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Apr 26, 2013

Sorry Suarez accepts ban

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has decided not to appeal his ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has issued a statement after opting to accept his 10-match ban for biting the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

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The midday deadline for Suarez to lodge an appeal passed with the player choosing to accept the punishment of the FA's disciplinary panel.

"I am truly very sorry about the incident with Branislav Ivanovic. I hope all the people who I have offended last Sunday at Anfield will grant me forgiveness and I again repeat my personal apology to Branislav," Suarez said on his official website.

"I know that all the things that are happening to me in England will help me to improve my conduct on the field. Right now, I just want to focus on becoming a better footballer on and off the field.

"I would like to explain to everybody that I decided to accept the ban whilst ten games is clearly greater than those bans given in past cases where players have actually been seriously injured, I acknowledge that my actions were not acceptable on the football pitch so I do not want to give the wrong impression to people by making an appeal.

"I really want to learn from what has happened in the last two-and-a-half years, many things have been said and written about me, I just tried to do my best on the field. I hope to come back early to play."

Meanwhile, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre reiterated Suarez's importance to the club and their commitment to helping improve his conduct.

In a statement on the club's official website, he said: "The charges against Luis were his to consider and we have to respect his decision to not appeal the 10-game ban.

"We are all disappointed at the severity of the punishment and in particular the differing standards that have been applied across various previous incidents.

"Luis is an important member of our team and nothing has changed in that regard.

"We are committed to helping him improve his conduct and he will be given our full support. We look forward to him returning to the team next season when he is available for selection."

Manager Brendan Rodgers added: "We can't hide our disappointment at the outcome of this situation, but we have to move on and support Luis in his decision.

"Luis has made a huge contribution to the squad this season and we respect his decision to accept the ban.

"He will be missed for the remainder of this season and the early part of next, but we will have the opportunity to welcome a better person and player when he returns."

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