LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers has accused the Football Association of double standards in their treatment of Luis Suarez and insisted the striker deserved only a six-game ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
Rodgers pointed to previous cases of biting that received lesser punishments than Suarez’s 10-match ban: Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe was not suspended at all while Chester’s Sean Hessey missed five fixtures.
“It is the severity of the ban that has hurt most. I felt it could have been 12 games but with a six-game ban and six games suspended, looking at his future behaviour,” said the Reds boss.
“There have been two incidents of this type of scenario. One player received no ban and continued to be chosen by the FA as part of the England squad. The second player received a five-game ban. So as you can imagine when Luis Suarez receives a 10-game ban it is very difficult to understand.”
Liverpool have until midday today to appeal the ban, and Rodgers suggested it should be acknowledged that Suarez had made an effort to avoid the controversies that have tainted his past.
“This is a guy who has been genuinely trying to change his behaviour and curb his natural instincts. From a young boy his mentality has all been about winning,” he added.
“This year he has done a brilliant job and that is why I’ve always been at the forefront of defending him. And when he hasn’t I have spoken and he’s understood that.”
Uruguay forward Suarez, 26, served a seven-match ban for biting an opponent in 2010 while playing for previous club Ajax.
He was banned for eight games last season after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.