x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Luis Suarez's ban length aimed at acting as a deterrent

Panel who decided on ban length did not take past incidents involving the Liverpool forward into account in decision making.

Luis Suarez has confirmed he will not appeal his 10-game ban.
Luis Suarez has confirmed he will not appeal his 10-game ban.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for 10 matches for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic to act as a warning to prevent further such "deplorable behaviour", an Football Association Regulatory Commission ruled.

The Uruguay international was handed a lengthy suspension for the incident, missed by referee Kevin Friend but subsequently reviewed using television evidence, in last weekend's 2-2 draw at Anfield.

Suarez yesterday decided not to appeal against the sanction, seven matches more than the statutory ban for violent conduct, 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," said the report.

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

The panel also stated that Suarez had failed to "fully appreciate the gravity and seriousness of this truly exceptional incident.

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

Suarez had previous history of biting an opponent, PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal, for which he served a seven-match ban immediately before he left Ajax to join Liverpool in January 2011.

In a separate matter, he was also banned for eight matches last season after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

However, the commission paid no heed to either of those in deliberating his case.

"We did not take into consideration any previous disciplinary records of Mr Suarez and considered the offence in isolation," said the report.

Suarez had said in a statement released yesterday: "I am truly very sorry about the incident with Branislav Ivanovic. I hope that all the people who I have offended at Anfield last Sunday will grant me forgiveness.

"I know that all the things that are happening to me in England will help me improve my conduct on the field. Right now I just want to focus on becoming a better footballer on and off the field.

"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 hurt, I acknowledge that my actions were not acceptable on the football pitch so I do not want to give the wrong impression to people by making an appeal."

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