• Premier League

Panel: Suarez didn't appreciate extent of his crime

ESPN staff
April 26, 2013

The Football Association's Independent Regulatory Commission believed that Luis Suarez had not "fully appreciated the gravity and seriousness of this truly exceptional incident'', and that was a contributing factor for his 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez contested the FA's decision to seek a longer ban than the standard three-game suspension for violent conduct.

However, one surprising aspect of the report was that the Commission said it " did not take into consideration any previous disciplinary records of Mr Suarez and considered the offence in isolation".

The three-man panel featured Thura KT Win (Chairman of The FA Women's Premier League), Roger Pawley (Secretary of the Cambridgeshire FA), Brian Talbot (former Ipswich Town, Toronto Metros, Arsenal, Watford, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Aldersho) while Mark Ives, the FA disciplinary manager, acted as secretary to the Commission and was assisted by Mr Rob Marsh, FA senior disciplinary assistant.

The Commission stated: "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 went on to say: "It is completely unacceptable and such truly disgraceful behaviour could also lead to possible health issues.

"This truly shocking incident had been seen by millions of viewers both domestic and overseas, as well as generating a great deal of interest and debate amongst countless numbers of people.

"Whilst we accepted that Mr Suarez's reputation had been impacted, these unsavoury pictures would have given a bad image of English football domestically and across the world alike.

"All players in the higher level of the game are seen as role models, have the duty to act professionally and responsibly, and set the highest example of good conduct to the rest of the game - especially to young players.

"In this regard and on this occasion, Mr Suarez's conduct had fallen far below the standards expected of him.

"We took into consideration Mr Suarez's apology, his personal statement, supporting letter from Mr Brendan Rodgers and the letter from Ms Zoe Ward [Liverpool's secretary].

"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.''

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.