London: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted the FA’s decision to ban Liverpool striker Luis Suarez for eight-games for racially abusing Patrice Evra was correct, and now is the time for both clubs to move on.
Since the decision on Tuesday, which also saw the Uruguayan handed a 40,000 pounds fine, the Anfield club have gone on the defensive in support of their player, issuing a number of statements whilst also wearing t-shirts with Suarez’s image on them before Wednesday’s 0-0 draw against Wigan.
The 69-year-old has now suggested that whilst he firmly backed Evra over the incident, the issue should not be about club ties, and that Liverpool must now accept the FA’s conclusion and not dwell on the verdict.
"Our support of Patrice was obvious right from the word go and that`s still the same," he told a leading daily.
"The matter is over and I think we`re satisfied that they [the FA`s independent commission] found the right decision.”
"This wasn`t about Manchester United and Liverpool at all. It was nothing to do with that. This was an individual situation where one person was racially abused."
Ferguson also discussed an incident involving Evra in 2008, in which the French full-back came to blows with Chelsea ground staff at Stamford Bridge after an alleged racist taunt was angled in his direction.
The former Monaco full-back received a four-game suspension for the incident, and whilst the Red Devils boss admits he was unable to understand the English football governing body’s decision at the time, there was no other choice but to accept their ruling.
"Patrice got that suspension for the incident down at Chelsea when no-one was there, just a groundsman and our fitness coach," he said. "He got a four-match ban and we had to wait two weeks for the evidence to come through.
"We were quite astounded at that. A four-match ban? We thought it was well over the top for a trivial incident. But it happened and there`s nothing you can do about it, you know."