- Premier League
Suarez accepts 10-match ban, doesn't appeal
The Football Association has confirmed that Luis Suarez has accepted his 10-match ban for violent conduct, after the deadline to appeal against the punishment passed on Friday.
The player had until midday UK time on Friday to lodge his intention to contest the decision, after analysing the FA disciplinary panel's full written judgement following his bite on Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic at Anfield in last Sunday's 2-2 draw.
That deadline has now passed, meaning the Uruguayan will miss the final four domestic fixtures of this season and the first six of next term.
A statement from the FA read: "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 ten domestic first-team fixtures."
Although Liverpool meted out a fine to Suarez, they came out in support of the Uruguayan following the suspension - claiming it was too harsh. Suarez's manager, Brendan Rodgers, expressed his "disappointment" at how the whole saga had panned out.
"We can't hide our disappointment at the outcome of this situation, but we have to move on and support Luis in his decision," Rodgers said. "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."
Club managing director Ian Ayre said he respected Suarez's decision not to lodge an appeal.
"The charges against Luis were his to consider and we have to respect his decision to not appeal the 10-game ban," Ayre said. "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."
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has suggested that Suarez's past misdemeanours are the only explanation for the 10-game ban he has been handed by the Football Association.
The Arsenal manager said: "Punishment is explainable by the severity of the tackle or the offence, by the history of the player and what other players have been punished before. In this case, the proportionality looks very severe considering what other players have been punished for.
"What has gone against him Suarez his history. That is why he has been punished so severely. That is the only explanation I can find."
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini also weighed in on the debate, saying that the treatment of Suarez by the FA has been too harsh, and a lesser ban would be more suitable.
"10 games I think is too much," he said. "This is my opinion. I don't know if this is worse than other tackles or situations. "I think that five, six games was enough. This is my opinion. I don't work for the FA. Maybe, one, two or three games more [on top of the usual three] could be correct."
Liverpool's next Premier League fixture comes against Newcastle United on Saturday.
The FA intends to release its written reasons for the decision in due course.