Luis Suarez charged with racially abusing Patrice Evra

Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra
Evra (right) was shown a yellow card after clashing with Suarez

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been charged by the Football Association with racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

The pair clashed during the teams' 1-1 draw at Anfield on 15 October.

Uruguayan Suarez, 24, has Evra's claim that he used racist language to the France international.

Following the FA charge, Liverpool said they would remain supportive of Suarez and that he would plead not guilty on his return from international duty.

The club also said they would expect him to request a hearing.

An FA statement said: "It is alleged that Suarez used abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Manchester United's Patrice Evra contrary to FA rules.

"It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra."

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has previously said that he does not think racism is prevalent at the club.

And in his Thursday press conference the 60-year-old refused to comment further on the club's stance.

He said: "I think the statement says everything and our position has not changed. That is all we've got to say."

A Liverpool statement issued after the FA charge was announced read: "The club this afternoon received notification from the Football Association of their decision to charge Luis Suarez and will take time to properly review the documentation which has been sent to us.

"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.

"The club remain fully supportive of Luis in this matter."

Speaking in an interview before the FA charge was announced, Fifa president Sepp Blatter denied that there was a problem with on-field racism in football.

But Dalglish declined to comment on Blatter's comments.

He said: "I never saw it [Blatter's interview].

"I'll read it before I comment - and I've not read it."

Evra made his claims immediately after the match and was quoted as telling French TV station Canal Plus: "There are cameras, you can see [Suarez] say a certain word to me at least 10 times."

Suarez told Uruguayan media earlier this month: "There is no evidence I said anything racist to him. I said nothing of the sort.

"There were two parts of the discussion, one in Spanish, one in English. I did not insult him. It was just a way of expressing myself. I called him something his team-mates at Manchester call him, and even they were surprised by his reaction."

Evra reported his complaint after the game to match referee Andre Marriner who included it in his report.

Piara Powar, executive director of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network, said: "Everyone knows from talking to ex-players that this is the sort of problem [racism] that went on.

"And now we see in 2011, going on 2012, it's still an issue. And we see the FA charging someone. I think that's right.

"Suarez, whatever his perspective on what was said or what wasn't said, and Evra should both have their day in court, so to speak, and bring any evidence to an FA tribunal."

Elsewhere, the Metropolitan Police is investigating allegations that Chelsea and England captain John Terry racially abused QPR's Anton Ferdinand during a recent match at Loftus Road.

Terry has denied the allegation.