Liverpool 'let football down' in backing of Suarez, admits Comolli

Liverpool ‘let football down’ in their backing of Luis Suarez in his racial abuse case against Patrice Evra, admits the Reds’ former director of football Damien Comolli

  • Former director of football Damien Comolli said Liverpool ‘let football down’ 
  • Comolli was at the club during Luis Suarez racial abuse case with Patrice Evra
  • He said it was the worst moment of his career as they openly supported Suarez
  • Liverpool players wore ‘Suarez 7’ t-shirts in support of their banned striker
  • Manager Kenny Dalglish even wore a t-shirt as Suarez served an eight-game ban
  • Comolli said their judgement was clouded because Evra played for Man United 

Former Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli admitted the Reds ‘let football down’ in their support of Luis Suarez during his racial abuse case against Patrice Evra. 

Comolli, who was most recently sporting director at Turkish club Fenerbache, was director of football at Anfield in 2011 when Suarez was accused of racially abusing Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra. The Uruguayan was found guilty and received an eight-match ban from the FA, however Liverpool called the ban ‘extraordinary’ as Suarez pleaded his innocence.

The club then decided to wear ‘Suarez 7’ t-shirts in support of their sidelined striker, which Comolli admitted he now regrets and called ‘the worst moment of my career’. 

Former Liverpool director of football said the Reds ‘let football down’ in support of Luis Suarez

Suarez was accused of racially abusing Evra and was found guilty and received an lengthy ban

Damien Comolli called it ‘the worst moment of his career’ as the Reds openly backed Suarez

‘I regret pretty much everything,’ Comolli said on the Athletic’s Ornstein and Chapman podcast. 

‘I regret our attitude, I regret the way we approached it, I regret my reaction at the FA tribunal. I sat throughout the two or three days there. I didn’t react well when they gave the sentence because I didn’t agree at the time.

‘It was probably the worst moment of my career because of frustration. We isolated ourselves from the rest of the world and that was the wrong thing to do.

Liverpool players trained in ‘Suarez 7’ t-shirts after the striker pleaded his innocence


Players came under heavy criticism and Comolli admitted the club ‘let football down’ 

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish even wore a ‘Suarez 7’ t-shirt in a post-match interview

He added: ‘We should have taken advice from outside, legal advice but also PR advice, from someone who wasn’t caught in the storm, who would say ‘hold on, you should wake up, because the reality outside is not what you are feeling internally’. 

Former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher reflected on the decision to wear the t-shirts as a ‘massive mistake’ and manager Kenny Dalglish even donned one of the t-shirts during an interview on live television. 

Comolli claimed that Evra being a Manchester United player clouded the club’s judgement in supporting Suarez. 

‘The fact it was a player from Manchester United almost made things for us a thousand times worse than it should have been,’ explained Comolli.

Comolli even admitted the fact Evra was a Manchester United player clouded their judgement

‘We reacted in the worst way because it was Manchester United and the rivalry between the two clubs. I feel that we didn’t look after Luis as we should have. We didn’t give him the defence or the advice he should have got.

‘Usually I see the players as my children. It was the first time I felt I had really let a player down. We let the club down, we let football down probably as well because we acted in the wrong way.

‘The only excuse I can find, if there is an excuse, is that none of us had ever faced anything like this before and we just didn’t know how to handle it, from the owners down. You should have seen the reaction of the owners towards all this. They were more than onside with Luis and wanting to be on Luis’ side. Even at board level where you think these people are removed from the situation and can help, they were caught as emotionally in the storm as much as we were. It was all wrong.’

 


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