STRIKER Luis Suarez has been fined by Liverpool for biting opponent Branislav Ivanovic during the Reds 2-2 draw with Chelsea and faces a hefty suspension after being charged by the Football Association with violent conduct.
Suarez was jockeying for position with defender Ivanovic when he launched his astonishing attack that has led to widespread outrage, with Prime Minister David Cameron leading the criticism and urging the FA to take into account “high-profile players are often role models” when considering his punishment.
The incident went unnoticed by match referee Kevin Friend, but Liverpool moved swiftly to punish their player, who requested his fine be donated to the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
Suarez has until 6pm tonight to respond to the FA’s charge, who have said the standard three-game ban for violent conduct is “clearly insufficient in these circumstances”.
However, Liverpool insist they will not turn their back on the troublesome star.
“It affects his future in the sense that we have to work with him on his discipline, but Luis is a very important player to the club,” said managing director Ian Ayre.
“He signed a new four-year contract last summer and we’d all love to see him here throughout that contract.
“This is more about getting him back on the right track.”
Merseyside Police have confirmed no action will be taken against Suarez, who is one of six players nominated for the Player of the Year award, while the Professional Footballers’ Association have offered him anger management classes.
Meanwhile, the 26-year-old’s boot suppliers, Adidas, indicated they intend to contact the striker to remind him of his responsibility to the sportswear giant’s brand.
“We will be reminding him of the standards we expect from our players,” a statement read. “Adidas takes this type of behaviour very seriously.”
Suarez moved to Anfield from Ajax in a £22.8m deal in 2011 and has scored 30 goals in all competitions this season.
Since arriving in England Suarez has been found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and was fined £40,000 and handed an eight match ban.
He was also banned for one match for making an offensive gesture to Fulham fans in December 2011.
■ Downing Street: “It is rightly a matter for the football authorities to consider. It would be understandable if they took into account the fact high-profile players are often role models.”
■ The PFA: “We have to work hard on anger management now. We have trained counsellors in this field and will be offering their services to Liverpool and the player.”
■ Adidas: “Adidas takes this type of incident very seriously. Luis has admitted his actions were unacceptable and we support the way Liverpool are planning to handle this.”