Handshake: Suarez and Dalglish apologise after owners intervene

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Suarez refuses Evra handshake

Luis Suarez and Kenny Dalglish apologised for their part in the handshake row at Old Trafford after the direct intervention of Liverpool's US owners.

Suarez refused to shake hands with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra before Liverpool's 2-1 defeat.

Dalglish reacted angrily to questions about the incident after the game.

"I have spoken with the manager since the game at Old Trafford and I realise I got things wrong," Suarez said.

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Suarez was banned for eight matches for racially abusing Evra during the Premier League encounter at Anfield in October and his refusal to shake Evra's hand on Saturday contributed to an ill-tempered game.

The Uruguay international continued: "I have not only let [Dalglish] 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 apologise for my actions. I would like to put this whole issue behind me and concentrate on playing football."

Reds boss Dalglish added on Sunday: "All of us have a responsibility to represent this club in a fit and proper manner.

"That applies equally to me as Liverpool manager.

"When I went on TV after yesterday's game I hadn't seen what had happened, but I did not conduct myself in a way befitting of a Liverpool manager during that interview and I'd like to apologise for that."

BBC Sport has subsequently learnt that the apologies "contained the input" of the club's American owners, Fenway Sports Group.

"No-one is more important than the club. Apologies were necessary," said a senior source at Fenway.

However, the owners believe Suarez can salvage his Liverpool career by demonstrating "better judgement" in future, according to the source.

Manchester United also released a statement on Sunday which read: "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."

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre also released a statement which read: "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.

"He was wrong to mislead us and wrong not to offer his hand to Patrice Evra. He has not only let himself down but also Kenny Dalglish, his team-mates and the club.

"It has been made absolutely clear to Luis Suarez that his behaviour was not acceptable. Luis Suarez has now apologised for his actions, which was the right thing to do.

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"However, all of us have a duty to behave in a responsible manner and we hope he now understands what is expected of anyone representing Liverpool Football Club."

Dalgish added: "Ian Ayre has made the club's position absolutely clear and it is right that Luis Suarez has now apologised for what happened at Old Trafford.

"To be honest, I was shocked to hear that the player had not shaken hands having been told earlier in the week that he would do."

After the incident, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson called Suarez "a disgrace" and suggested he should never play for Liverpool again, while Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor described Suarez's conduct as "disrespectful, inappropriate and embarrassing".

Lord Ouseley, the head of Kick It Out, football's equality and inclusion campaign, said Dalglish's behaviour had "damaged" the club's reputation.

"I'm delighted it's [the apology] happened," he told BBC Radio 5 live's Stephen Nolan show.

"It's long overdue. The brand of Liverpool is built on success and dignity but it has been damaged, particularly by Kenny Dalglish's behaviour during the past few months."

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson told Sky Sports News: "There is an issue that still needs to be tackled.

"It goes beyond racism - you hear vile chanting about managers and opposition players. I don't think that really has any place in modern society. If we don't accept it on the high street, I see no reason why we should accept it in a football crowd."

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