1. ITV Report

FA wants to send 'strong message' over 'disgraceful' Suarez

Suarez, right, with Ivanovic during the game in which the biting incident occured. Photo: PA

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez failed to "fully appreciate the gravity and seriousness" of his bite on Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, according to a Football Association Independent Regulatory Commission.

The Uruguay international was handed a lengthy suspension for the incident, missed by referee Kevin Friend but subsequently reviewed using television evidence, in last weekend's 2-2 draw at Anfield.

And while the 26-year-old, and his club, issued apologies and admissions of guilt within hours of the incident occurring - with the forward donating a club fine to the Hillsborough Family Support Group - the subsequent decision to challenge the FA's assertion that a three-match ban was insufficient undermined their previous contrition.

Having considered submissions from the FA and Suarez, the three-man panel, comprising chairman Thura KT Win, JP, Roger Pawley and Brian Talbot, felt the player was not suitably aware of the significance his action.

"We took into consideration of Mr Suarez's apology, his personal statement, supporting letter from Mr Brendan Rodgers and the letter from Ms Zoe Ward (club secretary)," said the panel's report.

"But when these were read in conjunction with Mr Suarez's denial of the standard punishment that would otherwise apply for violent conduct is clearly insufficient, it seemed to us that Mr Suarez has not fully appreciated the gravity and seriousness of this truly exceptional incident.

"We believe it is our duty to discourage any players at any level from acting in such a deplorable manner or attempting to copy what they had seen on the television.

"The incident of biting an opponent is alien to football and must remain so.

"It is completely unacceptable and such truly disgraceful behaviour could also lead to possible health issues.

"We also felt that the purpose of our decision should not only be a punishment to Mr Suarez for the offence committed, but must also be sending a strong message that such deplorable behaviours do not have a place in football."

Suarez's previous brush with authority in this country last season displayed a similar failure - not helped by a shambolic defence by the club - to grasp the seriousness of his situation.

The South American refused to accept he was in the wrong even when found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, for which he received an eight-match ban.

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