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Rediff.com  » Sports » Suarez accepts bite charge but questions longer ban

Suarez accepts bite charge but questions longer ban

April 24, 2013 12:49 IST

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has disputed the English FA's view that his punishment for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic at the weekend merits a longer punishment than the usual three-game ban.

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The FA said in a statement on Tuesday the Uruguayan international had accepted a charge of violent conduct but "has denied the FA's claim the standard punishment of three matches is clearly insufficient for this offence".

The incident in Sunday's 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield was not seen by match officials and is being retrospectively reviewed.

An independent regulatory commission will hear the case on Wednesday. Suarez has already apologised to Serbia centre half Ivanovic and been fined by his club.

Suarez, who scored an injury-time equaliser following the bite midway through the second half, received a seven-game ban from the Dutch FA for biting an opponent while playing for Ajax Amsterdam in 2010 shortly before he joined Liverpool.

The 26-year-old, top scorer in the Premier League this term with 23 goals, also served an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra last season.

Uruguay captain Diego Lugano issued a statement supporting Suarez, a key member of the team fighting for a berth at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"All of us who compete at a thousand revs and maximum adrenalin are prone to some mistakes," Lugano said on his personal website (www.diegolugano.org).

"Luis is the most competitive of all. He made a mistake and said sorry.

"In the same way that a defender makes a mistake going for the attacker's leg instead of the ball or when coaches, referees, journalists or even directors make mistakes without the adrenalin of competition.

"The (Uruguay) squad support him because you see people's quality in everyday things. The people who work with him like, respect and protect him, as much in Uruguay as Holland or England. That's the most important thing in life."

The Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) is also defending Suarez from punishment by world soccer's ruling body FIFA for punching Chile defender Gonzalo Jara in a South American World Cup qualifier in Santiago last month.

FIFA opened an investigation after Argentine referee Nestor Pitana missed the incident when Suarez and Jara, who also plays in England for second-tier NottinghamForest, tussled at a corner.

The AUF said Suarez reacted to provocation from Jara.

Photograph: Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

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