Sir Alex Ferguson has said an "aggrieved" Patrice Evra has no intention of dropping his complaint of racist abuse against Luis Suárez but stressed the controversy does not represent a worsening of relations between Manchester United and Liverpool.
Liverpool have given their firm backing to Suárez, who denies racially abusing Evra during the 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday, and believe the France international should be banned if the allegations prove unfounded. The Football Association has yet to contact United or Evra as part of an inquiry but will do so when Ferguson's team return from Tuesday's Champions League game against Otelul Galati in Romania.
Ferguson, who accompanied Evra to the referees' room at Anfield when the full-back lodged the complaint to Andre Marriner, admitted the issue was difficult for both clubs but revealed the defender is determined to pursue the allegation with the FA, a stance that would require Suárez to participate in the inquiry too.
"We spoke to Patrice today and he's adamant that he wants to follow it on," said the United manager. "It's not an easy one because everyone knows that Manchester United and Liverpool have great responsibilities in terms of what happens on the field. I thought Saturday's game was a terrific game and both sets of fans were good; there was none of the silly chanting we've heard in previous years and both sets of supporters deserve praise for that.
"It's not something that we want to level at Liverpool, and it's not against Liverpool. Obviously Patrice feels very aggrieved at what was said to him and it rests in the hands of the FA now."
The FA has refused to comment because of the sensitivity of the subject and the clubs involved. It is understood that there is unlikely to be any statement from the governing body until next week. Sky Sports, meanwhile, has not come across any footage that sheds light on the matter, despite Evra saying "we can see thanks to television what he [Suárez] said".
The United and Galati captains will wear a "Unite Against Racism" armband as part of Uefa's support for Europe's biggest anti-discrimination campaign. Ferguson believes British football has successfully challenged racism in football since he moved to Old Trafford in 1986 and claimed that is why Evra was stunned by Suárez's alleged abuse on Saturday.
He said: "I'm not aware of any incidents in terms of British football. We concentrate on our own game and what happens in other countries I'm not really sure. There are very few examples of it in England since I came down. We've had some fantastic players at Manchester United who are black, so it's not an issue for the game itself. There's an odd example and maybe this is what surprised Patrice Evra. He feels he was slighted on Saturday and we don't want to see it, simple as that."
Gordon Taylor, the Professional Footballers' Association chief executive, has offered to act as a mediator. "It's something we've done in the past and it's something I hope we'll be asked to do in the future," he said. "We need to try to cool down and reflect on what happened and to contact the FA and see what form their inquiry will take. It's good to get this put behind us as quickly as possible instead of letting these things fester and become blown up again.
"It's very disappointing to have two of our players from different countries at odds over a very serious issue. Only by having a full inquiry on such matters can we get to the bottom of it and try to make sure that such problems don't arise again in the future."