Despite pronounced support of Luis Suarez in the aftermath of his being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, Liverpool will not be appealing the eight-game ban the Uruguayan striker received, the FA announced on Tuesday.
Had Suarez appealed the decision, he could have received a lesser ban, but he also would have been subjected to an increased punishment if the FA had seen it fit to do so.
As a result, Suarez will miss Liverpool's next eight games, starting with Tuesday's crucial match against Manchester City. He is also on the hook for a £40,000 fine. Suarez will be eligible to return on Feb. 11, when Liverpool plays Manchester United at Old Trafford. In between, he'll miss five Premier League games (against City, Stoke City, Bolton, Wolves and Tottenham), an FA Cup match against Oldham Athletic and the two legs of Liverpool's Carling Cup semifinal tie with City.
Suarez just sat out Liverpool's match last Friday against Newcastle, serving a one-game FA ban stemming from a separate incident following a match at Fulham in early December.
Among what Suarez wrote was, "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 teammates whom I will not be able to help during the next month. It will be a very difficult time for me."
What do you think of this development? Surprised Suarez and Liverpool are accepting the ban? How do you see the Reds faring without him?
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