The governing body of English football issued a 10-match ban for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez after he bit an opposing player in the arm during a recent match.
- (Photo: Reuters/Phil Noble)
The English Football Associated stated that the Uruguayan international had admitted to biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, but that he felt any ban over the automatic 3-game ban for violent behavior would be too harsh.
"Luis Suárez has accepted a charge of violent conduct, following an incident with Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in Sunday's fixture at Anfield. However, Suárez has denied the FA's claim that the standard punishment of three matches is clearly insufficient for this offence. The incident was not seen by the match officials and has therefore been retrospectively reviewed," the FA said in a statement.
Liverpool was quick to issue a statement insisting that the punishment was excessive before stating that they would wait until the reasons of the ban were published before issuing further comment.
Ian Ayre, Liverpool's managing director, revealed that both Suarez and the club were "shocked and disappointed'' at the decision to move forward with the 10-game ban.
"We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment,'' Ayre said in a Liverpool statement.
The biting incident took place on Sunday during Liverpool's match with Chelsea and came as the two players were jostling for position as the ball made it into the vicinity of the players. A video replay showed that Suarez took hold of Ivanovic's arm and proceeded to bite his bicep. The action could have seen Suarez sent off if not for the fact that the referee did not see the incident.
This is not the first time Suarez has been banned by a professional football league for biting an opposing player.
Suarez was received a 7-game ban in 2010 while he was a member of the Dutch team Ajax and in December 2011 was banned for eight matches for hurling racial insults towards Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a match.