In this photo taken Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, Manchester United's Patrice Evra argues with Liverpool's Luis Suarez, left, during their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield, Liverpool, England. The English Football Association has launched an investigation into allegations from Manchester United's Patrice Evra that he was racially abused by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez during Saturday's Premier League match. (AP Photo/Tim Hales)AP2011
Liverpool striker Luis Suárez issued an apology for his racial slur on Patrice Evra but still refused to say sorry to the Manchester United defender.
Suárez will miss eight English Premier League (EPL) games after being found guilty of racially abusing the Frenchman at Anfield in October, addressing Evra seven times as "negro" in a heated argument and at one point telling him, "I don't speak to [blacks]."
I never, ever used this word in a derogatory way and if it offends anyone then I want to apologize for that.
- Luis Suárez, Liverpool striker
Both Suárez and Liverpool were strongly criticized for their conduct before and after his ban was issued by a three-man Football Association (FA) commission last month, along with a £40,000 ($62,198) fine.
Suárez initially said he would carry out the suspension "with the resignation of someone who hasn't done anything wrong," claiming that "negro" -- translated into Spanish as "black" -- was often used as a standard form of address in Uruguay and would never cause offense.
But the Uruguayan finally apologized Wednesday night for his conduct, although he still disputed using the word numerous times.
"I admitted to the commission I used a word in Spanish once, and only once, and told the panel members I will not use it again on a [soccer field] in England," Suárez said. "I never, ever used this word in a derogatory way and if it offends anyone then I want to apologize for that."
The apology fell short for at least one leading anti-racism organization leader, Herman Ouseley, the head of the FA-backed Kick It Out campaign and the former chief of Britain's Commission for Racial Equality.
"Suarez's attempt at a belated apology is nothing short of lamentable," Ouseley wrote in The Guardian.
"I cannot believe that a club of Liverpool's stature, and with how it has previously led on matters of social injustice and inequality, can allow its integrity and credibility to be debased by such crass and ill-considered responses."
Suárez's evidence to the FA commission was described as "unreliable" and "inconsistent" by the panel.
Liverpool reacted angrily to the player's ban but decided not to launch an appeal.