The UK’s Football Association (FA) established a three-person Independent Regulatory Committee to determine a fitting punishment for Liverpool FC forward Luis Suarez, who bit the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. The Committee decided that Suarez deserved a 10 game ban for his actions. But Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers spoke out against the ruling yesterday, calling the punishment “too severe,” and that it throws Suarez “to the garbage.”
Rodgers argued that the FA is inconsistent with its stance against biting incidents, which makes the severe punishment against Suarez all the more unfair. In 2006, Tottenham Hotspur’s Jermain Defoe bit the arm of West Ham United’s Javier Mascherano, but the incident was let go without any punishment. Later in the year, Chester FC’s Sean Hessey was suspended for five games after biting Stockport County’s Liam Dickinson.
Rodgers feels the ruling against Suarez was biased by statements made by FA officials, who publicly stated the offense deserved more than a standard three game suspension. The Liverpool manager says the suspension was made more personal when Prime Minister David Cameron waded into the debate. The PM felt a strict punishment was necessary to set an example for high profile athletes who he stated are role models for young children in the UK. Rodgers feels the remarks from high profile figures unfairly threw Suarez under a bus.
“I felt Luis would maybe get more than three games. But we had hoped there would be something in there that would allow him a greater opportunity to rehabilitate. The bigger thing in all of this is to try to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Rodgers labels Suarez as one of Liverpool’s greatest assets, who loves to play with the team. But the star forward was handed controversial suspensions in the past that Rodgers feels strikes a pattern of personal bias against the native Uruguayan football star.
The latest controversial and unprecedented ruling led many UK and international bookmakers and betting sites to question if Suarez will continue to play in England at all.