Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool must take their medicine over Suarez and ensure this is the last time

By Steven Beacom

Ten games for Red Seven then. Liverpool may say it's too harsh a suspension for Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz, but for once the Football Association got it right when disciplining a player.

Biting an opponent has no place on a football field. Never has, never will and the authorities had to underline that.

We must hope the FA are equally strong in the future when career threatening tackles, head-butts and other unacceptable acts are missed by the referee.

Or even when those offences are witnessed by an official and acted upon at the time and the penalty is still not deemed tough enough, that should not mean the FA can't punish retrospectively.

What a stupid ruling that is.

And whatever way you look at it several days on, what a stupid 26-year-old man Suarez was on Sunday when he bit into the arm of Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic at Anfield.

Liverpool, "shocked and disappointed" by the length of ban which carries into next season, may appeal.

Given that Tottenham's Jermain Defoe was only booked in 2006 for the same offence against Javier Mascherano, then playing for West Ham, (the lenient referee must have been Count Dracula that day!) and faced no further action, they'll feel they have every right.

I'd prefer to see Liverpool swallow their medicine and move on.

They say Suarez's latest indiscretion will not alter their desire to keep the player, though if a big bid arrived in the summer surely they must be tempted to cash in.

Bayern Munich are supposedly interested, though, on the evidence of Tuesday night's Champions League semi-final, perhaps it's Barcelona who need the South American's tricks and unquestionable talent to supplement the genius of Lionel Messi.

And what of the player himself? Will he use his second major suspension in English football as a 'woe is me' excuse to engineer a way out of a country that doesn't 'understand' him?

I wrote after the Patrice Evra affair last season, when Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing the Manchester United defender and banned for eight games, that the Uruguayan owed Liverpool big time.

Bar some silly diving this season, there was payback in the form of numerous spectacular performances and 30 goals. Then he let his side down and gave everyone else something tasteless to chew on.

Should he stay this time, when he makes that prodigal son return several games into next season, he'll owe Brendan Rodgers, his team-mates and the fans even more.

We're talking 35 goals, a trophy, a Champions League place and more importantly NEVER AGAIN any appalling behaviour which would damage Liverpool Football Club.

Belfast Telegraph


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