Luis Suarez bite: Liverpool striker apologises to Branislav Ivanovic
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has apologised for his “inexcusable behaviour” after biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
The incident happened in the second half of Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Anfield on Sunday.
“I’ve spoken to Ivanovic on the phone and I could apologise directly to him. Thanks for accepting,” Suarez tweeted.
In an earlier statement, he said: “I apologise to my manager and everyone at Liverpool for letting them down.”
Reds manager Brendan Rodgers added: “Having reviewed the video footage and spoken to Luis, his behaviour is unacceptable and I have made him aware of this.”
Blues defender Ivanovic, 29, complained to referee Kevin Friend that he had been bitten on his right arm by Suarez after their clash inside the Chelsea penalty area.
Ian Ayre, the Premier League club’s managing director, added Suarez’s behaviour did not “befit” that of a Liverpool player.
“Luis is aware that he has let himself and everyone associated with the club down,” said Ayre, who cancelled a planned trip to Australia to personally handle the fallout.
“We will deal with the matter internally and await any action from the Football Association.”
Shortly after the match, Rodgers had said no individual was “bigger than the club” after pledging to review the incident.
“This is a club with incredible values and ethics,” he said. “There’s certainly no-one bigger than this club, a player or manager.
“As football managers, staff and players, we’re representing this club, off the field and in particular on the field.”
It is not the first time this season that Suarez has been criticised by Rodgers, with the former Swansea boss angered by the striker’s admission of diving against Stoke.
“I think it’s wrong – it’s unacceptable,” Rodgers said in January. “Diving is not something we advocate. Our ethics are correct.”
Former Ajax captain Suarez, who scored his 30th goal of the season in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea, was also given a seven-match ban for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal in November 2010.
The Uruguayan, who signed for the Reds in January 2011, was recently named on the PFA Player of the Year shortlist.
Professional Footballer’s Association chairman Gordon Taylor believes Suarez will not be excluded from the PFA award but called the situation “embarrassing”.
He told BBC Sport: “It is very depressing and embarrassing that it should happen. If it wasn’t for all the controversies he’s been involved in he would be a more highly regarded player.
“Players are role models and are highly rewarded. This sets such a bad example.”
Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech said immediately after the match that Ivanovic had not mentioned the incident in the Blues’ dressing room.
“I didn’t see it at the time but people have told me, which is surprising,” said the Czech Republic international.
“Suarez always does little fouls and pushes. I saw Branislav’s reaction and he was not happy at all.”
Courtesy: BBC FOOTBALL