• Premier League

Suarez: Appeal would have sent wrong message

ESPN staff
April 26, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Is Suarez a victim?

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has said he chose not to appeal against his 10-match ban for biting the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic because it would have given the "wrong impression" to fans.

Suarez had until midday on Friday to appeal the decision from the FA disciplinary panel but, with the deadline passing without any correspondence from the player, the Uruguayan accepted his punishment and will now serve the ban.

In a statement, the forward once again expressed his regret about the incident - revealling that, while he feels the punishment was harsh, he accepts that his actions warranted a significant ban.

Suarez hopes to return a better player and person.

"I am truly very sorry about the incident with Branislav Ivanovic. I hope all the people who I have offended last Sunday at Anfield will grant me forgiveness and I again repeat my personal apology to Branislav," Suarez said.

"I know that all the things that are happening to me in England will help me to improve my conduct on the field. Right now, I just want to focus on becoming a better footballer on and off the field.

"I would like to explain to everybody that I decided to accept the ban whilst ten games is clearly greater than those bans given in past cases where players have actually been seriously injured, I acknowledge that my actions were not acceptable on the football pitch so I do not want to give the wrong impression to people by making an appeal.

"I really want to learn from what has happened in the last two-and-a-half years, many things have been said and written about me, I just tried to do my best on the field. I hope to come back early to play."

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said the club 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. "We are all disappointed at the severity of the punishment and in particular the differing standards that have been applied across various previous incidents.

"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."

Manager Brendan Rodgers also showed his support, adding that he too felt the punishment was too severe.

"We can't hide our disappointment at the outcome of this situation, but we have to move on and support Luis in his decision," he said.

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