Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has issued a further apology after accepting a 10-game ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic.
The Merseyside club were given until midday on Friday to appeal the FA sanction, handed down in the aftermath of Sunday’s clash with Chelsea at Anfield.
However, Liverpool have opted against taking such action at the Uruguayan’s request, meaning the striker will now be unable to feature in domestic competition until October.
And, though Suarez reiterated his belief that the ban’s length was extreme, the forward expressed a desire to improve his behaviour.
“I am truly very sorry about the incident with Branislav Ivanovic,” a statement on Suarez’s official website read.
“I hope that all the people who I have offended at Anfield last Sunday will grant me forgiveness and I again repeat my personal apology to Branislav.
“I know that all the things that are happening to me in England will help me to improve my conduct on the field. Right now, I just want to focus on becoming a better footballer on and off [the] field.
“I would like to explain to everybody that I decided to accept the ban because while 10 games is clearly greater than those bans given in past cases where players have actually been seriously injured, I acknowledge that my actions were not acceptable on the football pitch so I do not want to give the wrong impression to people by making an appeal.
“I really want to learn from what has happened in the last two and a half years, many things have been said and written about me, I just tried to do my best on the field. I hope to come back early to play.”
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre also lamented the “differing standards” used when banning players, but insisted Suarez would be given support.
“The charges against Luis were his to consider and we have to respect his decision to not appeal the 10-game ban,” he told the club’s official website.
“We are all disappointed at the severity of the punishment and in particular the differing standards that have been applied across various previous incidents.
“Luis is an important member of our team and nothing has changed in that regard.
“We are committed to helping him improve his conduct and he will be given our full support. We look forward to him returning to the team next season when he is available for selection.”
And manager Brendan Rodgers further underlined his frustration with the severity of the punishment received by the striker.
“We can’t hide our disappointment at the outcome of this situation, but we have to move on and support Luis in his decision,” he said.
“Luis has made a huge contribution to the squad this season and we respect his decision to accept the ban.
“He will be missed for the remainder of this season and the early part of next, but we will have the opportunity to welcome a better person and player when he returns.”
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