Suarez apologizes if racial slur caused offense

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LONDON (AP) -- Liverpool's Luis Suarez has issued a partial apology for the first time for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

The Uruguayan forward was banned for eight matches and fined 40,000 pounds ($62,000) for calling Evra "Negro" or "Negros" seven times in October during a 1-1 tie at Anfield.

Suarez said on Tuesday he would reluctantly accept the punishment while stressing he had done nothing wrong.

In a new statement on Wednesday, Suarez says he "admitted to the commission that I said a word in Spanish once, and only once, and I told the panel members that I will not use it again on a football pitch in England."

He added: "I never, ever used this word in a derogatory way, and if it offends anyone then I want to apologize for that."