Liverpool have decided not to appeal Luis Suarez’s 8-match ban and his suspension will begin immediately meaning he will miss tonight’s match against Man City.
The Uruguayan forward missed last Friday’s win over Newcastle, serving a one-match ban for the inappropriate gesture aimed at Fulham fans. He will now miss 9 consecutive games with The Reds.
In a statement released by Liverpool FC this evening they said “It is our strongly held conviction that the Football Association and the panel it selected constructed a highly subjective case against Luis Suarez based on an accusation that was ultimately unsubstantiated.”
In deciding against the appeal, LFC concluded:
It is time to put the Luis Suarez matter to rest and for all of us, going forward, to work together to stamp out racism in every form both inside and outside the sport.
It is for this reason that we will not appeal the eight-game suspension of Luis Suarez.
Interestingly, Suarez’s returning game could be against Manchester United – at Old Trafford – on 11th February.
Suarez himself released the following statement on the official LFC website:
First of all I would like to thank everyone so much for all the help and support I have received during these last few weeks.
Thank you to my family, my friends and everybody at LFC (the staff, manager and coaching staff, the directors, my team mates and everyone who is working on a daily basis for this great club) and thank you especially to all the fans who made sure I never felt let down for one second. During those days I understood more than ever what ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ means.
Like many of you I was born into a very humble family, in a working class neighbourhood, in a small country. But I was born and raised learning what respect, manners and sacrifice mean. Thanks to my family, from my first club where I started playing, to my transfer to Holland in Europe, I learned the values which made me the person I am now. Never, I repeat, never, have I had any racial problem with a team mate or individual who was of a different race or colour to mine. Never.
I am very upset by all the things which have been said during the last few weeks about me, all of them being very far from the truth. But above all, I’m very upset at feeling so powerless whilst being accused of something which I did not, nor would not, ever do.
In my country, ‘negro’ is a word we use commonly, a word which doesn’t show any lack of respect and is even less so a form of racist abuse. Based on this, everything which has been said so far is totally false.
I will carry out the suspension with the resignation of someone who hasn’t done anything wrong and who feels extremely upset by the events. I do feel sorry for the fans and for my team mates whom I will not be able to help during the next month. It will be a very difficult time for me.
The only thing I wish for at the moment is being able to run out again at Anfield and to do what I like most which is playing football.
Thank you very much.