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Rodgers Accuses British Prime Minister of Influencing Suarez Case
Guardian, April 26th, 2013 1:20PM

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British Prime Minister David Cameron said that his remark earlier this week about the Luis Suarez biting scandal was merely the opinion of a concerned father whose son looks up to professional soccer players like the Liverpool striker, rather than an attempt to sway the independent panel that heard the case, as Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers suggested.

Earlier this week, prior to the panel’s decision to ban Suarez for 10 games, Cameron had said, "I think it would be very understandable if [the panel] took into account the fact that high-profile players are often role models." On Thursday, Rodgers responded by calling the opinion of Cameron and other public figures outside interference. "There's no doubt if you have those high-profile figures making those sorts of statements, there will be a bias,” he said. “If ... people are reading and listening to things like that for 24 hours, then when they sat down on Wednesday morning for the first time to supposedly talk about it, I think people would argue whether they already had a decision in their minds.”

In an interview with BBC Radio on Friday, Cameron responded by saying, "I made my own views clear just as a dad watching the game. I've got a 7-year-old son who just loves watching football and when players behave like this it just sets the most appalling example to young people in our country." When asked if a 10-game ban was the right response from the FA, he said, "I'm going to leave it entirely to the FA. But if you're asking me as a dad and as a human being, do I think we should have tough penalties when players behave like this, yes I think we should.” He added: "There are people, I've read in some newspapers, who think somehow this isn't serious. I think it is serious, when we're trying to bring up our children properly, they do see football players as role models.”

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