Kuyt defends former Liverpool teammate Suarez

In the build-up to his club’s Europa League semi-final with Benfica on Thursday night, Fenerbahce striker Dirk Kuyt has given his support to his former teammate at Liverpool, Luis Suarez.

He told Goal.com: I think you could see it was a bad incident and it was inevitable he would miss some matches. He will be so distraught that the ban is 10 games because that is absolutely massive.

The beleaguered Uruguayan is believed to be considering his future in England after being slapped with a 10-match ban by the FA on Wednesday for biting Branislav Ivanovic on the arm during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.

Kuyt, who left the Reds for a new life in Turkey last summer, admits Suarez’s actions are inexcusable, but does feel the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

It seems extremely harsh, but that’s the punishment so I think he needs to accept it and move on. The sooner everyone can draw a line under the issue, the better.

I know he has got a bit of a reputation with the media and rival fans, but what I would say, is that I know Luis and he is a really good guy. He is a good friend of mine and I will support him all the way. He has made a big mistake. He’s apologised for it and I know how hurt he is at the moment.

Kuyt has scored 15 times in all competitions for Fenerbahce this season, including a crucial strike in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-final victory over Lazio. The 32-year-old is also the current vice-captain for the Dutch national side under Louis van Gaal.

Juventus, PSG, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid are among the clubs keen on signing Suarez in the summer. Liverpool have insisted though that their prized asset is not for sale.

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