Suarez issues apology over Evra racial slur

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has issued a public apology following his eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra, but the Uruguayan has not said sorry to the Manchester United defender.

Suarez was quoted in several British national newspapers as saying: "I admitted to the commission that I said a word in Spanish once and only once. I told the panel members that I will not use it again on a football pitch in England.

"I never, ever used this word in a derogatory way and if it offends anyone then I want to apologise for that."

Suarez was handed an eight-match ban and fined 40,000 pounds by the English FA after an independent three-man commission found him guilty of racially insulting Evra during Liverpool's 1-1 Premier League draw with Manchester United at Anfield in October.

Liverpool said on Tuesday they would not appeal the decision but have challenged the commission's ruling. As a result of that decision, Suarez started his suspension on Tuesday and was ineligible to play against Manchester City.

Suarez had said in a statement that he would carry out the suspension "with the resignation of someone who hasn't done anything wrong."

He said he used the word 'negro' once towards Evra but claimed it is a commonly-used word which does not show any lack of respect in his country.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has said the 115-page report which cast Suarez as an "unreliable witness" failed to mention several salient facts. He refused to elaborate on what those where but insisted he was right to raise the issue.