Brendan Rodgers: Luis Suárez will return ‘a better person’ after ban

Brendan Rodgers says Luis Suárez will be a "better person" when he returns after the Liverpool striker accepts his 10-game ban

luis suarez bite
Luis Suárez bit Branislav Ivanović in Sunday's 2-2 draw at Anfield Photo: Sky Sports

Brendan Rodgers believes Luis Suárez will return from suspension “a better person” after the Liverpool striker accepted his 10-game ban for biting Branislav Ivanović.

Suárez opted not to appeal the lengthy ban handed to him by the FA earlier this week and the forward will now be out of action until the end of September at the earliest.

“We can’t hide our disappointment at the outcome of this situation, but we have to move on and support Luis in his decision,” said Rodgers.

“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.”

Suárez himself released a statement on his personal website explaining his reasons for not appealing the ban and again expressing his regret at the incident, which occurred during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea last Sunday.

“I am truly sorry about the incident,” he said. “I hope all the people I have offended will grant me forgiveness and I again repeat my personal apology to Branislav.

“I know the things that are happening to me in England will help me to improve my conduct on the field. Right now, I just want to focus on becoming a better footballer on and off the field.

“I would like to explain to everybody that I decided to accept the ban because, while 10 games is clearly greater than those bans given in past cases where people have been seriously injured, I acknowledge my actions were not acceptable on the football pitch so I do not want to give the wrong impression by making an appeal.

“I really want to learn from what has happened in the last two-and-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.”

Luis Suárez’s past controversies

February 2007: Sent off on his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia after being shown a second yellow card for dissent.

November 2007: Joins Ajax from Uruguayan side Nacional but is later suspended after a half-time dressing-room altercation with team-mate Albert Luque.

July 2010: Prevents Ghana’s Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and is subsequently sent off in 2010 World Cup quarter-finals. Uruguay go on to win on penalties.

November 2010: Receives a seven-game ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.

December 2011: Banned for eight games and fined £40,000 after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a Premier League match.

February 2012: Refuses to shake Evra’s hand before kick-off in match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford.

April 2013: Banned for 10 games by The FA for biting Branislav Ivanović during Premier League game against Liverpool.

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