By Jamie Spoor – he knows the score
BRIGHTON manager Gus Poyet has needlessly waded into the erupting football racism row by defending controversial countryman Luis Suarez, despite the striker receiving a fine for offensive comments.
Photo used under creative commons from World Economic Forum
The Uruguayan labelled Manchester United’s Patrice Evra a “cry baby” and said that Suarez’s comments to the left-back would not be deemed offensive in South America.
Evra’s United team-mate Rio Ferdinand has launched a scathing attack on Poyet and FIFA president Sepp Blatter saying that Poyet’s comment were “pre-historic” and an “insult to football”.
Ferdinand tweeted: “Gus Poyet……drop me out….what age are we living in here?! Some pre historic talk I’m hearing.”
“Sepp Blatter: “If we want too (sic) stamp out racism in society a football pitch is a good place to start-loved by billions of people around the world”
“Tell me I have just read Blatter’s comments wrong… if not then I am astonished.”
Poyet believes fellow Uruguayan Suarez needs time to adapt to the cultural differences of playing in the Premier League and feels the English game does not do enough to help foreign players.
He told talkSPORT: “You cannot accuse people without a proper investigation, especially when it’s a foreigner who is coming from a different place where we treat people of colour in a different way.
“So it was very easy to accuse someone. Luis Suarez is 100% not a racist.
“England needs to understand how the rest of the world lives. If we have that understanding, easy.”
Blatter had earlier suggested that there was not a racism problem in football and that any on-field problems should be settled by a handshake, prompting Rio’s comments.
There is no racism [on the field], but maybe there is a word or gesture that is not correct,” Blatter told CNN. “The one affected by this should say this is a game and shake hands.”
Against the backdrop of the ongoing John Terry race scandal, this latest row is ill-timed, although Blatter has since apologised.
The 75 year-old’s comments prompted calls for him to resign, but the Swiss insisted his comments were “misinterpreted.”
Poyet has gone down in this Brighton Lite’s opinion by mindlessly speaking on an issue which he is not directly involved.
Luis Suarez has been hit with a charge and possible six-match suspension.