ANFIELD – Brendan Rodgers has claimed that his Liverpool striker Luis Suárez has been the subject of unjust “vilification” after more diving allegations were levelled at him.
In Sunday’s goalless draw at home to Stoke, Suárez went down theatrically in the penalty area, prompting the visiting Tony Pulis to call for the forward to be handed a retrospective three-match suspension by the Football Association for simulation.
“Retrospective decisions are made on a Monday and Luis Suárez should be punished,” Pulis said. “Give him three games and he will stop falling over. The one in the penalty box was an embarrassment and how he wasn’t booked, I don’t know. The way he fell over in the box was really, really disappointing and that should be highlighted.”
Rodgers, however, was angered by those comments and claimed that his player was being unfairly singled out for criticism, with other incidents involving different players apparently being overlooked.
“As manager of this football club, I find it incredible that in nearly all the coverage about Luis Suárez this weekend, very little focus has been placed on the fact that he was the victim of a stamping incident within the first five minutes of the game,” he said.
Meanwhile, Robin van Persie will not be charged with violent conduct by the Football Association after referee Howard Webb informed the governing body that the Manchester United forward’s clash with Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye on Sunday does not warrant further action.
Van Persie appeared to be facing a charge, which could have led to a three-match suspension, after television footage highlighted Cabaye being hit by the Dutch forward’s left arm during United’s 3-0 victory on Tyneside.
But after reviewing the incident earlier today, match referee Webb told the FA that Van Persie’s challenge was not violent conduct and therefore not worthy of a red card.
Van Persie, who had already been booked by Webb prior to the second-half incident with Cabaye, was substituted moments after the clash by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Confirmation that the £22m forward will not face disciplinary action will be welcomed by United, with the player now free to play against his former club, Arsenal, at Old Trafford next month. -Telegraph