LIVERPOOL striker Luis Suarez sparked fresh controversy last night by insisting he does not deserve any more than a three-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in Sunday’s match.
Suarez informed the Football Association that he was accepting its charge of violent conduct for the incident, which was missed by the match officials in the 2-2 Premier League draw.
But the Uruguay star denied the FA’s assertion that a standard three-match suspension would be insufficient. An independent regulatory committee panel is set to meet today to hear the case.
Suarez, 26, received a seven-game ban from Dutch football chiefs in November 2010 for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal on the shoulder while playing for former club Ajax.
If found guilty by the panel Suarez could receive a similarly lengthy suspension, meaning he would miss Liverpool’s remaining four fixtures of this season and potentially the start of the next campaign.
Suarez and Ivanovic clashed in the second half of the weekend contest at Anfield. Referee Kevin Friend did not see the apparent bite and Suarez went on to head a late equaliser.
The £23m Liverpool forward apologised for the incident on Sunday evening, calling his behaviour “inexcusable”, and said he had spoken to Ivanovic to say sorry.
The Reds fined him a sum thought to be around £200,000 but resisted calls to impose their own ban.
Suarez yesterday received the backing of former world heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson, who notoriously bit off part of opponent Evander Holyfield’s ear during a 1997 title fight.
“He [Suarez] bit someone – it happens,” said Tyson. “I’m sure he will make amends with this guy. I made amends with Evander and we got on with our lives.”
■ Apr 2013: Pleads guilty to violent conduct charge from the FA after biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic
■ Dec 2011: Handed one match ban and £20,000 fine for offensive gesture towards Fulham fans
■ Nov 2011: Found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra. Fined £40,000 and banned for eight matches
■ Nov 2010: Banned for seven matches for biting PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal