Luis Suarez won't appeal 10-match ban for biting
MANCHESTER, England (AP) -Liverpool striker Luis Suarez will serve a 10-match ban for biting an opponent during a Premier League game after deciding Friday not to appeal one of English football's harshest sanctions for on-the-field misbehavior.
Suarez, one of the league's most high-profile players, could have lodged an appeal against the decision of an independent panel to add seven games to the regular three for violent conduct, which the English Football Association deemed insufficient.
However, if he had been unsuccessful, he risked the possibility of the FA extending his punishment for making a frivolous appeal.
Suarez's suspension will begin immediately, meaning he will miss the last four games of this season and the first six of the next.
The Uruguay international has apologized, and been fined by Liverpool, for biting Branislav Ivanovic's upper right arm during Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Sunday.
Despite widespread condemnation of his actions, broadcast live in front of a global television audience, the striker was passionately defended Thursday by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and teammate Pepe Reina.
Rodgers said the punishment was given "against the man rather than the incident,'' with Suarez having previously been suspended for seven matches for biting an opponent in a Dutch league game in 2010 and also for eight games for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in 2011.
Reina said he felt the ban is "absurd, out of proportion and unfair'' and that Suarez is "being treated differently.''
However, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday that Suarez, the league's second highest scorer with 23 goals, has set an "appalling'' example to youngsters by biting a fellow player and welcomed the tough sanction.
"I made my own views clear just as a dad watching the game,'' Cameron told the BBC. "I've got a 7-year-old son who just loves watching football and when players behave like this it just sets the most appalling example to young people in our country.
"I've read in some newspapers, who think somehow this isn't serious,'' Cameron added. "I think it is serious, when we're trying to bring up our children properly, they do see football players as role models.''
The FA said it will release the independent panel's written reasons in due course. Suarez is also expected to release a statement Friday explaining why he chose not to appeal.