Luis Suarez bite: FA seeks seven-game suspension for Liverpool striker

Governing body wants to throw increased ban at Liverpool striker  for violent conduct

The Football Association may make an application to an independent regulatory commission to ban the Liverpool striker Luis Suarez for as many as seven games – more than double the three-game tariff for violent conduct, which the Uruguayan was charged with on Monday night.

The governing body is clear to pursue the 26-year-old retrospectively after referee Kevin Friend disclosed, as expected, that he had not seen Suarez make to bite Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic at Anfield on Sunday and it will make a separate application to the panel, convened tomorrow, seeking a severe penalty.

There is no precedent in the English game since changes to rules, not applicable when Tottenham Hotspur’s Jermain Defoe bit West Ham United’s Javier Mascherano in October 2006, allowed the FA to punish retrospectively. A five-game ban – the statutory three-game ban plus an additional one-game or two-game “surcharge” – is possible. The seven-game suspension handed out to Suarez in Holland in 2010 for biting Otman Bakkal of PSV is one benchmark and the punishment may be nearer to that figure, possibly eight games.

It is understood Ivanovic’s skin was not broken when Suarez bit down at him, though the player did feel contact. Suarez tweeted that he had spoken to the Serbian on the telephone to apologise but it is understood Ivanovic remains disgruntled by the striker’s conduct and does not feel that he can forgive and forget.

Surrey Police were at Chelsea’s Cobham training base when the team returned from the 2-2 draw, secured for Liverpool by a late Suarez equaliser, and inspected the 29-year-old’s right arm before deciding that they would not be pressing criminal charges against Suarez. Neither will Merseyside Police.

Though some Liverpool fans will point to the fact that Defoe escaped without punishment after biting Mascherano’s arm – referee Steve Bennett booked both players – the FA was then working within far stronger Fifa constraints governing its capacity to take retrospective action. At that time there was no potential to dish out a stronger punishment when a referee’s action seemed insufficient.

The FA had been ready to implement the so-called Ben Thatcher rule – used when an “extraordinary” incident leads them to punish retrospectively – had Friend seen Sunday’s incident. The level of national indignation about the bite is likely to compel the tribunal to issue a punishment that will stretch well into the start of next season. Liverpool have only four games remaining in the current campaign. “The FA’s contention is that the standard punishment of three matches that would otherwise apply is clearly insufficient in these circumstances,” the FA said in a statement last night.

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said Suarez would not be sold as a result of the incident, having immediately fined the £120,000-a-week player – money which will go to the Hillsborough Families Support Group. Asked if the bite would have any bearing on Suarez’s Liverpool future, Ayre said: “Not at all. 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. He’s a very popular player with his team-mates.”

The Professional Footballers’ Association said Suarez will be offered anger-management counselling.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'