English Premiership

Suarez being victimised - coach

2013-04-25 16:42
Luis Suarez (AFP)
London - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers criticised the English Football Association on Thursday for punishing the man rather than the incident after striker Luis Suarez was given a 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

The Uruguayan international accepted a charge of violent conduct following the incident in the 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield on Sunday.

After Suarez disputed the FA's view that it merited more than a three-game ban, an Independent Regulatory Commission met on Wednesday and added seven matches to the usual suspension for violent conduct.

VIDEO: Luis Suarez bites Branislav Ivanovic

Rodgers compared the punishment meted out to Suarez to two other biting incidents, including one involving England striker Jermain Defoe.

"It is the severity of the ban that has hurt most," Rodgers told reporters.

"That is something we are bitterly disappointed with - not so much the ban because everyone has seen it and Luis was very open and honest to know it was wrong.

"You can only compare it with similar incidents we've had. There have been two similar incidents both in 2006. One player (Defoe) received no ban and continued to be picked by the FA for the England team. The other player received a five-game ban. So when Luis receives a 10-game ban its hard to understand.

"I honestly believe the punishment has been made against the man and not the incident.

"I felt it could have been 12 games but with a six-game ban and six games suspended, looking at his future behaviour. I don't think anyone would have disagreed with that."

Liverpool have until Friday to appeal against the decision after receiving the written reasons from the disciplinary panel.

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