Suarez allegedly bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during the two clubs’ recent match, and the incident has reached much mainstream media attention, especially considering the 26-year-old is also in the midst of controversy having punched an opposing player during a recent international game for Uruguay.
The FA announced that they did not look at most incidents which had been cited as setting precedents, namely the likes of Callum McManaman’s horrific challenge on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara, which they claimed was left out of their ruling as “the act of competing for the ball is part of the game.”
The 21-page report also explicitly states that many others were not taken into consideration, citing Ben Thatcher’s act of serious foul play in 2006 as an example.
The report says: “We were mindful that, in a game of football, the coming together of opposing players and physical bodily contacts in challenging for the ball is part of the game – albeit some of the challenges, regrettably, could lead to more serious injuries.”
They appear to have used an occurrence in March, when Brighton’s Ashley Barnes tripped the referee and was punished with a six game ban, as the precedent of choice, continuing: “We concluded that this offence is significantly more serious than that of Ashley Barnes’ and, accordingly, the punishment should be significantly higher.
“The participants in a game of football do not expect to be bitten by another participant when they come to play football.
“In this incident, Mr Ivanovic would not, and should not, have been expected to be subject to such a shocking and reprehensible action.
“It seemed to us that Mr Suarez had not fully appreciated the gravity and seriousness of this truly exceptional incident.”
That latter claim is in reference to a statement from both Suarez and Liverpool that a three game ban would likely prove sufficient, leading the FA to believe that he took the incident too lightly.
Suarez did follow up the ruling with an official statement of his own yesterday, read Simon Wright’s article here for more information on the player’s response.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Newcastle v Liverpool