Premier League - Suarez to appeal FA ban

Wed, 21 Dec 22:13:00 2011

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez will appeal against his eight-match suspension and fine for an alleged racist remark against Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

liverpool, andy carroll, luis suarez - 0

"The appeal is total, over and above there being a monetary aspect and another with a match suspension," the player's legal representative in Uruguay, Alejandro Balbi, said.He told a news conference in Montevideo that it would be Liverpool's lawyers who made the appeal to the FA.

The FA suspended Suarez for eight matches and fined him £40,000 pounds for comments made to Evra during a Premier League match at Anfield in October, saying he used "insulting words" in a reference to the French international's colour.

"He (Suarez) is firmly convinced that this hard sanction can be reversed," Balbi said.

Suarez denies having racially abused Evra and Liverpool reiterated their belief their player is innocent.

"It's one of the hardest sanctions handed down in English football, so it seems to us absolutely out of proportion," said Balbi.

He said Liverpool would concentrate on the appeal and not seek sanctions against Evra who, according to the Premier League club, admitted having insulted Suarez.

The Uruguayan Football Association has offered Suarez and Liverpool whatever backing they need for an appeal.

Liverpool's players have also been quick to back the striker, issuing a joint-statement strongly condemning the FA's decision.

Following on from the club’s statement issued in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday’s punishment, Suarez’s team-mates echoed manager Kenny Dalglish in backing the Uruguayan by using the club’s motto 'you’ll never walk alone'.

"Luis Suarez is our team-mate and our friend and as a group of players we are shocked and angered that he has been found guilty by the FA," the statement read. "We totally support Luis and we want the world to know that. We know he is not racist.

"We are a squad of many different nationalities and backgrounds. All of us support the club's commitment to fighting racism. All of us accept there is no place in the game for any form of discrimination. As a group of players we totally support the Kick it Out Campaign.

"We have lived, trained and played with Luis for almost 12 months and we don't recognise the way he has been portrayed. We will continue to support Luis through this difficult period, and as a popular and respected friend of all his team-mates, he will not walk alone."

The club had previously backed Suarez and criticised the FA, claiming he was not a racist and that the evidence was based on Manchester United left-back Evra’s word.

That statement - from which many inferred the club felt that the FA were persecuting Liverpool in favour of United - also incorrectly claimed that Evra had made "prior unfounded allegations", when previous reports of racism against the Frenchman were in fact made by third parties and not the player.

Suarez has not denied using a Spanish term that referred to Evra's skin colour during a Premier League match in October, but insisted that it was a term of endearment in his native Uruguay and was not aware of offensive connotations in the United Kingdom.

Suarez handed eight-game ban

Reuters / Reda Maher / Eurosport

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