• Premier League

Suarez: I'm targeted because I'm South American

ESPN staff
June 11, 2013
Edinson Cavani on why he believes fellow Uruguayan Luis Suarez will leave England

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has claimed he is being vilified by the British media and the Football Association and driven out of Anfield.

The Uruguay international, 26, said his wife was left on the verge of tears after fans mocked him during a shopping trip over his bite on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez, who is serving a 10-match domestic suspension for the bite on Ivanovic, believes that the FA have singled him out for unfair treatment because he is South American.

He argued that his eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a Premier League match in October 2011 was a disproportionate punishment.

The Liverpool striker suggested that his case was comparable to that of Chelsea's former England captain John Terry, banned for four games after being found guilty of racial abuse towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand by the FA, also in October 2011.

Suarez, away with the Uruguay squad preparing for the Confederations Cup in Brazil, insists that he still loves Liverpool - where he is under contract until 2016 - but has no choice but to leave.

He told Uruguayan television show RR Gol: "Without any proof, they gave me an eight-match ban, but with Terry, where they had proof, lip-readers, they gave him four. I'm South American and I think that's the root of all of this.

"Liverpool is a club that I dreamed about playing for as a boy. I have been with great players there, they know me and I would love to continue for many more years at Liverpool. The stadium is spectacular, the fans are phenomenal: people with tattoos of me, things that I could never have imagined.

"After the [Evra] suspension people would come up to me - this is something that really touched me - and they would say: 'Luis, forget everything and stay.'

"But I can't forget as it was something that I had to suffer, that my family had to suffer and away from football I have a family to support and who are hurt by these things."

Suarez hit out at the media at the end of May, when he first declared his wish to leave Liverpool at a press conference in the build-up to Uruguay's friendly against France.

He did so again in his latest interview, adding: "Ever since I arrived I have felt bad, they have never judged me for my play but with the attitude that he dives, protests, makes gestures, racism - everything.

"They have never spoken well of me. For that reason, when I was told I could win the Player of the Year award, I said: 'I will not get excited as I know that I will never win an important award in England.'"

Suarez claimed he was recently mocked during a shopping trip following the Ivanovic incident.

He said: "About a week ago, I was walking in a shopping centre near Manchester and three or four guys asked me for a photo.

"While we were posing for it my wife said to me: 'Luis, get out of the photo.' She noticed they were making biting gestures. I was with my wife and my daughter.

"Things like that get on your nerves. My wife was on the brink of tears and the blokes ran off laughing. You get tired of stuff like that."

Suarez has hinted at a move to Real Madrid, who are understood to be interested in the striker.

But he added: "My agent said to remain calm rather than quiet, remain calm and when there is concrete interest you'll be the first to know."

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