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Former Newcastle defender slams Liverpool for supporting Suarez

Former Newcastle defender and Show Racism the Red Card campaigner Olivier Bernard is critical of Liverpool's response to Luis Suarez's ban. The Uruguayan striker was fined £40,000 and banned for eight games by the Football Association on Monday for allegedly racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

The players showed their support for their team-mate on Wednesday by releasing a joint statement ahead of their Premier League clash with Wigan and wearing Suarez t-shirts during their warm-up at the DW Stadium.

"I really didn't think it was fine to wear the t-shirt," the Frenchman told Sky Sports News HD.

"I can understand the club's side of it, but in society we can't accept racism and give support to a player who has used racist words. I just think it is a bit wrong."

He added: "It made it allowed for everybody to use racist words and it will be okay. It's not okay to use racist language and the message they sent out yesterday was a bit wrong.

"I don't mind them giving support to Mr Suarez, but I just think it's a bit wrong to wear the t-shirt because that means they have allowed racist language. I just don't understand it."

Asked what Liverpool should have done, Bernard continued: "Probably accept it, accept that the player used a racist word. That would make everybody understand that Luis Suarez is not a racist person, but he did use a racist word and he should be punished. That should then be the end of it."

He said: "What the FA have done is make a real point that racism has no place in England and no place in football and no place in our society. I think they have made that clear and I'm pretty happy with their decision."

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Dave Williams

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