Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has been handed a mammoth ten match ban by The Football Association his bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. A three-man independent regulatory commission opted to enlarge the usual three match ban that the FA handed Suarez for violent conduct, and added seven matches to his ban, possible leaving Suarez sidelined until October. Although Liverpool and Suarez accepted the three-match ban given to Suarez, as referee Kevin Friend did not see the incident, Liverpool said they were “shocked and disappointed” at the severity of the punishment now given.
Suarez was caught on camera biting the arm of Branislav Ivanovic during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Chelsea on Sunday. The twenty-six-year-old was banned a total of seven matches for biting an opponent when playing for Ajax, and although claiming a three-match ban was sufficient this time, has been handed a mammoth ten-match ban. The Uruguayan will miss the remaining four matches of the season and Liverpool’s first six matches of the 2013/2014 season, and although having until noon on Friday to respond, is potentially ruled out until October.
“Luis Suarez has been suspended for a total of ten matches after an Independent Regulatory Commission today ruled on a charge of violent conduct,” a statement on the FA’s official website read.
“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.”
The ban will severely damage Liverpool’s chances of European qualification, as Suarez has already scored thirty goals for the Reds this season in all competitions, more than a third of the clubs total goals. Liverpool and Suarez were quick to apologize to Ivanovic, but the twenty-six-year-old has been handed the ban anyways. Liverpool will be given the reason for the ban Thursday.