Liverpool: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been fined and will donate the money to the Hillsborough Family Support Group following the Uruguayan’s shocking bite on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Suarez sunk his teeth into Ivanovic’s right arm during Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Anfield in the Premier League.
The ugly incident has sparked widespread condemnation of Suarez and both the player and Liverpool were forced to apologise, while Reds manager Brendan Rodgers claimed his star forward’s actions were unacceptable.
Suarez is likely to face a lengthy ban from the Football Association for his actions, but Liverpool have already punished the 26-year-old with a fine, which the player will give to the families of the 96 Liverpool fans who died in a terrace crush before an FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough in 1989.
“For my unacceptable behaviour yesterday the club has fined me today,” Suarez wrote on Twitter yesterday.
“I have asked the club to donate the money to the Hillsborough Family Support Group for the inconvenience I have created to the Liverpool fans and to Ivanovic.”
Suarez has a long list of previous misdemeanours even before joining Liverpool from Ajax in January 2011 and it is not the first time he has been in trouble for biting.
But, responding to calls for Suarez to be sold by Liverpool, Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor revealed the players’ union would offer anger management counselling to deal with his temper.
“There is no doubting his football ability, that’s why it is so disappointing and embarrassing when he lets himself down,” Taylor said.
“We have to work hard on anger management now. We have trained counsellors in this field and we will be offering their services to Liverpool and the player to try to improve matters.”
Suarez was quick to apologise via his Twitter account, but the damage was done.
“I’m sad for what happened this afternoon, I apologise [to] Ivanovic and all [the] football world for my inexcusable behaviour. I’m so sorry about it!!,” said the 26-year-old, after the second half incident following a tussle in the penalty area with his club trailing 2-1.
In a statement on Liverpool’s official website, Suarez showed further contrition. “I apologise also to my manager, playing colleagues and everyone at Liverpool Football Club for letting them down,” he said after the incident that referee Kevin Friend did not appear to see.
Suarez had earlier been booked for a handball that gifted Chelsea the penalty from which Eden Hazard put the visitors 2-1 up, but he finished the game by heading in a dramatic equaliser in the seventh minute of injury time. Were it not for the unsavoury incident with Ivanovic, his goal would have had Liverpool singing his praises, but instead Anfield’s hierarchy took a dim view.
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre stated: “His behaviour is not befitting of any player wearing a Liverpool shirt and Luis is aware that he has let himself and everyone associated with the club down. We will deal with the matter internally and await any action from the FA.” Reds’ coach Brendan Rodgers added: “Having reviewed the video footage and spoken to Luis, his behaviour is unacceptable and I have made him aware of this.”
Former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness, now a television pundit, said Suarez’s future was now in jeopardy.
“He’s making it very difficult for himself to stay at Liverpool. That puts him in the last-chance saloon. He is risking everything this great club stands for,” said Souness.
Suarez, 26, has regularly hit the headlines since joining Liverpool from Ajax two years ago. Last season he was embroiled in an alleged racist spat with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and while at Ajax he was banned for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal.