Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said he would understand if Luis Suarez wanted to leave the Premier League in the wake of his 10-game ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, the
Suarez was punished for appearing to sink his teeth in to Ivanovic during the 2-2 draw between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday, with Rodgers accepting that his player had to be sanctioned for his actions, but insisting the suspension was unjustly harsh.
Rodgers said: “Luis knows full well that what he did was wrong, but a 10-game ban seems to me absurd, out of proportion and unfair,” adding that while he does not believe the ban is motivated by Suarez’s nationality, he does feel the striker is held to different standards than other players in the game.
“It seems that the people making the decisions have got it in for Luis a little bit,” Rodgers said. “He knows he was in the wrong, he knows he has made a mistake so I am not justifying what he did, but for me there is hypocrisy. I don’t know if it’s so much xenophobia, but a different yardstick is used.”
Liverpool have until midday on Friday to appeal. Rodgers went on to say that it would be understandable if Suarez felt he could not continue playing in English football after the treatment he has received in the biting case, but hopes the support of the club and supporters will keep him on Merseyside.
“I can understand if he felt he couldn’t carry on in this country, if he felt like that in a moment of reflection,” Rodgers said. “I know at this moment he’s visibly very disappointed. I look in his face and for the first time since I arrived here I see a guy – a genuine guy – who is bitterly disappointed.
“It was something he knows was clear, he knows what he did and he expected punishment, but he hoped he would be supported in a rehab process that allows him not to do it again.
“Once he feels he knows the support he has from the management and the club it will make him think differently.”
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