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Liverpool coach Rodgers backs Suarez after diving row

Published on Oct 9, 2012 6:03 AM
Liverpool's Luis Suarez (right) is challenged by Stoke City's Dean Whitehead during their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield in Liverpool, northern England, on Oct 7, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LIVERPOOL (AFP) - Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers on Monday blasted what he termed the "vilification" of Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez, branded a diver by Stoke boss Tony Pulis after their draw at Anfield.

Rodgers feels Suarez is suffering from a reputation which goes before him, with the Liverpool boss fearing he will not get a penalty even if he is fouled - and Rodgers has already voiced concerns to referees' chief Mike Riley.

Pulis called for three-match bans for players who dive - making reference to one theatrical fall by Suarez.

But Rodgers said he suspected double standards as he noted Stoke defender Robert Huth escaped punishment despite appearing to stamp on Suarez after the Football Association confirmed the incident was seen by officials at the time so no further action can be taken.

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