Suarez defended by Reina
Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina says he is '100 per cent' sure Luis Suarez is not a racist and says his team-mate has been treated unfairly.
Last Updated: 22/12/11 10:49am
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina says he is '100 per cent' sure Luis Suarez is not a racist and says his team-mate has been treated unfairly.
After a month-long investigation, the Uruguay international has been punished by the Football Association for using a discriminatory slur against Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra.
He has been hit with a £40,000 fine and eight-match suspension, which Suarez's agent says the club plans to appeal against, although the Anfield outfit are still considering their options.
Reina insists the 24-year-old, who was targeted with chants of 'racist' and 'cheat' in Wednesday night's goalless draw at Wigan, has the backing of everyone at the club.
The Liverpool players issued a statement backing the player before the game and during their warm-up all wore T-shirts depicting an image of Suarez and his name and number seven.
"We are all right behind him. He has our full support," said Reina.
"We made a statement earlier and we said what we thought was the truth.
"We were together from the very first minute (of the allegations) and it is the minimum we can do for him.
"He is not racist. I am 100 per cent he is not racist and he has been accused of racism.
"We showed our support to Luis. We want him and everyone to know we are right behind our team-mate because he is a lovely guy and he has been crucified by some people and it is not fair.
"Eight games is not even close to be fair."
Reina added that the threat of losing Suarez for an extended period would be a blow, but felt the player was coping well with the situation, which has been ongoing since mid-October.
"The most important thing is he is doing his job for the team," added the goalkeeper.
"He played well for the team (against Wigan) and he has to keep playing and help the team as much as he can.
"Obviously we are going to enjoy him as long as we can and then we will see what happens."