FA explain Suarez suspension

The Football Association have revealed the official reasons for Luis Suarez's 10-game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic.

Last Updated: 27/04/13 at 05:36 Post Comment   

Luis Suarez: Did not appreciate the gravity of the incident, according to FA

Luis Suarez: Did not appreciate the gravity of the incident, according to FA

The 21-page report explicitly states that many of the high-profile incidents mentioned in recent days, such as Ben Thatcher's act of serious foul play in 2006, were not taken into consideration.

It also suggests that challenges such as Callum McManaman's for Wigan on Newcastle's Massadio Haidara cannot be compared as the act of competing for a ball is part of the game.

The report states: "We were mindful that, in a game of football, the coming together of opposing players and physical bodily contacts in challenging for the ball is part of the game - albeit some of the challenges, regrettably, could lead to more serious injuries."

As a result, the regulatory commission appears to have been guided instead by the incident in March when Brighton's Ashley Barnes was given a six-match ban for tripping the 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 indicated a three-match ban would be sufficient, 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."

A follow-up statement from Suarez, released on his Facebook page, pointed to a perceived inconsistency between his punishment and those in "past cases where players have actually been seriously injured".

But the Uruguay international struck a contrite tone overall, saying: "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."

Suarez, who was banned for eight games last season for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, will not be seen again in the Premier League until the end of September.

His statement went on: "I really want to learn from what has happened in the last two-and-a-half years. Many things have been said and written about me, I just tried to do my best on the field."

Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre said: "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 said: "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, but we will have the opportunity to welcome a better person and player when he returns."

Click here to read the the full document containing the decision and reasons of the FA regulatory commission.

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