Liverpool’s Suarez bites opponent’s arm, apologizes
Sunday, April 21, 2013
LIVERPOOL, England — In the latest chapter of Luis Suarez’s controversial career, the Uruguayan bit the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during Sunday’s 2-2 draw in the Premier League and apologized a few hours later.
Suarez, who served a seven-game suspension for a bite during a Dutch league match in 2010, was foiled by Ivanovic as he attempted to kick the ball between the center back’s legs in the penalty area. As the ball rebounded toward the edge of the area, Suarez turned to his opponent, and television images clearly showed him biting into Ivanovic’s jersey at the top of the right arm.
Ivanovic shrugged off Suarez and immediately complained to referee Kevin Friend, who didn’t see the incident and didn’t speak to Suarez.
“I’m sad for what happened this afternoon,” Suarez wrote on his Twitter account. “I apologize (to) Ivanovic and all football world for my inexcusable behaviour. I’m so sorry about it!!”
Minutes later, Liverpool issued a statement on its website that included harsh criticism from club officials.
“His behavior 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,” Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said in the statement. “We will deal with the matter internally and await any action from the FA.”
Rodgers initially refused to comment on the incident but joined in the criticism after watching replays.
“Having reviewed the video footage and spoken to Luis, his behavior is unacceptable and I have made him aware of this,” Rodgers said.
In the Liverpool statement, Suarez said he had tried to contact Ivanovic to “speak to him personally.”
“I apologize also to my manager, playing colleagues and everyone at Liverpool Football Club for letting them down,” Suarez was quoted as saying.
Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Gordon Taylor also was critical of the forward.
“It is very depressing and embarrassing that it should happen,” he told BBC Sport. “If it wasn’t for all the controversies he’s been involved in he would be a more highly regarded player. Players are role models and are highly rewarded. This sets such a bad example.”
In November 2010, Suarez was banned for seven matches for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing in the Dutch league, earning him the nickname “Cannibal of Ajax.”
Suarez was suspended for eight games in December 2011 for making racist insults to Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a Premier League match.
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