Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers ‘bitterly disappointed’ with Luis Suárez ban
Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers says he is "bitterly disappointed" with Luis Suárez's 10-game ban for biting Branislav Ivanović
Brendan Rodgers admits he is “bitterly disappointed” with Luis Suárez’s 10-game ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanović.
The FA issued the punishment, which rules Suárez out of the final four games of this season and the first six of the 2013-14 campaign, on Wednesday after a fast-track hearing.
Liverpool have until 1200BST on Friday to appeal the ban, and Rodgers believes Suárez, who admitted a charge of violent conduct after the incident in the 2-2 draw at Anfield, has been harshly punished because of his reputation.
“The punishment is against the man, rather than the incident,” Rodgers told Liverpool’s website. “We have a punishment with no intention of helping [his] rehabilitation.”
He added: “We are shocked and bitterly disappointed. It is the severity of the ban which has hurt most. That is something we are bitterly disappointed with.”
In his defence of Suárez, Rodgers alluded to the FA’s decision not to retrospectively punish Jermain Defoe for biting Javier Maschernao during a game between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham in 2006.
The England international received a yellow card for the incident, and Rodgers claims the FA’s failure to act makes it difficult to understand their stance over Suárez’s bite.
“I can only compare [it] with similar incidents we have had. We have had two incidents of this type of scenario, both in 2006,” Rodgers said.
“The second player received a five-game ban. As you can imagine whenever Luis Suárez receives a 10-match ban it is very very difficult for us to understand and even more so for him.”
And Although Rodgers concedes that Suárez’s behaviour was unacceptable in Liverpool’s eyes, the Reds boss insisted the forward, who has been fined two weeks’ wages, has “not let him down”.
“If I had more players of a similar mentality we would be in a different position. He has not let me down one bit.
“The standard set by the club – he fell way below that at the weekend. But it does not mean he should be thrown to the garbage, which is what has happened over the last couple of days.”
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.