The FA has decided to give Liverpool striker Luis Suarez a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic during Sunday's match. The incident wasn't seen by the referee at the time, but it was seen by everyone with a television, newspaper or Internet connection so Suarez was forced to swiftly apologize. Before The FA could act, Liverpool fined him £200,000, which was donated to the Hillsborough Family Support Group in an uncomfortable example of roping in a noble cause for PR gain. When The FA did charge Suarez, he accepted it, but said that the standard three-match ban would do him just fine.
That brings us to The FA's statement:
A three-person Independent Regulatory Commission today upheld The FA’s claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three. The suspension begins with immediate effect.
In 2010, Suarez was given a seven-match ban the Dutch Football Federation for biting an opponent. He was initially fined and banned two matches by Ajax (something Liverpool did not do this time). Liverpool saved him from serving that out in full by buying him the following January, though.
So when you compare it to that and consider it's the second time he's bitten someone during a match, the length makes a bit of sense. But when you compare it to his eight-match for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra last season or just about anything else, it makes less sense because these things are unfortunately never consistent. And yet, Liverpool and Suarez are still "shocked and disappointed" by the decision.
FC managing director Ian Ayre said: "Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today's Independent Regulatory Commission decision.
"We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment."
And so it continues.
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