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Suarez bite lands Liverpool in yet another controversy

Updated: 2013-04-23 08:11
By Agence France-Presse in Liverpool ( China Daily)

 Suarez bite lands Liverpool in yet another controversy

Liverpool's Luis Suarez (right) clashes with Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic after appearing to bite the Chelsea player during their English Premier League match at the Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England, on Sunday. The teams drew 2-2. Andrew Yates / Agence France-Presse

Suarez bite lands Liverpool in yet another controversy

Uruguayan star faces strict sanctions after ugly incident

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez's reputation for controversy was only enhanced by Sunday's showing at Anfield against Chelsea, where after conceding a penalty and scoring a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw, he ended up in the dock for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez was quick to apologize via his Twitter account - but the damage was done as the Uruguayan ended up in hot water and not for the first time in his checkered career.

"I'm sad for what happened this afternoon, I apologize (to) Ivanovic and all (the) football world for my inexcusable behavior. I'm so sorry about it!!" said the 26-year-old, after the second-half incident following a tussle in the penalty area with his club trailing 2-1.

In a statement on Liverpool's official website, Suarez showed further contrition.

"I apologize also to my manager, playing colleagues and everyone at Liverpool Football Club for letting them down," he said after an incident which referee Kevin Friend did not appear to see.

Suarez had earlier been booked for a handball that gifted Chelsea the penalty from which Eden Hazard put the visiting side 2-1 up, but he finished the game by heading in a dramatic equalizer in the seventh minute of injury time.

Were it not for the unsavory incident with Ivanovic his goal would have had Liverpool singing his praises but instead Anfield's hierarchy took a dim view.

Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre noted the player's "unreserved apology" but stated: "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. We will deal with the matter internally and await any action from the FA."

Reds' coach Brendan Rodgers said on the club website: "Having reviewed the video footage and spoken to Luis, his behavior is unacceptable and I have made him aware of this."

Former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness, now a television pundit, said Suarez's future was now in jeopardy.

"He's making it very difficult for himself to stay at Liverpool. That puts him in the last-chance saloon. He is risking everything this great club stands for," said Souness.

Suarez, 26, has regularly hit the headlines since joining Liverpool from Dutch club Ajax two years ago.

Last season he was embroiled in an alleged racist spat with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra

And while with Ajax he was banned for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during a Dutch league game in November 2010.

Rodgers said no individual player is more important than the club's values.

"Players are always replaceable no matter how good they think they are. That is how football works," he said.

(China Daily 04/23/2013 page22)

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