Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has chosen not to appeal to the ten match ban given to him by the English FA for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against The Blues in the Premier League. Although the Uruguayan apologized to Ivanovic over the incident, and claimed that a three-match ban would suffice, he has chosen not to appeal to the ban. Suarez, who had until midday on Friday to appeal to the ban, accepted the punishment and issued another apology via Twitter and his official website.
“I am truly very sorry about the incident with Branislav Ivanovic,” a statement on his official website read. “I hope that all the people who I have offended at Anfield last Sunday will grant me forgiveness. I know that all the things that are happening to me in England will help me improve my conduct on the field. Right now I just want to focus on becoming a better footballer on and off the field.
Hello to everyone, I wanted to share this statement with all of you. Thanks for your support twitter.com/luis16suarez/s…
— Luis Suarez (@luis16suarez) April 26, 2013
“I would like to explain to everybody that I decided to accept the ban because whilst 10 games is clearly greater than those bans given in past cases where players have actually been seriously hurt, I acknowledge that my actions were not acceptable on the football pitch so I do not want to give the wrong impression to people by making an appeal. I really want to learn from what has happened in the last two and a half years, many things have been said and written about me, I just tried to do my best on the field. I hope to come back early to play.”
The ban will keep Suarez out of the Liverpool starting lineup for the remaining four games of the season, and the first six games of the 2013/2014 season, keeping him sidelined until October. The twenty-six year old has already scored twenty-three goals for Liverpool in the Premier League so far this season, and hus ben comes as a huge blow to Liverpool’s European hopes.
“We can’t hide our disappointment at the outcome of this situation, but we have to move on and support Luis in his decision,” Liverpool manager Branden Rodgers said.
“Luis has made a huge contribution to the squad this season and we respect his decision to accept the ban.
“He will be missed for the remainder of this season and the early part of next, but we will have the opportunity to welcome a better person and player when he returns.”