Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has slammed the Football Association over the 10-game sanction handed down to Luis Suarez.
The striker was banned after pleading guilty to a charge of violent conduct following his bite on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during Sunday’s 2-2 draw between the sides at Anfield.
But Rodgers has described the punishment as “difficult to understand” when compared to past incidents.
“We were very shocked and bitterly disappointed,” he said.
“Not so much at the ban because everybody has seen what had happened. Luis, in all fairness, was very open and honest to know it was wrong, what he did.
“I think it’s the severity of the ban which has hurt most and I think that’s something that we’re bitterly disappointed with.
“Over the course of these last number of years there have been two incidents of this type of scenario and both in 2006.
“One player received no ban and actually was chosen by the FA as a part of the England squad and the second player received a five-game ban.
“So, as you can, imagine when Luis Suarez receives a 10-game ban then it’s obviously very, very difficult for us to understand.
“I can’t help but look at it and look at the sanction that’s been put on Luis for the incident and I honestly feel that the punishment has been against the man and not the incident.
“We’ve got a punishment with no intention towards helping the rehabilitation of the player and that’s what’s disappointing.”
The Northern Irishman also called into doubt the impartiality of the three-man panel who convened on Suarez’s case.
“We’d been given clear indications that there was going to be an independent, or so-called independent, case put together on it and we would then receive would that sanction was going to be,” he added.
“That’s a different matter altogether because it’s been the first time I’ve ever heard of an independent inquiry being dictated to by so many people.
“It was put out there the day before by the FA that it would be more than three games. Now, if you’re independent then there’s a prejudice there straight away.”
Rodgers was keen to emphasise, however, that Suarez remains a vital part of the Merseyside club’s future.
“He’s still very much part of the Liverpool family, he’s still very much part of our future,” he said.
“Even though he’s not playing he’s going to be very important for us going forward in order for us to succeed.”