Suarez cheat barb prompts ESPN apology

BROADCASTER ESPN has apologised after commentator Jon Champion branded Liverpool striker Luis Suarez a cheat.

Suarez controlled the ball with his hand while scoring the second goal in Sunday’s 2-1 FA Cup win over Mansfield, prompting Champion to describe it as “the work of a cheat”.

But after receiving complaints the television channel yesterday announced it had reprimanded the veteran commentator.

“ESPN’s editorial policy is for commentators to be unbiased and honest, to call things as they see them. Inevitably this can involve treading a fine line on occasion, especially in the heat of the moment,” a spokesman said.

“Comments during the Mansfield v Liverpool match caused offence where none was intended and we have spoken to our commentator about this incident.”

Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers has supported Suarez, saying that it was the responsibility of the officials to rule if the goal stood.