By Arun Nair – (@Nair_39)
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been given a 10 match ban by the Football Association for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Anfield.
The club, who have until Friday at 12:00 BST to appeal, said in a statement on the club’s official website that both they and the player were “shocked and disappointed” at the length of the suspension.
The Uruguayan had accepted the FA charge of violent conduct but claimed his ban should not be greater than three games, the standard punishment for violent conduct.
An FA statement read:
“A three-person independent regulatory commission today upheld the FA’s claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three. The suspension begins with immediate effect.
“The Liverpool forward had accepted a charge of violent conduct but had denied the FA’s claim that the standard three-match sanction was insufficient for the offence.
“The incident was not seen by the match officials and has therefore been retrospectively reviewed.
“Suarez has until midday on Friday 26 April to appeal [against] the additional suspension, above the standard three matches.”
The ban would cover the final four games of this season, including the Merseyside Derby against Everton at Anfield on May 5th, as well as the first six domestic fixtures of the 2013-14 campaign.
Reds managing director Ian Ayre said: “Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today’s independent regulatory commission decision.
“We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment.”
NOTE: My article on Suarez, the FA’s verdict and the wider issues surrounding the Uruguayan will follow the appeal/non-appeal of his ban. Watch this space!