Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has backed under fire striker Luis Suarez over the fallout of his hand ball in the Reds FA Cup victory over Mansfield on Sunday.
Suarez scored Liverpool’s second goal after the ball had hit his hand in the 2-1 win which sent his side into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The goal has lead to people suggesting that the Uruguayan striker should have acted in a similar fashion to that of former Anfield hero Robbie Fowler, who showed great sportsmanship during a Premier League clash against Arsenal in 1997.
He famously urged a referee not to give a penalty after he had gone down under a challenge from Arsenal keeper David Seaman at Highbury, insisting he had not been brought down.
However Fowler believes Suarez is being unfairly criticised over this incident and told the clubs official website:
“If he has to tell the referee that he handled, do the defenders have to go and tell the ref every time they foul a striker? It’s laughable, it really is.”
“Seriously, Suarez did nothing wrong, and I’m amazed at the reaction. I honestly don’t even believe he handled deliberately.”
Fowler added: “I think the Mansfield manager and his players summed it up when they said Suarez was just doing his job, and they’d have done exactly the same thing. So would I. It was handball, but instinctive and not deliberate cheating, and you can’t criticise him for that.”
It is a debate that is set to rumble on, but the often scrutinised Suarez hasn’t been short of support in this particular situation.