By Arun Nair – (@Nair_39)
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez will serve his 10-match ban after opting not to appeal the suspension given by the FA’s Independent Regulatory Commission.
The Reds received the written reasons for the length of the Uruguayan’s punishment on Thursday evening and had until noon on Friday to contest the independent panel’s ruling.
The Uruguay international will miss the remaining four games of this season and the next six domestic games of next term, meaning he would have to wait until late September to return.
The Football Association said in a statement: “Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has not appealed the suspension issued to him by an independent regulatory commission this week.
“A three-person independent regulatory commission upheld the FA’s claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will now serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three.
Suarez released the following statement following his decision not to appeal:
“I hope all the people I have offended will grant me forgiveness and I repeat my personal apology to Branislav.
“I know all the things happening to me in England will help me improve my conduct on the field.
“I decided to accept the ban because, whilst 10 games is clearly greater than bans given in past cases where players have actually been seriously injured, I acknowledge that my actions were not acceptable. I do not want to give the wrong impression to people by making an appeal.”
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said: “The charges against Luis were his to consider and we have to respect his decision to not appeal the 10-game ban.
“We are all disappointed at the severity of the punishment and in particular the differing standards that have been applied across various previous incidents.
“Luis is an important member of our team and nothing has changed in that regard.
“We are committed to helping him improve his conduct and he will be given our full support. We look forward to him returning to the team next season when he is available for selection.”
Brendan Rodgers added: “We can’t hide our disappointment at the outcome of this situation, but we have to move on and support Luis in his decision.
“Luis has made a huge contribution to the squad this season and we respect his decision to accept the ban.
“He will be missed for the remainder of this season and the early part of next, but we will have the opportunity to welcome a better person and player when he returns.”
NOTE: I plan to post my main Suarez article tomorrow – Watch this space!