Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Liverpool to consider ban response

Luis Suarez faces the prospect of missing the last four games of this campaign and the first six of next season

Liverpool will review the full reasons behind the Football Association's 10-match ban for Luis Suarez before deciding whether to appeal against the punishment imposed for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

The club were left "shocked and disappointed" after the striker was hit with the sanction that could see him suspended from domestic football until October. The severity of the ban caught Liverpool by surprise and the club will also have to make a decision over whether to sell the Uruguayan striker.

Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre, who earlier this week insisted the club were determined to keep Suarez, said in response to the decision: "Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of the independent regulatory commission decision. We await the written reasons before making any further comment."

Suarez missed eight matches last season due to his racist abuse ban, and following the punishment imposed by an FA independent regulatory commission now faces the prospect of missing the last four games of this campaign and the first six of next season.

Suarez had admitted violent conduct after biting Ivanovic during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Sunday but challenged the FA's contention that he deserved more than a three-match ban.

The commission, however, agreed with the FA, which said in statement: "A three-person independent regulatory commission today upheld the FA's claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three. The suspension begins with immediate effect."

Suarez has until midday on Friday to appeal the additional suspension, above the standard three matches.

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson believes the latest ban leaves the club in a difficult position.

Lawrenson told BBC Radio Five: "The thing about Suarez is he is now becoming a constant offender, and Liverpool are going to have to make a decision re Suarez and the future

"I think it's a possibility he will have to leave. They are trying to sell season tickets at the moment and people will be saying 'hold on a minute, is Suarez going be here, is he going to miss 20% of the season,' it's a really tough one for Liverpool."