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Luis Suarez banned for 10 games for Ivanovic bite

Liverpool say they are “shocked and disappointed” at the severity of the FA ban.

Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated 3.45pm

LUIS SUAREZ HAS been banned for a total of 10 matches following his bite on Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

The Football Association increased Suarez’s suspension by an extra seven games today after a disciplinary hearing upheld the violent conduct charge against the striker.

Liverpool immediately disputed the length of the ban but managing director Ian Ayre said that the club would wait before making any further comment or deciding on an appeal.

“Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of the Independent Regulatory Commission decision,” Ayre said in a brief statement.

“We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment.”

The ban begins with immediate effect although Suarez has until midday on Friday 26 April to appeal the additional seven-match increase.

The Uruguyan accepted the FA’s violent conduct charge but disputed their claim that he deserved a lengthy punishment following his latest controversy during Sunday’s 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield.

Suarez, who snatched a point with an equaliser deep into stoppage time, clashed with Ivanovic in the second half and could be seen to bite the Serbian’s upper arm.

YouTube Credit: skynews

He later apologised to Ivanovic and was fined by Liverpool with the proceeds going to the Hillsborough Family Support Group.

But after reviewing video footage of the incident, the FA insisted that a standard three-match ban would not be sufficient for such a severe offence.

Barring a reduction on appeal today’s judgement will likely rule Suarez out until September at the earliest, leaving Liverpool to start the new season without their main goal threat.

It is not the first time that Suarez has landed himself a long suspension for biting an opponent. In November 2010, shortly before he left Ajax to join Liverpool, he was banned for seven matches for the Dutch FA for biting PSV’s Otman Bakkal.

(Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Last season he was banned for eight games by the FA after he was found guilty of using racist language towards Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Today’s punishement will turn the spotlight back on Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group who will be keen to minimise the fallout on the club’s image. Suarez, Ayre and manager Brendan Rodgers all issued statements in the wake of the incident in which they insisted that they will work to address the striker’s clear disciplinary problem.

But despite calls for Liverpool to cash in on their controversial star and sell him on the summer, Ayre insisted that Suarez will remain a Liverpool player.

Jamie Carragher: Liverpool are right to stand by Luis Suarez

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Niall Kelly

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