After a month-long investigation, the Football Association released its charge Wednesday against Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. Referring to an altercation that took place on Oct. 15 during Liverpool’s match against Manchester United, the FA reported that, “it is alleged that Suarez used abusive and/or insulting words and/or behavior towards Manchester United’s Patrice Evra contrary to FA rules,” according to a statement. “It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra,” the statement continued. Evra had raised the issue to the French TV station Canal Plus immediately following the October match, claiming that Suarez had used racist insults toward him “at least 10 times” during the match. The FA’s statement did not include what sort of sanctions that Suarez could face if he is found guilty.
Liverpool has issued a statement saying that the 24-year-old striker will plead not guilty.
“We will discuss the matter fully with him when he returns from international duty, but he will plead not guilty to the charge and we expect him to request a personal hearing. Luis remains determined to clear his name of the allegation made against him by Patrice Evra,” Liverpool said in a statement. “The club remains fully supportive of Luis in this matter.”
In light of these allegations and other ongoing investigations involving racial slurs, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has experienced some back lash after he offered his own ideas on how players should handle racism on the field. In two separate interviews this week, Blatter said that racism on the field of play is not a problem and suggested that a handshake was an ideal way to settle any issues. Realizing that his comments had been misunderstood by the soccer community as a whole, Blatter and FIFA later released a statement that said: “I would like to make it very clear, I am committed to the fight against racism and any type of discrimination in football and in society. I also know that racism unfortunately continues to exist in football, and I have never denied this. I strongly believe that we should continue to fight all together against racism on and off the field of play, in order to eradicate this plague.”
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In what may turn out to be a regrettable decision, soccer player Gabriel Zakuani named his newborn son “Trendy” this week. According to reports, the name has two sources. The mother, Shanice Petrie, works in fashion, but the Peterborough United defender admits that a popular social network may have played a role in his son’s name as well.
“The official reason was [Petrie] wanted something to reflect [her work],” Zakuani said in an interview. “But it was me who came up with Trendy… People have asked if his name is because of ‘trending topics’ on Twitter. Maybe it was in the back of my mind.”
Zakuani admitted that he’s been teased about the name by his teammates, but he believes that the name will grow on everyone else. Trendy is the newest addition to the family, where he joins siblings Destiny (5), Ajae (4) and Heaven (2).
Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zakuani has played for Peterborough United since 2008, after he was sent to the team on loan from Stoke City. Rumors have recently been surrounding the defender’s future as fans have become worried that the star will leave the team for the Premier League. However, Zakuani made it clear that Trendy will be raised as a Peterborough fan.
“I’ve already got him the Peterborough United baby suit and an official club baby grow,” he said. “He’s too young to go to the matches, but that will happen before too long.”
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Famous Brit David Beckham has once again voiced his interest in being a member of the Great Britain men’s soccer team during next year’s Summer Olympics to be held in London. As his deal with American team Los Angeles Galaxy ends, there has speculation that the 36-year-old husband and father would retire from professional soccer. To that, Beckham responded, “Right now, I feel fit and still love playing, so I’m not finished yet. As long as I feel I can play at a high level, then I’ll continue.”
“People have been saying [I am too old] for the last 10 or 15 years,” he continued in an interview with BBC Sport, “And I’ve still continued to play for my country.”
Beckham also said that several Premier League clubs and Ligue 1 side Paris St Germain have expressed interest in having him play after his contract with in American expires. Of course, Beckham hasn’t ruled out signing another contract with L.A. Galaxy just yet. Teammate Landon Donavon expressed that the team hoped Beckham would return, saying, “We are all assuming that he is going to be back.”
It has also been said that the soccer pro would like to buy a Major League Soccer team once he has finished his playing career.
“I have the option and it’s something I probably will do,” he explained. “Obviously I have to wait until I finish playing. I want to be part of something that is growing to grow and I believe that this sport is going to grow.”
Speculation will continue to surround Beckham until he makes a final decision. Will he stay in the United States? Go back to Europe? Lead the UK team to victory in the Olympics?
“I haven’t even sat down and thought about what my options are yet,” he said.