at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
London – Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers on Thursday said that his controversial striker Luis Suarez could face punishment from the club after admitting that he dived to try to win a penalty in a league game with Stoke City.
In an interview with Fox Sports Argentina, Suarez admitted “falling” during October's 0-0 draw between the clubs at Anfield, prompting Rodgers, who had defended him from criticism at the time, to hit out.
“I think it is wrong. It is unacceptable. I have spoken to Luis and it will be dealt with internally,” said Rodgers. “(Diving) is not something we advocate. Our ethics are correct.”
Rodgers spoke to Suarez on Thursday and said he had been “totally understanding on where I am coming from as manager of the club.
“What was said was wrong. He takes that and we move on,” he added.
Suarez hit the headlines for a theatrical fall in the Stoke game after he went to ground under a challenge from Marc Wilson in an unsuccessful attempt to win a second-half penalty.
Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce was moved to describe Suarez's tumble as “cheating”, adding that the tendency for players to easily fall to the ground was a “cancer” in the game.
Suarez has been accused of diving at regular intervals during his time in England and he admitted in the interview that he had gone down on purpose.
“I was criticised for trying to win a penalty by falling in a match against Stoke,” said the Uruguay international. “It's true I fell because we were drawing against Stoke at home and we needed to do something.
“But afterwards, the coaches of Stoke, Everton, all of them, came forward. I came to realise that the name of Suarez was a (newspaper) seller.”
Suarez sparked controversy again earlier this month when he handled the ball prior to scoring Liverpool's winning goal in their 2-1 victory at non-league Mansfield Town in the FA Cup.
“The other day, a ball hit my hand without me meaning it to,” he said. “I kissed my wrist (in celebration) and everyone started rounding on me.”
Suarez also claimed that foreign players are treated differently to home-grown players in the Premier League.
“It's difficult,” he said. “It's what Carlitos (Tevez) said, it's what Kun (Sergio Aguero) said: foreigners, and especially the South Americans, are treated differently to local players.”
Suarez added that his run-in with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, which saw him hit with a £40,000 ($64,000, 48,000
euros) fine and an eight-match ban for racial abuse, was long forgotten.
“When people come and insult me, saying I'm South American, I don't start crying. It's something that stays on the pitch, part of football. My conscience is clear,” he said, before claiming that United control the British press.
“They've got a lot of power and they'll always help them.” – Sapa-AFP