AppId is over the quota
AppId is over the quota
The League has confirmed there will be no cancellation of the pre-match formalities, ensuring Evra and Suárez will come face-to-face immediately before kick-off — presuming both are selected.
There have been fears of a repeat of the controversy surrounding John Terry and Anton Ferdinand’s head-to-head in the FA Cup, when it became clear the Queens Park Rangers defender was not prepared to shake the hand of the former England captain.
The Football Association then decided to abandon the usual civilities before kick-off to prevent a potentially embarrassing snub.
But the Premier League on Tuesday night confirmed it had no intention of adopting the same approach at Old Trafford for the early afternoon game on Saturday.
It will be now left to the players to decide whether to shake each others’ hands, and there is no indication from either Liverpool or United they will refuse to do so.
There is hope and expectation the players and staff of all sides will conduct themselves in the same manner as their FA Cup tie 10 days ago.
A global audience including 212 countries will be screening the fixture live, which is why both sides have been reminded of their ambassadorial responsibilities.
The FA has decided it does not need to make another intervention to bring the clubs together having done so before the most recent meeting.
It was considered the robust reminder delivered on that occasion was sufficiently acted upon, with both clubs earning praise for their responsible approach in the build-up and aftermath of the game.
The governing body believes Liverpool and United realise they must strike the same tone over the next four days.
Sir Alex Ferguson says he is bemused by the recent race-related incidents and has called for the authorities to maintain a tough line.
“I don’t understand at all where it’s coming from,” the United manager said. “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. It was obvious maybe 20 years ago and the improvements have been for everyone to see.
“I have had some fantastic black players, absolutely magnificent black players, and with every one of them I have enjoyed my working relationship with them.”
Suárez’s return from suspension and the reaction he will receive from the Old Trafford crowd does add a new element to the occasion, especially as Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish repeated his assertion the Uruguayan should never have been banned.
Although the FA wrote to both clubs advising them to be careful about making any public comments on the Suárez-Evra affair, they did not consider Dalglish’s remarks inflammatory.
As it did at Anfield, the FA will send a crowd control adviser to the stadium to monitor the situation. This is a usual policy at any high octane occasion. A similar monitor will be attending this weekend’s Black Country derby between Wolves and West Bromwich Albion.
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