Liverpool striker Luis Suarez accepted a charge of violent conduct by English soccer’s ruling body for biting an opponent in a match and will today learn what punishment he faces.
Suarez denied his biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic three days ago should result in a longer suspension than the standard three-game ban, the Football Association said in an e-mailed statement last night.
“Suarez has denied the F.A.’s claim that the standard punishment of three matches is clearly insufficient for this offense,” the governing body said in the statement. “The incident was not seen by the match officials and has therefore been retrospectively reviewed.”
An independent regulatory commission will hear the case today, the F.A. added. Suarez will have the right to appeal if he considers the penalty to be too severe.
The Uruguayan forward, who once got a 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.
The controversy has cast doubt on Suarez’s future in English soccer. He’s been Liverpool’s standout player since joining from Amsterdam club Ajax in January 2011, though has faced criticism and punishment for his actions on the field. He served an eight-game suspension last season after being found to have racially abused Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Liverpool fined the 26-year-old an undisclosed amount for the bite, saying the money 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.
Suarez set up Liverpool’s first goal and got a yellow card after his handball gave Chelsea a penalty kick for its second. He then tied the match with a header in stoppage time.