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Liverpool's Suarez apologizes for Evra handshake snub

February 12, 2012 -- Updated 1643 GMT (0043 HKT)
Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez (second left) fail to shake hands before the start of an English Premier League game.
Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez (second left) fail to shake hands before the start of an English Premier League game.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Luis Suarez apologizes for refusing to shake Patrice Evra's hand
  • Uruguay star says he "got things wrong" before start of EPL game
  • Suarez criticized by Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre
  • Suarez got eight-game ban for racially abusing Man Utd's Evra

(CNN) -- Liverpool striker Luiz Suarez apologized Sunday for refusing to shake hands with Manchester United's Patrice Evra before the start of an English Premier League match.

The Uruguay international was widely criticized for Saturday's snub which came as they met face to face for the first time since he was given an eight-game ban for racially abusing the Frenchman at an earlier fixture between the two clubs in October.

United manager Alex Ferguson called Suarez a "disgrace" while Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre was angered by his own player's actions.

"We are extremely disappointed Luis Suarez did not shake hands with Patrice Evra before yesterday's game. The player had told us beforehand that he would, but then chose not to do so," Ayre told the club's official website.

"It has been made absolutely clear to Luis Suarez that his behavior was not acceptable," he added.

Suarez, who scored Liverpool's late goal in the 2-1 defeat, made his public apology later Sunday on the club's website.

I should have shaken Patrice Evra's hand before the game and I want to apologize for my actions
Luis Suarez

"I have spoken with the manager (Kenny Dalglish) since the game at Old Trafford and I realize I got things wrong.

"I've not only let him down, but also the club and what it stands for and I'm sorry. I made a mistake and I regret what happened.

"I should have shaken Patrice Evra's hand before the game and I want to apologize for my actions.

"I would like to put this whole issue behind me and concentrate on playing football."

The incident before kickoff heightened tensions between the arch rivals and there was a reported incident in the tunnel at halftime.

At the final whistle, Evra openly celebrated his team's victory in close proximity to Suarez and also drew a rebuke from his manager Ferguson.

United responded later Sunday to the apology with a statement on their official website:

"Manchester United thanks Liverpool for the apologies issued following Saturday's game.

"Everyone at Old Trafford wants to move on from this. The history of our two great clubs is one of success and rivalry unparalleled in British football.

"That should be the focus in the future of all those who love the clubs."

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