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Football: Contrite Suarez accepts 10-match ban

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez on Friday said that he did not appeal against a 10-match ban for biting an opponent because he did not want to give "the wrong impression" about his unacceptable behaviour.

The Football Association (FA) governing body had earlier revealed that the Uruguay striker had not lodged an appeal after he was suspended on Wednesday for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic on the arm.

The decision means the 26-year-old Uruguay international will miss the final four matches of the English Premier League season and the first six of the next campaign.

Suarez posted a link on his Twitter account @luis16suarez in which he explained his decision, saying that he hoped for a swift return and to learn from the experience to improve his behaviour.

"I would like to explain to everybody that I decided to accept the ban because whilst 10 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 so I do not want to give the wrong impression to people by making an appeal," he said.

He also restated his apology for his actions, saying he was "truly very sorry" about the incident with Ivanovic in last weekend's match.

"I hope that all the people who I have offended at Anfield last Sunday will grant me forgiveness and I again repeat my personal apology to Branislav."

British police said they had spoken to Ivanovic but the Serbia defender did not want to press charges.

Liverpool have reacted with dismay at the severity of the ban on their star striker.

Reds' manager Brendan Rodgers criticised the FA for indicating ahead of the hearing that the suspension would top the statutory three matches, the organisation regarding that as "insufficient" on this occasion.

Rodgers said: "If you are an independent panel and yet the day beforehand the FA come out and say he (Suarez) will serve more than three games it is not independent because they are already putting pressure on the sanction.

"There is a prejudice there straightaway. Everyone has their opinion -- which is normal."

Suarez is currently the Premier League second top scorer with 23 goals, one behind Manchester United's Robin Van Persie.

But he is reportedly considering whether to quit English football in protest at the harsh punishment.

Liverpool have pointed out that previous instances of violent conduct were dealt with more leniently and they feel the FA has been inconsistent amid claims from Anfield that Suarez has paid the price for his controversial past.

Rodgers referred to the 2006 cases of Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, who escaped with just a booking for biting West Ham's Javier Mascherano, and Chester's Sean Hessey, who was banned for five matches for a bite on Stockport's Liam Dickinson.

"There have been two incidents of this type of scenario. One player received no ban and continued to be chosen by the FA as part of the England squad," Rodgers noted.

Suarez incurred a seven-game ban for biting PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax and also an eight-match suspension last season for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

"It is the severity of the ban that has hurt most," Rodgers said on Thursday.

"I can't help but look at it and look at the sanction which has been put on Luis and I honestly feel the punishment has been against the man rather than the incident."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130426/football-contrite-suarez-accepts-10-match-ban