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ESPN rap commentator for calling Suarez a cheat
Luis Suarez nets the winner against Mansfield. Pic: AP Photo

ESPN football commentator John Champion has been rapped after calling Liverpool striker Luis Suarez a cheat during the Reds' 2-1 FA Cup win over Mansfield Town on Sunday.

The controversial Uruguay star scored Liverpool's second goal on the back of a handball, sparking indignation from Champion.

"Well that, I'm afraid, is the work of a cheat. The arm goes towards the ball. Well, he can claim it was an accident but accidents seem to happen where he's concerned," Champion said.

That brought an angry reaction from Liverpool fans on Twitter and Champion's bosses issued a statement reprimanding their man.

"We take our responsibility to deliver the highest standards of coverage to our viewers," it read. "ESPN's editorial policy is for commentators to be unbiased and honest, to call things as they see them. Inevitably this can involve treading a fine line on occasion, especially in the heat of the moment.

"Comments during the Mansfield v Liverpool match caused offence where none was intended and we have spoken to our commentator about this incident."

Champion moved on from the controversy to commentate on Everton's 5-1 cup win at minnows Cheltenham on Monday.