Rude gesture at Fulham fans gets Luis Suarez fresh punishment
Striker Luis Suarez will be banned for Liverpool's home match against Newcastle tomorrow after admitting making an offensive gesture to Fulham fans earlier this month.
The Uruguay international has been suspended for one game and fined £20,000 after accepting a Football Association charge of improper conduct relating to a one-fingered sign aimed at home supporters following Liverpool's 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage.
Suarez already has the prospect of an eight-match ban hanging over him after being found guilty of misconduct for using insulting words to Manchester United's Patrice Evra which contained reference to the defender's race.
That suspension is currently on hold as Liverpool have 14 days to appeal once they have received the written judgement from the independent commission which heard the case.
However, in the short term the 24-year-old will serve his first ban in English football — having arrived on Merseyside after sitting out seven matches for biting an opponent in Holland while playing for Ajax — when the Magpies visit Anfield.
The Fulham game on December 5 was a bad night all round for the club as, in addition to Suarez's indiscretion, it also saw an 11-game unbeaten run ended and Jay Spearing sent off.
Spearing's dismissal prompted a number of players to surround referee Kevin Friend to protest and led to Liverpool being charged with failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.
They admitted the charge but did not accept the standard £20,000 fine which accompanied it, but an independent regulatory commission yesterday imposed the financial penalty.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish was unhappy with many aspects of the game at Fulham, during which Suarez was abused by sections of the crowd who felt he was cheating by going to ground too easily.
In the days after the game, the Scot was so incensed the treatment the 24-year-old was subjected to by Fulham players that he used his pre-match press conference to show a DVD of incidents he felt supported his claims. He was also unhappy with Spearing's dismissal for a tackle on Mousa Dembele but the club decided not to contest either charge.
A statement from the FA read: “Liverpool Football Club have been fined £20,000 by The FA and warned as to their future conduct for failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the league fixture at Fulham.
“The club admitted the charge, which was in relation to the dismissal of Jay Spearing, but did not accept the standard £20,000 penalty for the offence.
“However, at an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today the fine was imposed.
“Meanwhile, Liverpool player Luis Suarez will begin a one-match suspension with immediate effect after he admitted an FA charge of improper conduct in relation to the same game.
“Suarez was also fined £20,000 and warned as to his future conduct following a gesture he made towards the Fulham fans.”