April 22 (Bloomberg) -- Liverpool striker Luis Suarez faces a long ban after England’s Football Association charged him with violent conduct for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a game yesterday.
The Uruguayan, who once got seven-game ban for biting an opponent when he played in the Netherlands, bit Ivanovic on the arm during the second half of Liverpool’s 2-2 Premier League draw with Chelsea at Anfield.
“It’s alleged that the conduct of Suarez constitutes violent conduct and it is the F.A.’s contention that the standard punishment of three matches that would otherwise apply is clearly insufficient in these circumstances,” the F.A. said in a statement.
The F.A. said the incident “was not seen by the match officials and has therefore been retrospectively reviewed.”
The controversy has cast doubt on Suarez’s future in English soccer. The Uruguayan has been Liverpool’s standout player since joining from Amsterdam club Ajax in January 2011 but has faced criticism and punishment for his actions on the field. He served an eight-game ban last season after being found to have racially abused Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Liverpool today fined the 26-year-old an undisclosed amount for his actions yesterday, saying his fine would be donated to the Hillsborough Family Support Group, which represents and supports families who lost members in a 1989 stadium disaster.
As well as the fine, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has spoken to Suarez, and will be “working with him further on his discipline,” the team’s managing director Ian Ayre said in a statement.
“I think he felt like he let a lot of people down yesterday,” Ayre said. “We’ll work with Luis -- Brendan particularly -- on this side of his character in his game. Hopefully that puts the matter to rest from our point of view and we’ll wait and see if there’s any further action from the football authorities.”
The club has also been in touch with its owners, Fenway Sports Group -- which also controls the Boston Red Sox -- about yesterday’s incident.
“I spoke to them last night, and they were happy with the way we were handling the matter,” Ayre said.
“His behavior is not befitting of any player wearing a Liverpool shirt and Luis is aware that he has let himself and everyone associated with the club down,” Ayre had said in a statement about Suarez last night. “We will deal with the matter internally and await any action from the Football Association.”
Also last night, Suarez said in a statement that he was “deeply sorry for my inexcusable behavior.” The Uruguayan striker set up the Reds’ first goal and got a yellow card after his handball gave Chelsea a penalty kick for its second. He headed a leveling goal in stoppage time.
Blues defender Ivanovic complained to referee Kevin Friend that he had been bitten on his right arm by Suarez after they clashed.
“I’ve just spoken to Ivanovic on the phone and I could apologize directly to him,” Suarez, who was last week nominated for the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year award, posted on Twitter. “Thanks for accepting.”
Today, Gordon Taylor, chief executive officer of the PFA, told the British Broadcasting Corp. that the incident was “disappointing and embarrassing,” and offered Suarez help with “anger management.”
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