Patrice Evra must choose whether to shake Luis Suárez’ hand this weekend after the Football Association insisted that normal matchday protocols would be in place for the Premier League fixture between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime. Suárez returned, against Tottenham Hotspur on Monday, from an eight match ban imposed by the FA for racially abusing Evra in the meeting between the two sides last October.
Unlike the recent meeting between Chelsea and QPR, where the FA abandoned the usual pre-game meet and greet between the teams ”in an attempt to further defuse tensions,” Evra is likely to be offered the Uruguayan’s hand on Saturday. This comes just a fortnight after Evra was widely jeered at Anfield, with one fan caught making a ‘monkey gesture’ towards the Frenchman.
However, manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently suggested that Evra should “rise above” any temptation to ignore the Liverpool striker this weekend. ”He should be applauded for what he did [reporting Suárez], standing up to it,” Ferguson said last week. “There is no shame for him. The matter is over. He can rise above that.”
News of the FA’s stance comes on the same day Ferguson has urged football to clamp down on racism in the game.
“I don’t understand at all where it’s coming from,” Ferguson told CNN. “This is a moment where we have to take stock and we should do something about it if it’s surfacing again, and be really hard and firm on any form or shape of racism. There have been a couple of examples recently which is not good. In 2012, you can’t believe it.”