Liverpool and Luis Suarez are said to be ‘disappointed and shocked’ after learning that the Uruguayan will mis the rest of the season, and the first six games of the next, after receiving a 10-game ban for biting the Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Striker Luis Suarez could have played his last game for Liverpool after receiving a 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic in the weekends 2-2 draw at Anfield. The punishment doled out by a three person independent regulatory commission, who met via video link, is more excessive than the eight game ban he received for racially abusing Patrice Evra last season.
Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre said, “The club and player are both shocked and disappointed at the severity of today’s decision.” Suarez was reported in The Sun as saying, “I am not a violent player. What happened with Ivanovic was instinctive and I am very sorry.”
It’s easy to gain the impression that both Suarez and Liverpool need a reality check, but the Football Association (FA) doesn’t help themselves with their inconsistency. Last season, they created controversy when the Chelsea captain, John Terry, was handed a four-match ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand whilst Suarez received an eight-match ban for a similar offence. To make matters worse, back in 2006 Tottenham forward Jermaine Defoe received just a booking when he was seen biting Javier Mascherano. The FA chose not to include any further sanctions stating that the referee had dealt with the matter.
But several of Liverpool’s old guard doesn’t agree with either the club or their star striker. Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Souness both told Sky Sports that they believed he deserved his ban and Mark Lawrenson called him a ‘World class player,” but a, “World class idiot.” An online poll by The Sun showed that 57% of voters believed the Uruguayan deserved his 10-game ban. Incredibly, Suarez is still waiting to see if he will also receive a national ban as FIFA deliberate on a possible sanction, after Suarez allegedly punched Chilean defender Gonzalo Jara in last months World Cup qualifier whilst on duty with Uruguay.
Suarez is fortunate that he is a £30-40 million asset, once again proving that money rules supreme. Had the Uruguayan been an employee of any other company he would have been instantly dismissed and yet Liverpool didn’t even ban him and may still appeal the decision, although any failed appeal could result in the 10-game ban being extended.
The striker, who was lying second in the Premier League top scorer charts just one behind Robin Van Persie, has single handedly lead Liverpool through an ineffective season. He is their only world-class player and, if he could keep his teeth in his mouth, would walk into any team in the world. It is for this reason alone that the cynics are saying Suarez may cry wolf to get himself a transfer out of a country where he will be ridiculed anywhere he travels. It’s amazing when you consider that Suarez joined Liverpool for £24 million whilst serving a seven-match ban for a biting an opponent whilst playing for his former club Ajax.
The 10-match ban will see him miss the rest of the season and the first six matches of the 2013/14 season, but it only ranks as the sixth worst ban in Premiership history.
Here are the best of the rest.
1. Eric Cantona – nine months
The Manchester United star received a nine-month ban when he launched a kung-fu style kick into the body of Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons, after being subjected to a verbal volley from the crowd. Yes, Ooh Aah Cantona launched his drop kick into the crowd!
2. Mark Bosnich – nine months
The former Manchester Utd keeper was given a nine-month ban after being caught practicing his…erm…lines whilst playing for Chelsea. Cocaine is definitely on the banned substance list methinks.
3. Rio Ferdinand – eight months
Another drugs offence and another player with ties to Manchester United. This time Rio missed a drugs test in 2003 (I wonder why?) and the FA didn’t take his ommission too lightly.
4. Joey Barton – 12 games
The volatile Barton was given a 12-match suspension after clashing with both Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany after being sent off in a match against Man City.
5. Paulo Di Canio – 11 games
The Sunderland Manager, and friend of Chairman Kim, was handed his suspension when playing for Sheffield Wednesday after pushing referee Paul Alcock to the ground.