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English Premiership

Suarez not to appeal 10-match ban

SUAREZ-BITELONDON, England, April 26 – Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has not lodged an appeal against a 10-match ban for biting an opponent, England’s Football Association (FA) governing body said on Friday.

Uruguay striker Suarez, 26, was suspended on Wednesday after he was shown to have bitten Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic on the arm last weekend.

The Anfield club had said they were shocked at the severity of the ban, which rules him out for the rest of the season and into the next, and had until 1100 GMT on Friday to lodge an appeal.

But the FA said on its website “Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has not appealed the suspension issued to him by an Independent Regulatory Commission this week.

“The suspension begins with immediate effect and applies to Liverpool FC’s next ten domestic first-team fixtures.”

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had expressed dismay at the length of the ban and on Thursday slammed the FA for indicating ahead of the hearing that the suspension would top the statutory three matches, the organisation regarding that as “insufficient” on this occasion.

Rodgers said: “If you are an independent panel and yet the day beforehand the FA come out and say he (Suarez) will serve more than three games it is not independent because they are already putting pressure on the sanction.

“There is a prejudice there straightaway. Everyone has their opinion — which is normal.”

Suarez — currently the Premier League second top scorer with 23 goals, one behind Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie — will miss the rest of this season and the first six games of next season.

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He is reportedly considering whether to quit English football in protest at the severity of the punishment.

Liverpool have pointed out that previous instances of violent conduct were dealt with more leniently and they feel the FA has been inconsistent amid claims from Anfield that Suarez has paid the price for his controversial personality.

Rodgers referred to the 2006 cases of Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, who escaped with just a booking for biting West Ham’s Javier Mascherano, and Chester’s Sean Hessey, who was banned for five matches for a bite on Stockport’s Liam Dickinson.

“There have been two incidents of this type of scenario. One player received no ban and continued to be chosen by the FA as part of the England squad,” Rodgers noted.

Suarez incurred a seven-game ban for biting PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax and also an eight-match suspension last season for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

“It is the severity of the ban that has hurt most,” Rodgers said on Thursday.

“I can’t help but look at it and look at the sanction which has been put on Luis and I honestly feel the punishment has been against the man rather than the incident.”

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