Race row with Evra reignited: Why Luis Suarez should keep quiet and let his goals do the talking

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Luis Suarez has reignited an issue that threatened to ruin his soccer career.

Why?

Liverpool’s star striker, currently the Premier League’s leading scorer with 23 goals, has told Uruguayan radio station Sport890 AM that racist allegations made by Manchester Untied defender Patrice Evra were ‘all false,’ after the incident that happened two years ago.

By speaking out about this topic, Suarez has risked reopening the race row which saw him banned for eight games back in February 2011 after he was found guilty of racially abusing United left back Evra by the English Football Association.

Since then 27-year-old Suarez bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic last season, which he admitted regretting in the same radio interview where he talked about Evra, along with regretting another separate biting incident that occurred while he was playing for Ajax in 2011.

As for the incident with Evra, the Uruguayan goalscoring machine showed no remorse. This is what he had to say.

The case with Evra was all false. I was accused without proof. But that’s in the past. I was sad at that moment, but I’m happy today. I have grown up. I have thought more about things before doing them. Now people in England can’t talk about me because I’m not doing anything wrong. They have to talk about me only as a footballer.

We love to talk about you as a soccer player Luis, so please keep it that way.

But I fear that with this outburst against Evra and the Liverpool star hitting out at allegations of racism thrown towards him, we may be chatting about Suarez’s off-field issues and previous discrepancies instead of focusing on what a wonderful player he really is. Let’s not drag the past up. It should be all about there here and the now, because Suarez has been sensational this season.

(MORE: Suarez claims Patrice Evra race allegations were “all false”)

Despite missing the opening eight games of the PL campaign, after being banned for biting Ivanovic last season, Suarez leads the PL with 23 goals in just 18 games. He has been sensational ever since he returned and is a big reason why Liverpool are just four points off top spot with 12 games to go. Suarez, believe it or not, is a shoe-in to win the PFA Player of the Year award and is likely to be in the Premier League Team of the Year too.

There’s only thing that can scupper him picking up all of those individual accolades at the end of the season… his mouth.

Zip it shut, Luis. You really don’t need to talk about anything that has happened in the past, no matter how much injustice you feel. Let your boots do the talking, keep banging in the goals and get your head down to help Liverpool qualify for the UEFA Champions league, or potentially win the PL title, and Uruguay do well in the World Cup.

Talking, or doing other things with his mouth, has only got Suarez in huge amounts of trouble in the past. Now won’t be any different.

MLS: NYCFC beat TFC in new coach Torrent’s debut

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NEW YORK (AP) — Jo Inge Berget scored twice and coach Domenec Torrent celebrated his New York City FC debut with a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Sunday.

Berget made it 2-1 in the 68th minute, following Maximiliano Moralez’s direct pass up the right channel and slotting it home.

NYCFC (9-3-4) tied it at 1 in the 51st minute on Berget’s back heel from the top of the 6-yard box.

Víctor Vazquez opened the scoring for Toronto (4-8-3) in the 37th minute. Vasquez outran his defender on Auro’s long ball up the right side and sent a chip shot over the onrushing goalkeeper.

NYCFC’s David Villa left the game in the 28th minute with a non-contact injury.

Torrent replaced Patrick Vieira in New York shortly after Vieira’s departure for OGC Nice was officially confirmed. Torrent had been the right-hand man to Pep Guardiola for the last 11 years, most recently at Manchester City.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 12 — Time to settle Groups A & B

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Day 12 of the 2018 World Cup is up next, on Monday, and with it begins the final round of group games to decide the 16 teams headed to the knockout rounds. For the next four days, we’ll be treated to four games each day.

Also, the end of 8 a.m. ET kickoffs. Hooray for sleeping in.

