Football

Rodgers: Suarez FA ban unfair

Suarez bit Ivanovic on Sunday (©GettyImages)
Suarez bit Ivanovic on Sunday (©GettyImages).

Brendan Rodgers has strongly defended Liverpool striker Luis Suarez after he was handed a 10 game ban for biting a player.

Suarez was found guilty of violent conduct after biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic on Sunday, and was hit with the lengthy suspension by an Independent Regulatory Panel after the FA deemed the standard three-game ban insufficient.

The ban means Suarez won't feature for Liverpool again this season and will be absent until around October during their 2013/14 campaign - unless the club win an appeal.

But despite the consequences of Suarez's latest indiscretion, Rodgers refused to condemn the Uruguayan - and said Liverpool would be better if they had more players like him.

Asked by reporters if he had been let down by Suarez, Rodgers replied: "No, not at all. I believe if I had half a dozen more players with a similar mentality then we would be in a different position as a football club.

"He hasn't let me down one bit. He's a player that, the standards that are set at the club, he fell way below those because this is a club that's based on that respect and standard.

"But that doesn't mean he should be thrown to the garbage, which is what has happened with a lot of people in these last couple of days, and it's certainly something I won't be prepared to do.

"He's a boy that's working tirelessly, him and his family, to fit in to the life and the way it is in this country, and unfortunately for him he's made a mistake and he's got a sanction that I don't believe fits what he did." 

Liverpool were quick to discipline Suarez following the incident in the Reds' 2-2 draw against Chelsea, while the player himself later apologised for his actions.

Suarez pleaded guilty to the FA charge but contested the fact the incident deserved a punishment above and beyond the usual three-game ban for violent conduct.

The Merseyside club have until tomorrow afternoon to launch an appeal against the additional seven-game ban, and Rodgers believes the punishment may have been doled out because of the player involved, rather than the nature of the crime.

"I think of course there was a lot of euphoria around the time it happened but whenever you come away from it and you look at the cold light of day and assess it, then it's violent conduct," he argued.

"For me, I can't help but look at it, and look at the sanction that's been put on Luis for the incident, and I honestly feel that the punishment has been against the man, rather than the incident," he argued.

"The football club admitted it, Luis admitted it, he understood he needed to be punished but I think what we've got is a punishment with absolutely no intention with what was helping the rehabilitation of the player and that's what's disappointed.

"Maybe you need a bit of help. The player needs a bit of help and that's something we'll look to provide here as a football club and our supporters and our city - and something that I would expect any football club or business to do."

Following the news of the ban, a host of reports suggest Suarez is now considering his future at Anfield.

Topics:
Football
Luis Suarez
Liverpool

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