Suarez future in doubt after Reds forward bites Ivanovic

Julian Harris
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LIVERPOOL star Luis Suarez’s future was hanging in the balance last night after he was caught on camera biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, leaving manager Brendan Rodgers hinting that the troublesome forward could be forced out of Anfield.

Chelsea twice took the lead during yesterday’s clash through Oscar and Eden Hazard, yet Suarez dominated the narrative. He assisted Daniel Sturridge’s goal before conceding a penalty, and then finally grabbed an injury-time equaliser.

But Suarez’s most significant moment was his second-half assault on Ivanovic, with the Football Association likely to impose a retrospective punishment.

And Rodgers will now consult with the club’s owners before deciding on Suarez’s future in Merseyside.

“Players are always replaceable, no matter how good they think they are. This club is about respect. It will be maintained,” Rodgers said. “We’ll review it, because there’s certainly no one bigger than this club.

“This is a club with incredible values and ethics here. As footballers, managers and staff we are representing this great club.”

Last night managing director Ian Ayre confirmed that the club will take internal action.

“Luis is aware that he has let himself and everyone associated with the club down,” Ayre said. “We will deal with the matter internally and await any action from the FA.”

Meanwhile Suarez, who received a seven-match ban for a similar offence while playing for Ajax against PSV Eindhoven in 2010, apologised for his “inexcusable behaviour”.

The Uruguay forward also served an eight-match ban last season after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

In 2006, Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe bit Javier Mascherano in a game against West Ham. But he escaped further punishment, as the referee took action and showed Defoe a yellow card during the game.

But yesterday’s referee, Kevin Friend, took no immediate action and did not appear to see the incident, leaving the FA free to impose a retrospective punishment on Suarez.

■ March 2013: appeared to punch Chile defender Gonzalo Jara

■ November 2011: Found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra

■ November 2010: banned for biting PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal

■ July 2010: his handball denies Ghana a World Cup semi-final place