Premier League

Luis Suarez decides against appeal

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has accepted a 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic.
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Luis Suarez has decided not to appeal against his 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

The Liverpool striker had been given two days to decide whether to contest the sanction imposed after the incident during the 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday, but has chosen not to do so.

Suarez pointed out that other players had been given shorter bans despite causing serious injuries, but acknowledged his actions were unacceptable.

He said in a statement: "I am truly very sorry about the incident with Branislav Ivanovic. 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.

"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 Football Association earlier said in a statement: "Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has not appealed the suspension issued to him by an independent regulatory commission this week.

"A three-person independent regulatory commission upheld the FA's claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will now serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three.

"The suspension begins with immediate effect and applies to Liverpool FC's next 10 domestic first-team fixtures.

"The FA intends to publicise the independent regulatory commission's written reasons in due course."

Liverpool said the decision on the appeal had been made by Suarez and the club again expressed their disappointment at the length of the ban.

The decision means the Uruguay international will miss Liverpool's last four games of this season and, if he is still at the club, the first six games of next season - and will potentially not play a domestic match until the start of October.

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said: "The charges against Luis were his to consider and we have to respect his decision to not appeal the 10-game ban.

"We are all disappointed at the severity of the punishment and in particular the differing standards that have been applied across various previous incidents.

"Luis is an important member of our team and nothing has changed in that regard.

"We are committed to helping him improve his conduct and he will be given our full support. We look forward to him returning to the team next season when he is available for selection."

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admitted his leading scorer would be badly missed.

He added: "We can't hide our disappointment at the outcome of this situation, but we have to move on and support Luis in his decision.

"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."

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