Sir Alex Ferguson has backed the Football Association's decision to slap Luis Suarez with an eight-game ban, with the Manchester United boss insistent that his view has nothing to do with the rivalry between his club and Liverpool.

30308 - Ferguson backs Suarez ban

Suarez was handed down his ban after being found guilty of racially abusing United defender Patrice Evra. The Uruguayan is intending to lodge an appeal, but Ferguson feels the punishment fits the crime.

"Our support of Patrice was obvious, right from the word go and that's still the same," Ferguson said. "The matter is over and I think we're satisfied they've found the right decision."

The rivalry between the clubs has been intense down the years and Ferguson moved to quell any potential fireworks by stressing his United's backing of Evra on the issue was nothing to do with the rivalry.

He said: "It's not about Manchester United and Liverpool. It's an individual situation where a person was racially abused.

"It doesn't take a lot to remind everyone this is the biggest derby game in the country, up until the present anyway.

"It's never needed anything to light the powder-keg, it's always there."