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Enrique defends Suso over Twitter 'banter'

Jose Enrique has defended Liverpool team-mate Suso after he was fined £10,000 by the FA, dismissing the tweet which sparked the censure as "banter".

• Blog: Unreasonable expectations

Winger Suso was disciplined by the governing body for teasing Enrique after the left-back posted a picture of himself getting his teeth whitened online.

Suso tweeted: "What f*** is he doing? This guy is gay... he does everything except play football." The tweet was deleted soon afterwards and an apology was issued by the 19-year-old, but that did not stop the FA acting by handing out the fine on Tuesday.

However, Enrique then took to Twitter himself to state that he thought the punishment on his team-mate was harsh.

He tweeted: "Is amazing how fa can fine my friend @suso30fernandez for a banter thing. Was just a joke!!!"

Suso, who has made 13 appearances for the Reds this season since making his first-team debut in September, insisted in his apology that he had not meant to cause any offence to anyone.

"I'm very sorry if anyone has been offended by my comments about the photo of my team-mate Jose Enrique," he wrote.

"It was only a joke between the two of us. I realise that my words were unfortunate and it was not my intention to offend anyone.

"I apologise again if anyone was offended."