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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Fergie: Cantona ban worse than Suarez

Sir Alex Ferguson says he empathises with Liverpool over the lengthy ban handed to Luis Suarez, but believes the Uruguayan's ten-match suspension is nothing compared to the nine months Eric Cantona was kept out for following his kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace fan.

• Mancini: Suarez for PFA award
• Suarez accepts ban
• Walsh: Suarez wrong, so is FA
• First XI: Lengthy suspensions

Cantona launched himself at Palace supporter Matthew Simmons in January 1995 after being sent off at Selhurst Park, and was subsequently banned by United until the end of the season.

The Red Devils' decision to oust their talisman widely regarded as the cause of them losing that season's Premier League title to Blackburn and Ferguson then suffered further disappointment when the FA added four more months to Cantona's suspension.

The United boss feels Liverpool made a good choice not to serve up an internal ban first to their own influential No. 7, and admitted the FA's decision to extend Cantona's ban still riles him.

"I bet they are glad they didn't (suspend Suarez themselves),'' Ferguson said. "It didn't work for us. [Then FA chairman] David Davies promised us if we did it there would be no more action taken.

"Think about that. A nine-month ban. It is quite incredible. I still can't get my head round it.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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