistake sometimes, everyone. It is impossible that we are always perfect. It is important to say ‘I am sorry, I made a mistake, I apologise for this’ and accept the charge.”

Liverpool are struggling to move on from the ugly episode after a fan was arrested on suspicion of racially abusing Oldham defender Thomas Adeyemi during their 5-1 FA Cup third-round win last Friday night, and Mancini’s comments are unlikely to be appreciated at Anfield.

Mancini admitted such incidents were more common in his native Italy, although he suggested some players would not have complained as Evra did.

He said: “Everything was said to me during my 20 years as a player, but I understand. I didn’t cry for this on the pitch because, I repeat, I have my opinion that on the pitch everything can happen because you don’t think, because you are tired, because you are stupid, you are young, for many reasons.”

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