London: Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has slammed Luis Suarez, saying he should never play for Liverpool again after refusing to shake the hand of Patrice Evra before Saturday's Premier League match between the fierce rivals.
Ferguson said after the match that Suarez is "a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club, he shouldn't be able to play for Liverpool again." He also claimed that the incident "created a terrible atmosphere" at Old Trafford, adding that Suarez "could have caused a riot — he should be ashamed."
It was the first time Suarez and Evra had come face to face since the Uruguay striker was banned for eight matches for repeatedly racially abusing the French leftback during a match between the teams at Anfield on October 15.
"I couldn't believe it," Sir Alex told Sky Sports following the match. "I just could not believe it."
"I had a chat with Patrice this morning, and he said 'I'm going to shake his hand. I've got nothing to be ashamed of and I want to keep my dignity.' And then he [Suarez] refuses - he's a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club."
"That certain player should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again. With the history that club has got, and he does that in this city today - he could have caused a riot."
"I was really disappointed in that guy. It was terrible, what he did. It created a tension - you've seen the referee, he didn't know what to do about it. It caught him off-guard, and it was a terrible start to the game. There was a terrible atmosphere created."
Ferguson, however, said that the debate over the wisdom of pre-match handshakes should not be allowed to hide the issue of racism in the game that has arisen this season.
"That's a different issue altogether. That started when the Premier League started, of course, and it's never been a problem really until this season, with regards to racism. It's never been a problem," he said.
"So really we better get our house in order in terms of fighting racism - it's an issue, it's absolutely an important issue in this country. Football's come a long way from the days of John Barnes and throwing bananas to where we are today - we can't go back."
"We have to go forward, in a positive way, and ban it altogether."
The United boss did admit, however, that Evra shouldn't have celebrated in front of Suarez at the end of the match, adding: "He shouldn't have done that."