- FA Cup
Mansfield owner slams 'embarrassing, cheating' Reds
Mansfield Town owner John Radford has said Liverpool should be embarrassed by the 'gloating' behaviour of their 'cheating' striker Luis Suarez.
Radford was left aggrieved after seeing his non-league side knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round by the Reds, with Suarez scoring the decisive goal in a 2-1 win after clearly using his hand to control the ball before driving home - an infringement the referee failed to spot.
Radford's wife Carolyn, the club's chief executive, said in the immediate aftermath of the match that a replay had "been stolen from us" by poor officiating, but the owner went even further, describing Suarez's celebration - where he kissed his wrist, his usual celebration that is intended as a tribute to his daughter - as unacceptable 'gloating'.
"I'm going to be biased but I'm watching a Premiership referee, a game between a Conference side and a Premiership side, and some of the decisions were hurtful," Radford is quoted as saying in the Guardian.
"When you get a professional player like Suarez celebrating a deliberate foul then it hurts. Of course it does."
He added: "Of course he was [gloating]. It was: 'Hang on, I can get away with this'."
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers defended his player following the game, but Radford was insistent that everyone involved with the Merseyside club should be "embarrassed" by the incident.
"You know, if one of my players had done that I'd be embarrassed," he added. "I was looking for a fair and true competition and that was one incident in the game that made me feel … Well, for me as Mansfield Town chairman - local club, local boy, born and bred - it's not business, I'm here for the passion against Liverpool, where it's all about business, and that was a killer.
"It was a killer that a professional would do that sort of thing to a non-league team."
He continued: "To be honest, the Liverpool directors felt embarrassed. I would have been absolutely embarrassed and the manager should be embarrassed."
Despite his strident words, Radford claimed that the hardest thing to take was the fact that Suarez and his team-mates celebrated their 'cheating'.
"The referees have a hard time but for him to do it deliberately and then celebrate is the hardest thing to take," he said. "To cheat, OK, but to cheat and them celebrate cheating, that is the worst thing you can do. If you're going to cheat, then fair enough.
"If you're going to cheat, then cheat. But if you cheat then celebrate cheating, then there you go.
"What I will say is that, one day, cheats will never prosper."