Monday, 22 April 2013
Luis Suarez Charged With Violent Conduct By FA For Biting Ivanovic
In a statement this afternoon, the FA said: “The standard punishment of three matches that would otherwise apply is clearly insufficient in these circumstances.”Liverpool only have four games left of the season.Because referee Kevin Friend missed the incident during the 2-2 draw at Anfield, it has been retrospectively reviewed.Suarez has until 6pm tomorrow to respond to the charge.
If he doesn’t, an Independent Regulatory Commission will meet on Wednesday.When Suarez last bit an opponent while playing for Ajax, he was suspended for seven games.Liverpool have vowed to stand by the Uruguayan and insist he will not be sold.Suarez has been fined by the club with the player himself asking that the money be donated to the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
It is understood the fine equates to two weeks wages, with any punishment in excess of that needing the permission of the PFA.Yet despite the widespread condemnation of Suarez, including from former players, a fine is as far as Liverpool will take the issue, with suggestions that he should be sold being rejected by the club.”It affects his future in the sense that we have to work with him on his discipline – but Luis is a very important player to the club,” managing director Ian Ayre toldliverpoolfc.com this morning.”
As we keep saying, he signed a new four-year contract last summer and we’d all love to see him here throughout that contract.”He’s a fantastic player, top scorer and everything we’d want in a striker, so there’s no change there.”This is more about getting him back on the right track and it’s largely down to (manager) Brendan (Rodgers) now to work with him on that side of his character.”
Suarez will be relieved to know that the police will not be taking action over the incident after the Chelsea defender told them he wasn’t interested in taking further action. After complaints were made to Merseyside Police, they were passed on to their Surrey colleagues who spoke to Ivanovic at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground this morning.Suarez also looks to have held on to his boot sponsors adidas.
In a statement they condemned the striker’s actions – but praised Liverpool’s handling of the situation.”Adidas takes this type of incident very seriously and does not condone Luis Suarez’s behaviour. We will be reminding him of the standards we expect from our players,” read the statement.It added: “Luis has admitted his actions were unacceptable and we support the way Liverpool are planning to handle the situation.”After yesterday’s match Liverpool manager Rodgers said discussions about what action to take over Suarez would involve owners Fenway Sports Group.
Ayre confirmed they had taken place and FSG fully backed today’s decisions.”With any incident like this, any major incident at the club, we’re in direct dialogue with the owners, always,” he added.”I spoke to them last night and they were happy with the way we were handling the matter.”
I think the most important thing is that we acted swiftly yesterday.”Luis issued his apology and then we spoke with him last night and then again this morning.”But Ayre stressed the issue would not end there with Rodgers, who has a close relationship with Suarez, determined to tackle the player’s ill-discipline.”We’ve taken action to fine Luis for his actions,” he said.”Brendan has spoken to him and I’ve spoken to him and Brendan will be working with him further on his discipline.”We’ll work with Luis – Brendan particularly – on this side of his character in his game.”
Hopefully that puts the matter to rest from our point of view and we’ll wait and see if there’s any further action from the football authorities.”You can see when you speak to him how sorry he is about it and he’s certainly shown quite a lot of contrition to us – and as part of that, he’s also asked we donate the fine to the Hillsborough Family Support Group.”
I think he felt like he let a lot of people down yesterday.”Suarez will be offered anger management counselling by the Professional Footballers’ Association but it seems more likely Liverpool would be inclined to choose to utilise the services of their own in-house sports psychologist Dr Steve Peters.He has been working one day a week at the club’s Melwood training ground for most of the season, having enjoyed success most notably with Great Britain’s Olympic gold medal-winning cyclists like Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton.
Former Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy has also credited Peters with helping him change his behaviour for the better.PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said the players’ union would offer the striker help to deal with his temper.Taylor said: “There is no doubting his football ability, that’s why it is so disappointing and embarrassing when he lets himself down.”We have to work hard on anger management now. We have trained counsellors in this field and we will be offering their services to Liverpool and the player to try to improve matters.”Suarez apologised to Ivanovic in a phone call last night and this morning was the one to reveal he had been fined by the club.”
For my unacceptable behaviour yesterday the club has fined me today,” the 26-year-old wrote on Twitter.”I have asked the club to donate the money to the Hillsborough Family Support Group for the inconvenience I have created to the Liverpool fans and to Ivanovic.”