Updated: 24/09/2012 13:03 | By pa.press.net

It was all about respect - Evra



Liverpool's Luis Suarez, left, and Manchester United's Patrice Evra shake hands prior to kick-off

Liverpool's Luis Suarez, left, and Manchester United's Patrice Evra shake hands prior to kick-off

Patrice Evra has confirmed there was never a chance he would not shake Luis Suarez's hand at Anfield on Sunday.

Almost 12 months after the bitter racism row between the pair first surfaced, they finally shook hands to end their personal dispute. Ahead of Manchester United's 2-1 Premier League win over Liverpool, it was part of a sequence of events aimed at ensuring an emotional day passed off peacefully.

It achieved its goal too, until long after the final whistle, when a couple of Liverpool fans ran across the main stand to goad the United contingent with a Munich gesture. Evra said: "The most important thing today was respect. It was a game between two big clubs."

He continued: "There was a big tragedy. People were talking about a handshake but the stories of the clubs is bigger than that. If I hadn't shaken Suarez's hand, I would not be respecting the stories of the clubs.

"In the end I am glad this time he shook my hand. More importantly, it was important to respect the families. It was not an easy day."

The response of the United fans to the taunts was depressingly predictable, chanting "Always the victims" and "Murderers" - reminders of the Merseyside club's own recent tragedies in Hillsborough and Heysel.

Social networking sites were flooded with responses as the bitterness spilled over. Yet neither manager was able to shed any light on the matter.

And all Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers could say was that the battle against those who let both clubs down will go on. He said: "What was done at the end I cannot comment on as I didn't hear or see anything. There is an intense rivalry here and you don't want that to end because that is all a part of what makes this the biggest game in British football.

"But it is on the field where competition should be and everything else, songs from Liverpool or Manchester supporters, any of us that have any human decency don't like to hear that.

"The fight will go on if there is a continuation of that but certainly at this club the work that has gone on in the last couple of weeks is something I am very proud of and the tributes today were fantastic."

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32Comments
24/09/2012 11:36
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If's it's all about respect then why can't these players look each other in the eye... but lets hope this is the end of it, fed up hearing about it.
24/09/2012 10:40
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Lets hope these thoughtless and braindead morons get caught and are banned for life! anyone who can make fun of people who have lost thier lives...are really sick and should be put away!! I hope it is recorded on tape and whatever it takes to bring these no marks to justice!!!
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the main thing is suarez and evra shook hands and thats the end of it over and done with,now they can put it behind them and concentrate on playing for their clubs.
24/09/2012 14:16
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In my opinion, the whole ocassion up till the end of the match was a fitting tribute to the 96 who died. Both sets of fans showed how to support their teams passionately without overstepping the boundaries of decency and the ceremonies before the game were very moving.

Evra and Suarez did the decent thing. They are never going to be friends but as Evra said, some things are more important than a handshake between two men.

It's a real shame that a few idiots spoiled it a bit at the end but it was perhaps inevitable that one or two would lose their rag at a match that always stirs the emotions. I'm not excusing it though because they should know better.

 

I hope it sets a precedent now and that at future matches between our great clubs there is less and less reference to Munich and Hillsborough.

24/09/2012 14:58
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i  dont think either player was sincere, if you dont like somebody, you dont like them. At least the matter has now been buried.
24/09/2012 09:21
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These aren't real football fans or supporters making these chants and they'll continue because it requires a certain level of IQ which I sincerely doubt many don't have!

And Evra should have also been charged by the FA along with Suarez last year for bringing the game into disrepute for the onfield comments he made about Suarez's family member but hey he plays for Utd.....nuff said!!!

24/09/2012 15:13
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It may have been insincere but he shook hands. Perhaps Evra should have a word with that pratt Anton!
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Whats looking someone in the eye got to do with anything?  The handshake was for show. Everyone knows it.  They both dislike each other....so why would they want to look at each other?.... never mind shake hands.  Evra has no respect for someone who it was proved had racially abused him ..... why should he like and respect the slug.
24/09/2012 13:31
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I agree with john, Evra was obviously insincere and going through the motions. The lack of any form of friendliness on behalf of the players shows a bad example. The lack of polite manners and respect from both sets of supporters is also a disgrace. Is it any wonder that people are suspicious of each other? The French and the Germans are more comfortable with formal politeness and that is why I think that I find them easier to deal with in business than my own countrymen. A lack of respect generally has made the British too shy to talk to each other and especially strangers.
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