In an interview with Barca Magazine, former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez apologizes for the biting incidents that have dogged his career, but he maintains his innocence regarding the racist incident that involved former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in October 2011. The Uruguayan was later found guilty of the offense by a three-man FA panel, for which he received an eight-game ban and a 40,000-pound ($64,000) fine.
“When I say I’m sorry it’s because I regret something,” Suarez says in the interview. “Being sorry implies regret but they have also sometimes judged me on things that aren’t true, such as the racism thing. I was accused without evidence and that’s what grieved me the most. The others were actions when it was me who did wrong. I accepted that and begged forgiveness but the racism thing, when I was accused without evidence, that did upset me.”
Suarez is currently serving a four-month ban handed down by world governing body FIFA for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 win at last summer’s World Cup in Brazil. The striker has since been limited to friendly appearances for club and country, following his 75 million-pound ($120 million) move to Barcelona from Liverpool last summer.
As fate would have it, Suarez’s ban lifts on Oct. 25, the day Barca faces hated rival Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. During the interview, Suarez, who scored twice on Monday as Uruguay defeated Oman, 3-0, says he believes it was fate. “It’s a huge coincidence but I’m looking forward to the experience,” he says. “You know, I’m the kind of person who believes that things happen for a reason, and out of all 19 teams in the league, it’s precisely against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu that I’ll make my comeback. There must be a reason.”