Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

Liverpool decline Suarez appeal

Luis Suarez

Liverpool will not appeal against Luis Suarez's eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, the club announced on Tuesday.

The Uruguayan forward was handed the suspension by the Football Association on December 20, following a lengthy investigation, as well as being given a £40,000 fine, while the independent regulatory commission's 115-page report was released on New Year's Eve.

Having assessed the findings, Liverpool have notified the Football Association they will not contest the ban, and issued a statement saying: "Liverpool Football Club have supported Luis Suarez because we fundamentally do not believe that Luis on that day - or frankly any other - did or would engage in a racist act."

It continued: "Notably, his actions on and off the pitch with his team-mates and in the community have demonstrated his belief that all athletes can play together and that the colour of a person's skin is irrelevant."

The statement had begun: "It is our strongly held conviction that the Football Association and the panel it selected constructed a highly subjective case against Luis Suarez based on an accusation that was ultimately unsubstantiated.

"The FA and the panel chose to consistently and methodically accept and embrace arguments leading to a set of conclusions that found Mr. Suarez to "probably" be guilty while in the same manner deciding to completely dismiss the testimony that countered their overall suppositions.

"In its determination to prove its conclusions to the public through a clearly subjective 115-page document, the FA panel has damaged the reputation of one the Premier League's best players, deciding he should be punished and banned for perhaps a quarter of a season."

The statement went on to make clear Liverpool's continued commitment to anti-racism measures in football, saying: "English football has led the world in welcoming all nationalities and creeds into its Premier League and its leagues below, and Liverpool Football Club itself has been a leader in taking a progressive stance on issues of race and inclusion."

"The Luis Suarez case has to end so that the Premier League, the Football Association and the club can continue the progress that has been made and will continue to be made and not risk a perception, at least by some, that would diminish our commitment on these issues.

"It is time to put the Luis Suarez matter to rest and for all of us, going forward, to work together to stamp out racism in every form both inside and outside the sport. It is for this reason that we will not appeal the eight-game suspension of Luis Suarez."

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