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FA confirms Luis Suarez charge

Luis Suarez is facing a ban of more than three games after the Football Association charged him with violent conduct.

Last Updated: 22/04/13 at 19:55 Post Comment

Suarez: Charged with violent conduct

Suarez: Charged with violent conduct

The Football Association has charged Liverpool forward Luis Suarez with violent conduct for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

The incident occurred in the 74th minute of Sunday's 2-2 draw at Anfield, in which Suarez went on to score a 96th-minute equaliser.

Suarez could face an extended ban after the FA claimed the standard three-match ban for violent conduct was "clearly insufficient".

An FA statement read: "The FA has charged Liverpool forward Luis Suarez with violent conduct.

"The charge follows an incident with Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in yesterday's fixture at Anfield [21 April 2013].

"The incident was not seen by the match officials and has therefore been retrospectively reviewed.

"It is alleged that the conduct of Suarez constitutes violent conduct and it is the FA's contention that the standard punishment of three matches that would otherwise apply is clearly insufficient in these circumstances.

"Suarez has until 6pm on Tuesday 23 April to respond to the charge, thereafter an Independent Regulatory Commission will be convened this Wednesday, 24 April."

Liverpool have pledged not to sell the Uruguay international after his latest transgression, despite many commentators suggesting they should offload a player who had brought more than his fair share of controversy.

The 26-year-old has been fined - with the player requesting the money goes to the Hillsborough Family Support Group - but that will be the extent of the club's discipline.

Suarez, however, has been told that there cannot be any repeat offences and that he must change his behaviour on the pitch.

Asked whether the incident would have any effect on the player's future managing director Ian Ayre, who has liaised with owners Fenway Sports Group over the last 24 hours, told liverpoolfc.com: ''No, not at all.

"It affects his future in the sense that we have to work with him on his discipline - but Luis is a very important player to the club.

"He signed a new four-year contract last summer and we'd all love to see him here throughout that contract.

"He's a fantastic player, top scorer and everything we'd want in a striker, so there's no change there.

"This is more about getting him back on the right track and it's largely down to Brendan (Rodgers) now to work with him on that side of his character, Brendan will be working with him further on his discipline.''

The fact remains a number of Europe's top clubs would leap at the chance to sign Suarez, whose performances in the first half of the season kept the team afloat.

Ever since he signed a new contract last summer Liverpool have insisted they have no intention of selling their prize asset and despite the unsavoury nature of this latest incident their stance has not changed.

Suarez will be offered anger management counselling by the Professional Footballers' Association but it seems more likely Liverpool would be inclined to chose to utilise the services of their own in-house sports psychologist Dr Steve Peters.

He has been working one day a week at the club's training Melwood training ground for most of the season, having enjoyed success most notably with Great Britain's Olympic gold medal-winning cyclists like Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton.

Former Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy has also credited Peters with helping him change his behaviour for the better.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said the players' union would offer the striker help to deal with his temper.

Taylor told Press Association Sport: "There is no doubting his football

ability, that's why it is so disappointing and embarrassing when he lets himself down.

"We have to work hard on anger management now. We have trained counsellors in this field and we will be offering their services to Liverpool and the player to try to improve matters.''

Suarez's boot sponsors adidas will also speak to their client.

"Adidas takes this type of incident very seriously and does not condone Luis

Suarez's behaviour,'' said a statement.

"We will be reminding him of the standards we expect from our players.''

In a phone call last night Suarez apologised to Ivanovic and Merseyside Police have confirmed no action will be taken against him after officers from the Surrey force, on behalf of their north-west colleagues, spoke to the Chelsea defender.

The Serbia international did not report any physical injury and told police he

did not want to pursue the matter.

"This is now a matter for the Football Association,'' said a Merseyside Police

statement.

Controversy has dogged Suarez throughout his career, not just at Liverpool where he arrived in January 2011 from Ajax having served a seven-match ban for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal.

He was sent off in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final against Ghana for a deliberate handball on the goalline and was spotted celebrating as Asamoah Gyan missed from the spot.

Last year he was banned for eight games after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, a saga which led to Liverpool being criticised for their handling of the matter.

Liverpool will discuss the matter with Suarez on Tuesday, who like the rest of the squad was on a scheduled day off on Monday, before sending their response to the FA.

However, in light of them already fining the player the club will not contest the charge but it has not yet been decided what representation they will have at

Wednesday's hearing.


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