• Liverpool manager speaks out in defence of the forward
• 'He was actually the victim of a stamping incident'
Brendan Rodgers has condemned the "vilification" of Luis Suárez after the Liverpool striker attracted fresh criticism for diving against Stoke City on Sunday. Suárez was both sinned against and sinner in the goalless draw at Anfield, where he was stamped on by the Stoke defender Robert Huth, on the receiving end of several fouls and attempted to win a second-half penalty with an embarrassing dive over Marc Wilson's foot.
Tony Pulis, the Stoke manager, called for the Football Association to punish the striker retrospectively for his theatrics, although there is no such measure for incidents that would warrant only a yellow card. Huth also escaped censure on Monday when the FA confirmed one of the match officials had seen the defender stand on Suárez but deemed it accidental.
The decision on Huth, plus the media focus on Suárez's dive, prompted a furious response from the Liverpool manager. Rodgers said: "As manager of this football club I find it incredible that in nearly all the coverage about Luis Suárez this weekend, very little focus has been placed on the fact that he was actually the victim of a stamping incident within the first five minutes of the game.
"At this moment there seems to be one set of rules for Luis and another set for everyone else. Diving and simulation is obviously a wider issue in football and one that we all agree has to be eradicated from our game but there were other incidents this weekend that didn't seem to generate the same coverage."
Liverpool's manager, and several players, had placed Suárez's treatment by match officials into the spotlight before the Stoke game, with Rodgers insisting the Uruguay international's reputation for going to ground easily was unjustified and contacting Mike Riley, the referees' chief, to register his concerns.
Rodgers added: "No one should be distracted by the real issue here, both at Anfield and at another game played on Sunday, when Luis and another player were hurt in off-the-ball incidents that went unpunished but were caught on TV cameras.
"I believe some people need to develop a sense of perspective and I also believe in this moment the vilification of Luis is both wrong and unfair. I will continue to protect the values, spirit and people of this great club and game while searching for a consistent level of results in order to make progress on the field."