Luis Suarez made a serious mistake this weekend. Regardless of the original incident with Patrice Evra – which Suarez argues he was culturally misunderstood – he needed to spend time to understand the UK culture.
Liverpool FC haven’t handled the situation well, they should have sat him down and ensured that he understood the cultural insensitivity of his racist language. They should have taught him the importance of the handshake with Evra – both as a man, but also a representative of the club and hero to many.
However, regardless of all that, he has now apologised, and so we need to not continue this media storm, with people like Richard Williams adding more fuel to the fire. After Suarez’s stupid mistake, Williams wonders if subsequent encounters between Liverpool and Man Utd will be as vitiated as the Old Firm rivalry.
Whilst our rivalry with Man Utd is one of the fiercest in football, it is in no way on the same level as the ugly sectarianism and nationalism which has claimed actual lives and wounded countless others. At the end of the day it is merely two football teams, not attached to religious and political wars.
The Luis Suarez handshake that never was will never be a PhD candidate’s dissertation topic such as “An Identity of Two Halves? Celtic Supporters, Identity, and Scottish Society” .