Liverpool striker Luis Suarez on Friday accepted the 10-game ban he was given by the English Football Association for biting the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League game last weekend. The Uruguayan opted not to appeal the FA decision, which takes effect immediately, and instead issued a lengthy statement on his official Web site.
"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 would like to explain to everybody that I decided to accept the ban 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 on the football pitch so I do not want to give the wrong impression to people by making an appeal.”
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre also issued a statement on the club’s official Web site: "The charges against Luis were his to consider and we have to respect his decision to not appeal the 10-game ban. We are all disappointed at the severity of the punishment and in particular the differing standards that have been applied across various previous incidents ... We are committed to helping [Luis] 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."
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers said he would understand if Suarez decided to leave England this summer because of the ban. "Yes, I do understand, 100 percent," he said. "Each time he makes a step forward we find ways to beat him with a stick and beat him down. I can understand if he felt like that [wanting to leave England] in a moment of reflection.”