Suarez Apologizes

Michael Regan

After his incredibly bizarre and reckless behaviour, Luis Suarez has apologized, with Ian Ayre and Brendan Rodgers also making statements.

Like me, you're no doubt in a bit of a head-spin following the events of today. What should have been a match notable for the return of Rafael Benitez, a nicely observed tribute to Anne Williams and to the victims of the Boston bombings and a Daniel Sturridge-inspired second half fight-back, will instead be forever remembered for the lurid headlines and tv coverage created by Luis Suarez's crazy behaviour.

Mid-way through the second half, Suarez tangled with Branislav Ivanovic in the Chelsea penalty area and appeared to attempt to bite the Serbian international's left arm. Ivanovic went to the ground and remonstrated with match referee Kevin Friend, clearly indicating that he felt he'd been bitten and the television cameras confirm the Uruguayan's ill-advised mastication.

The club and player have moved quickly to issue statements, with Suarez apologising unreservedly. "I am deeply sorry for my inexcusable behaviour earlier today, during our match against Chelsea," said the striker. "I have issued an apology and tried to contact Branislav Ivanovic to speak to him personally. I apologise also to my manager, playing colleagues and everyone at Liverpool Football Club for letting them down."

Earlier he tweeted, "I'm sad for what happened this afternoon. I apologise Ivanovic and all football world for my inexcusable behaviour. I'm so sorry about it!" He followed that tweet up with a second, at 10.45, in which he said, "I've just spoken to Ivanovic directly on the phone and I could apologise directly to him. Thanks for accepting."

The club's managing director, Ian Ayre, also made a statement; "Luis has made an unreserved apology for his actions today," he said. "His behaviour is not befitting of anyone wearing a Liverpool shirt and Luis is aware that he has let himself and everyone associated with the club down. We will deal with the matter internally and await any action from the FA."

Brendan Rodgers was equally direct. "Having reviewed the video footage and spoken to Luis," said the manager, "his behaviour is unacceptable and I have made him aware of this."

Meanwhile the reaction from Chelsea has been sparse. In an interview with BBC Peter Cech said, "Suarez always does little fouls and pushes. I saw Branislav's reaction and he was not happy at all."

PFA chairman, Gordon Taylor also had his say on the matter. "It's very depressing and embarrassing that it should happen, " he said. "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."

This is all utterly unedifying and completely detracts from a quite wonderful display by Daniel Sturridge in partnership with the Uruguayan -- the pair exchanging assists and goals. Once more, Liverpool Football Club is embroiled in needless, distasteful controversy and once again, it is Luis Suarez who has caused it.

Patently, this latest shambles evokes a series of questions about the future of the player at the club. For now, those questions are best left to one side as the powers that be struggle to minimise the damage and fallout. It's a hell of a week for new Director of Communications, Susan Black, to join the good ship LFC.

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