Liverpool's players say they are ''shocked and angered'' that teammate Luis Suarez has been suspended for eight matches for racial insults toward Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

An English Football Association panel on Tuesday accepted Evra's allegation that Suarez had directed a racial insult at him during United's Premier League match at Liverpool on Oct. 15.

But Liverpool's players say in a joint statement that ''we totally support Luis and we want the world to know that. We know he is not racist.''

The players say they have ''have lived, trained and played with Luis for almost 12 months and we don't recognize the way he has been portrayed.''

The statement emphasizes the players ''will continue to support Luis through this difficult period.''