Suarez handed long ban as deterrent say FA

Last Updated: Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 09:24

London: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was given an exemplary 10-match ban for his bite on Chelsea`s Branislav Ivanovic in a bid to stamp out such "deplorable behaviour", the Football Association said on Friday.

Suarez shocked football with his savage actions during Sunday`s 2-2 draw at Anfield and, with referee Kevin Friend having missed the incident, the FA were quick to react as their independent disciplinary panel handed out the substantial punishment on Wednesday.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers slammed the FA for giving Suarez more than the standard three-match suspension for violent conduct.

He cited the case of Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, who escaped with a booking after biting West Ham`s Javier Mascherano in 2006, as proof the Uruguay star had been punished for his controversial reputation as much as the actual offence.

But Suarez has decided not to appeal against the sanction having read the reasons of the panel, which have now been made public.

"We believe it is our duty to discourage any players at any level from acting in such a deplorable manner or attempting to copy what they had seen on the television," the FA Regulatory Commission report read.

"The incident of biting an opponent is alien to football and must remain so."

The panel also chided Suarez for not appreciating the gravity of his bite.

"It is completely unacceptable and such truly disgraceful behaviour could also lead to possible health issues," said the report.

"This truly shocking incident had been seen by millions of viewers both domestic and overseas, as well as generating a great deal of interest and debate amongst countless numbers of people.

"Whilst we accepted that Mr Suarez`s reputation had been impacted, these unsavoury pictures would have given a bad image of English football domestically and across the world alike.

"All players in the higher level of the game are seen as role models, have the duty to act professionally and responsibly, and set the highest example of good conduct to the rest of the game - especially to young players.

"In this regard and on this occasion, Mr Suarez`s conduct had fallen far below the standards expected of him.

"We took into consideration Mr Suarez`s apology, his personal statement, supporting letter from Mr Brendan Rodgers and the letter from Ms Zoe Ward (Liverpool`s secretary).

"But when these were read in conjunction with Mr Suarez`s denial of the standard punishment that would otherwise apply for violent conduct is clearly insufficient, it seemed to us that Mr Suarez has not fully appreciated the gravity and seriousness of this truly exceptional incident."

Earlier on Friday, Suarez, who will miss the final four matches of the English Premier League season, starting with Saturday`s match against Newcastle, and the first six of the next campaign, revealed he would accept the ban, saying he hoped to learn from the experience to improve his behaviour.

"I would like to explain to everybody that I decided to accept the ban because whilst 10 games is clearly greater than those bans given in past cases where players have actually been seriously injured, I acknowledge that my actions were not acceptable so I do not want to give the wrong impression to people by making an appeal," he said.

Suarez has a long list of previous misdemeanours even before joining Liverpool from Ajax in January 2011 and it is not the first time he has been in trouble for biting.

In November 2010, he was banned for seven matches and dubbed the `Cannibal of Ajax` after biting PSV Eindhoven`s Otman Bakkal

In December 2011, he was banned for eight matches and fined £40,000 after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Then just a few weeks later he received a one-match ban for making an offensive gesture to Fulham fans and in February 2012 he refused to shake hands with Evra when Liverpool faced United at Old Trafford.

AFP



First Published: Saturday, April 27, 2013 - 09:24

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