Reina backs striker


Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina believes striker Luis Suarez has been "crucified" over his racism charge.

The Uruguay international was given an eight-match ban by the Football Association on Tuesday after being found guilty of misconduct for using insulting words to Patrice Evra which included a reference to the Manchester United defender’s colour.

Liverpool are expected to appeal the punishment and they have 14 days from receiving the independent commission’s decision to decide their course of action. Reina believes the 24-year-old, who was targeted with chants of “racist” and “cheat” in Wednesday night’s goalless draw at Wigan, has been treated unfairly.

The Liverpool players issued a statement backing the player before the game and during their warm-up all wore T-shirts depicting an image of Suarez and his name and number seven.

“We are all right behind him. He has our full support,” said the Spain international. “We made a statement earlier and we said what we thought was the truth. We were together from the very first minute (of the allegations) and it is the minimum we can do for him. He is not racist. I am 100% he is not racist and he has been accused of racism.

“We showed our support to Luis. We want him and everyone to know we are right behind our team-mate because he is a lovely guy and he has been crucified by some people and it is not fair. Eight games is not even close to be fair.”