Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken publicly about the Football Association's recent decision to ban Liverpool striker Luis Suarez for the first time, by claiming the verdict was correct and the Anfield club should move on.
Whilst eager to temper the evidently growing animosity between Manchester United and their perennial rivals Liverpool, Ferguson suggests the Red Devils were "obviously right" to support Patrice Evra in light of the £40,000 fine and eight match ban handed out to the aforementioned Anfield hero.
Until now Manchester United have maintained a dignified silence in light of Liverpool's perhaps ill-advised public displays of unwavering support for Suarez. In contrast, Liverpool players wore t-shirts in support of the Uruguayan prior to their match at the DW, a decision that has since been widely derided, while their emotive statement in the aftermath of the FA's decision, queried the credibility of Manchester United's Evra.
Despite the escalating ill-feeling, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claims the FA were right to punish the Liverpool striker for his alleged abuse of the defender and it is now time to move on.
"Our support of Patrice was obviously right from the word 'go', and that's still the same," The Manchester United manager told The Times when referring to the decision to ban and fine Liverpool's Suarez. "The matter is over and I think we're satisfied that they've found the right decision.
"It's not about Manchester United and Liverpool at all - it's nothing to do with that. This is an individual situation where one person was racially abused. It's never needed anything to light the powder keg, it's always there.
"It doesn't take a lot to remind everyone that this is the biggest derby game (Manchester United against Liverpool) in the country, up until present day, anyway. Things may change the more successful Manchester City become."
The lawyer of Suarez has already confirmed their intention to appeal the ban, while Liverpool are still awaiting the details of the verdict which was made by an independent regulatory commission on Tuesday night. The previously mentioned Manchester United manager claims Liverpool would be wrong to appeal the punishment given recent history.
Evra was handed a four-match ban in the aftermath of an altercation with a Chelsea groundsman at Stamford Bridge in April 2008, and the Manchester United manager intimates Liverpool would do well to see the severity of the allegations against Suarez and the relative punishment dealt out.
"Patrice Evra got that suspension for the incident down at Chelsea when no one was there, just a groundsman and our fitness coach," The Manchester United manager said. "We were quite astounded at that ourselves.
"To get a four-match ban for that, we thought, was well over the top for a trivial incident. A confrontation with a groundsman gets you a four-match ban. But it happened and there's nothing you can do about it, you know."
Liverpool have 14 days to appeal the verdict which refers to an incident involving Evra and Suarez at Anfield in October when Manchester United drew 1-1 with their rivals.