LUIS SUAREZ is likely to escape disciplinary action following allegations of racist abuse by Patrice Evra unless the Manchester United defender is able to offer secondary evidence of his claims when he meets the FA to discuss the matter within the next 48 hours.
Evra is due to be interviewed by members of the FA’s disciplinary unit in Manchester before the weekend after United granted permission for the governing body to speak to the French full-back following his claim that Liverpool forward Suarez racially insulted him “at least 10 times” during last Saturday’s Premier League encounter at Anfield.
But due to the hugely sensitive nature of Evra’s allegations, the 30-year-old will be expected by the FA to provide additional evidence of his claims, beyond his own accusation, that supports his suggestion that Suarez subjected him to racist abuse.
The FA is likely to require witness statements from players or officials supporting Evra’s claims or television evidence which provides grounds for further investigation.
Uruguay international Suarez has strenuously denied Evra’s accusation, but Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson confirmed on Monday that his player is determined to follow through with his complaint.
“He (Evra) thought he was slighted on Saturday. Obviously Patrice feels very aggrieved at what was said to him, so it rests in the hands of the FA now,” Ferguson said.
It was understood that Evra, who went public with his allegations in an interview with French broadcaster Canal Plus on Saturday, would meet the FA today or tomorrow, depending on his training schedule ahead of Sunday’s top-of-the-table fixture against Manchester City.
Suarez is only likely to be interviewed by the FA if the disciplinary unit is sufficiently persuaded by the United defender that his opponent has a case to answer.
Liverpool have already issued a public statement defending Suarez, but Ferguson has attempted to ease the tensions between the two clubs by insisting that the issue is “not something we would want to level against Liverpool” as a club.