By Arun Nair – (@Nair_39)
The FA have revealed the Independent Regulatory Commission’s reasoning behind Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’ 10-match ban.
The 21 page report states that high-profile incidents acknowledged in recent days, such as Jermain Defoe’s bite on Javier Mascherano and Ben Thatcher’s act of serious foul play were not taken into consideration.
Instead, the regulatory panel’s ruling appears to have been guided by the incident in March when Brighton’s Ashley Barnes was given a six-match ban for tripping a referee.
The report said: “We concluded that this offence is significantly more serious than that of Ashley Barnes’ and, accordingly, the punishment should be significantly higher.”
It added: “The participants in a game of football do not expect to be bitten by another participant when they come to play football.
“In this incident, Mr Ivanovic would not, and should not, have been expected to be subject to such a shocking and reprehensible action.”
Intriguingly, it seems the initial response of Suarez and Liverpool, in which they disputed the FA’s claim that a standard three-match ban was clearly insufficient, led the FA to belief the player was taking the issue too lightly.
The report noted that: “It seemed to us that Mr Suarez had not fully appreciated the gravity and seriousness of this truly exceptional incident.”
The full report can be found here: http://www.thefa.com/News/governance/2013/apr/~/media/164A568A93784FE391CC1FDAB4D7313F.ashx
NOTE: I plan to post my main article on Suarez tomorrow – Watch this space!