[ SCENARIOS: Who needs what, to finish where, in final round of group games ]

First up, the conclusion of Group A, where both the hosts, Russia, and Uruguay have already advanced with wins in their first two games. Now, the two meet in the southwestern city of Samara to determine who’ll go through to the round of 16 as the group winners, and who’ll be the runners-up. Most likely awaiting either of them will be Spain and Portugal, pending the order in which they finish in Group B.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Speaking of Group B, Spain will finish group play against fourth-place and points-less Morocco, while Portugal have a tricky meeting with third-place Iran, who sit just a point behind the reigning European champions. The winner of Group B will face the runners-up of Group A, and vice versa.

Below is Monday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Monday, June 25

Group A
Uruguay vs. Russia: Samara, 10 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt: Volgograd, 10 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group B
Spain vs. Morocco: Kaliningrad, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
Iran vs. Portugal: Saransk, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Transfer rumor roundup: Emery raiding Sevilla; Wilshere’s suitor(s)

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Unai Emery has reportedly been in contact with at least one former player, Ever Banega, in an attempt to convince the Argentine midfielder to join him at Arsenal.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news

Banega, who’ll turn 30 on Friday, played two seasons under Emery at Sevilla — where they won back-to-back Europa League titles (Banega was only at the club for the second and third of three straight from 2013-2016).

With Banega reportedly on the fence about whether or not to leave Sevilla again — he only just returned last summer after one season at Inter Milan — Emery is said to have made a personal call after Arsenal’s bid of roughly $23 million triggered the release clause in Banega’s contract. Sevilla will join Arsenal in the Europa League next season after finishing seventh in La Liga.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Jack Wilshere announced last week that he will leave Arsenal this summer — thus opening up the handful of games for which he was healthy and fit to play each season, perhaps for Banega — which leads us nicely to the final bit of transfer talk for Sunday: West Ham are interested in the 26-year-old, but are reportedly only willing to offer him a one-year contract.

The Hammers’ hesitancy is, of course, a response to his years-long battle with injuries — he’s made just 66 appearances over the last four PL seasons (three with Arsenal, one on loan to Bournemouth).

Two other clubs to keep an eye on, as they’ve reportedly indicated interest in Wilshere and/or been in contact already: Everton and Juventus.

Durmaz condemns Sweden fans’ racist abuse after World Cup loss

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KRASNODAR, Russia (AP) — Sweden midfielder Jimmy Durmaz says the racist abuse aimed at him over social media following the 2-1 loss to Germany at the World Cup has been “completely unacceptable.”

[ SCENARIOS: Who needs what, to finish where, in final round of group games ]

After coming on as a substitute, Durmaz gave away the free kick that led to Toni Kroos curling in an injury-time winner in Saturday’s group game. Durmaz has since been subjected to online abuse, including threats to his family.

Before a training session on Sunday, Durmaz — standing in front of the rest of the Sweden squad and beside coach Janne Andersson — read out a statement to the media from a mobile phone.

“When you threaten me, when you call me ‘Arab devil,’ ‘terrorist,’ ‘Taliban,’ then you have gone far beyond the limit,” Durmaz said in the statement, which was published on the Swedish Football Association’s website.

“And even worse, when you go after my family, my children, threaten them. Who does such a thing? It is completely unacceptable.”

Durmaz was born in Sweden to Assyrian parents who emigrated from Turkey.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

“I am Swedish and I am proud to play in the Swedish national team. That’s the biggest thing you can do as a football player,” he said in the statement. “I will never let any racists destroy that pride. We must all stand against all forms of racism.”

The Swedish FA has reported the abuse toward Durmaz to police.

“We do not tolerate a player being exposed to threats and violations,” said Hakan Sjostrand, secretary general of the Swedish FA. “It is unpleasant and very upsetting to see the treatment that Jimmy Durmaz has suffered. Completely unacceptable.”

The loss to Germany left Sweden tied on three points with its opponent. Both countries are three points behind Mexico with one game left. Sweden plays Mexico in Yekaterinburg on Wednesday, with Germany taking on South Korea at the same time.