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Mata jokes after eating turf

The Toe Poke

Suarez banned for ten games

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has been suspended for ten games by the Football Association after being found guilty of violent conduct for his bite on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

• Walsh: Suarez wrong, so is FA's judgement
• Brewin: Harsh but fair
• PM calls for action
• Suarez 'persecuted'

The Uruguay international has until Friday to appeal the decision, with the player's club stating they are "shocked and disappointed at the severity" of the punishment.

Suarez, 26, was caught on camera biting Ivanovic's arm during Sunday's 2-2 draw at Anfield.

Referee Kevin Friend did not see the incident and so retrospective action was taken by the Football Association, with Suarez and Liverpool accepting the charge of violent conduct on Tuesday.

But the Uruguayan, who was suspended for seven games in 2010 for biting an opponent when playing for Ajax, did not agree with the FA's assertion that a three-game ban would be insufficient punishment for his actions.

However, a statement on the FA website on Wednesday read: "Luis Suarez has been suspended for a total of ten matches after an Independent Regulatory Commission today ruled on a charge of violent conduct.

"A three-person Independent Regulatory Commission today upheld The FA's claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three. The suspension begins with immediate effect.

"This follows an incident with Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in Sunday's fixture at Anfield. The Liverpool forward had accepted a charge of violent conduct but had denied The FA's claim that the standard three-match sanction was insufficient for the offence.

"Suarez has until midday on Friday 26 April to appeal the additional suspension, above the standard three matches."

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre responded to the decision via a statement on the club's official website.

He said: "Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today's Independent Regulatory Commission decision. We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment."


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