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Report says Suarez called Evra a 'negro' 7 times

Updated: December 31, 2011, 13:28


Liverpool's Luis Suarez, foreground,  tussles for possession with Blackburn's Mauro Formica  during their English Premier League  soccer match at Anfield, Liverpool. England Mpnday Dec. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Peter Byrne/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE

LONDON(AP) Liverpool striker Luis Suarez called Manchester United's Patrice Evra a "negro'' seven times in the incident that led to him being banned for eight matches, according to a disciplinary commission that branded the offending player's evidence as "unreliable.''

The 115-page report from the English Football Association's independent panel was published on Saturday, detailing the verbal confrontation between Suarez and Evra, a black France defender, during the Oct. 15 match at Anfield.

Suarez's defense centered on a claim that the use of the "negro'' in Uruguay and other parts of Latin America is inoffensive in certain situations. But the panel found that Suarez's argument was "unsustainable.''

Liverpool now has 14 days to decide whether to appeal against Suarez's eight-match ban and 40,000-pound ($62,000) fine, with both on hold pending the outcome of any challenge.

The report says that when Evra asked Suarez during the 1-1 draw why he had been kicked, the striker replied in Spanish: "Porque tu eres negro,'' which translates as "because you are black.''

Evra said he would punch Suarez if he repeated the comment to which Suarez said: "No hablo con los negros'' - "I don't speak to blacks.''

The FA called in linguistic experts to assess Suarez's defense, but they determined that his language on the pitch "would be considered racially offensive'' anywhere.

"Mr. Suarez said that he pinched Mr. Evra's skin in an attempt to defuse the situation. He also said that his use of the word 'negro' to address Mr. Evra was conciliatory and friendly. We rejected that evidence,'' the report said. "To describe his own behavior in that way was unsustainable and simply incredible given that the players were engaged in an acrimonious argument.

"That this was put forward by Mr. Suarez was surprising and seriously undermined the reliability of his evidence on other matters.''

The report says Suarez failed to offer a "satisfactory explanation'' for the inconsistencies in his evidence.

Suarez has consistently denied being racist since the incident and the FA and Evra accept that.

But the report concludes by saying that Suarez pledged in the hearing that "he will not use the word 'negro' on a football pitch in England in the future, and we believe that is his genuine and firm intention.''

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