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Suarez gave 'unreliable' evidence to racial abuse hearing, says FA report

updated 8:16 AM EST, Sun January 1, 2012
Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra are involved in a heated exchange during the October 15 match at Anfield.
Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra are involved in a heated exchange during the October 15 match at Anfield.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FA says Luis Suarez gave 'unreliable' evidence in race abuse case
  • Suarez received eight-game ban and $62,000 fine
  • 115-page report details his exchanges with Patrice Evra
  • Liverpool still to decide whether to appeal findings

(CNN) -- Liverpool's Uruguay international striker Luis Suarez has been accused of giving "unreliable" and "inconsistent" evidence to the disciplinary panel which banned him for eight-games for alleged racial abuse of Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

The findings of the Independent Regulatory Commission were released late Saturday night on the official website of the English Football Association (FA).

The detailed 115-page ruling went over the circumstances of the clash between the pair in the match at Liverpool's Anfield ground on October 15.

It concluded that Suarez had called Evra a "negro" no fewer than seven times during the course of the English Premier League match.

The panel heard evidence from both players and also used linguistic experts to examine television footage of the game.

Their investigations centered on an incident just before the hour mark after Suarez fouled the French international full-back.

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Mr Suarez's evidence was unreliable in relation to matters of critical importance
English FA report

At a subsequent Liverpool corner, Evra was marking the striker and they became involved in a fierce row.

Evra made a complaint to referee Andre Mariner and again after the game, which

prompted the FA investigation.

Suarez, who was publicly supported by his manager Kenny Dalglish and teammates, argued before the panel that the use of he word "negro" was not offensive.

But the commission rejected his arguments in handing down their lengthy ban and a $62,000 fine.

"Mr Evra was a credible witness," read its report.

"He gave his evidence in a calm, composed and clear way. It was, for the most part, consistent, although both he and Mr Suarez were understandably unable to remember every detail of the exchanges between them.

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"Mr Suarez's evidence was unreliable in relation to matters of critical importance. It was, in part, inconsistent with the contemporaneous evidence, especially the video footage," it added.

However, the commission did not believe Suarez was "racist" but had used "insulting" words, which was the basis of the FA charge against him.

"We have found that charge proved on the evidence and arguments put before us. The FA made clear that it did not contend that Mr Suarez acted as he did because he is a racist.

"Mr Evra said in his evidence that he did not think Mr Suarez is a racist. Mr Suarez said in evidence 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."

Liverpool have until January 13 to appeal, leaving Suarez free to play, including a

English League Cup semifinal first leg tie against Manchester City two days before.

They issued a statement on their website to confirm receipt of the commission's report.

"The player, the club and our legal advisers will now take the necessary amount of time to read, digest and properly consider the contents of the 115 page judgment and will make no further comment at present," it read.

The Suarez affair comes at the same time England captain John Terry is facing a criminal charge of using racist language against QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during Chelsea's EPL game on October 23.

Terry has vowed to fight the charges "tooth and nail" and like Suarez has received the backing of his club.

The FA is postponing its action until the court proceedings are concluded early this year.

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