Suarez apologizes for not shaking Evra's hand

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has apologized for refusing to shake hands with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra before the Premier League match between the two teams.

Liverpool star set off fireworks on Saturday against Man U

Patrice Evra, right, celebrates in front of Liverpool's Luis Suarez after a Saturday game that began with Suarez refusing to shake Evra's hand. Suarez had just come off an 8-game suspension for making racist remarks to Evra. (Jon Super/Associated Press)

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez apologized Sunday for snubbing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in a traditional pre-match handshake, saying "I realize I got things wrong."

The Uruguay striker was widely criticized for failing to shake Evra's hand before Saturday's Premier League match at Old Trafford, in the players' first meeting since Suarez was banned for eight matches for racially abusing the United defender in October.

"I have spoken with the manager [Kenny Dalglish] since the game at Old Trafford," Suarez said. "I've not only let him down, but also the club and what it stands for and I'm sorry.

"I made a mistake and I regret what happened."

Dalglish chose to defend Suarez after the match, claiming critics were "bang out of order" for blaming the striker for the subsequent events in an ill-tempered game.

Players from both teams reportedly clashed outside the dressing room at halftime, requiring police intervention, while Evra whipped up the home fans with exuberant post-match celebrations in front of Suarez.

The stance of Dalglish and Liverpool itself was widely questioned but managing director Ian Ayre revealed Suarez's actions had misled the club.

"We are extremely disappointed Luis Suarez did not shake hands with Patrice Evra before yesterday's game," Ayre said in a statement. "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 teammates and the club. It has been made absolutely clear to Luis Suarez that his behaviour was not acceptable."

Having only just returned to action following his lengthy FA ban, Suarez said he wants to look forward.

"I would like to put this whole issue behind me and concentrate on playing football," he said.