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The Sport Matrix: Friday 26 April 2013


Rodgers: FA is throwing Suarez 'into the garbage'

Brendan Rodgers has admitted he would understand if Luis Suarez considered quitting the Premier League and accused the men who banned him for 10 games of "throwing him into the garbage".

The Liverpool manager said he was "bitterly disappointed" by the punishment handed to the striker by the Football Association's independent panel for biting the Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on Sunday. Rodgers thought it likely the panel may have been unfairly influenced by public attacks on Suarez – including one by the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Suarez, pictured, has four years of his contract with Liverpool still to run but Rodgers said: "I understand if he felt he couldn't carry on. One hundred per cent. This is a guy who I see on a daily basis trying very hard.

"His two passions are his family and Liverpool Football Club. He has traits that are part of his make up and I genuinely think he is trying to adapt but, each time he takes a step forward, we find ways to beat him with a stick and strike him down." MORE

Eight-year ban for Godolphin trainer

The British Horseracing Authority has banned Godolphin trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni for eight years for doping horses. It took only 72 hours to convene a disciplinary panel and pronounce a verdict. The BHA also banned 15 horses trained by Zarooni for six months. MORE

Late Luiz strike gives Blues lead

David Luiz's free-kick in stoppage time earned Chelsea a 2-1 win over Basel at St Jakob-Park in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final. Victor Moses scored for Chelsea 13 minutes into the first half, before Basel levelled through Fabian Schär's 87th-minute penalty. MORE

Wenger: Arsenal will 'respect' RVP

Arsène Wenger said Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will be treated with respect on his return to Arsenal when the sides play on Sunday. "We will respect the players that have played for us a long time as we always have done," the Arsenal manager said. MORE

Reina hits out at 'absurd' Suarez ban

Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina has criticised Luis Suarez's 10-match ban for biting as "absurd, out of proportion and unfair". He added: "He is being treated differently, I don't know if it's because he's Uruguayan or because he's had a previous episode like this." MORE

Opinion: Bunce on boxing

After gold medallist Luke Campbell recently turned professional, i's Steve Bunce asks if his decision to leave the amateur elite system could be the start of an exodus of Olympic boxers. MORE

Robertson stunned by mighty Milkins

Robert Milkins caused a stunning upset as he knocked world No 2 Neil Robertson out of the World Championship in the first round. After his 10-8 win, Milkins said: "It's great, I'm ecstatic. I'm just happy for everyone connected to me." MORE

Cipriani goes home after bus collision

Danny Cipriani was discharged from hospital following treatment for bruised ribs and suspected concussion after being hit by a bus in Leeds on Wednesday. The outside-half is unlikely to feature in Sale's home match with Wasps next weekend. MORE

Farah to run in Euros for Britain

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah will lead Britain's bid for victory at the European Athletics Team Championships in Gateshead on 22-23 June. UK Athletics head coach Peter Eriksson said: "I expect Great Britain to be in the mix." MORE

Harris suffers Achilles injury

The Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris has been sidelined for six to eight weeks with an Achilles injury. Harris, 33, was named in Australia's squad for the Ashes and is expected to be fit for the series, which starts on 10 July.