Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has apologised for his “inexcusable” behaviour after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a 2-2 draw at Anfield, while manager Brendan Rodgers called the incident “unacceptable.”
Suarez netted a last-gasp equaliser to secure a point for Liverpool but his performance was overshadowed by a previous incident where he clearly dug his teeth into Ivanovic’s arm in the Chelsea area, shortly after having given away a penalty at the other end for a handball.
“I’m sad for what happened this afternoon, I apologize (to) Ivanovic and all football world for my inexcusable behaviour,” Suarez said on Twitter. “I’m so sorry about it!!”
Minutes later, Liverpool issued a statement on its website with another apology, along with harshly worded criticism from club officials.
“His behaviour is not befitting of any player wearing a Liverpool shirt and Luis is aware that he has let himself and everyone associated with the club down,” Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said in the statement. “We will deal with the matter internally and await any action from the FA.”
Rodgers initially refused to comment on the incident after the game, but joined in the criticism after watching replays from the game.
“Having reviewed the video footage and spoken to Luis, his behavior is unacceptable and I have made him aware of this,” Rodgers said.
Suarez has a history of misconduct and was banned for seven matches in 2010 for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax in the Dutch league, earning him the nickname “Cannibal of Ajax.”
Suarez was suspended for eight games in December 2011 for making racist insults to Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a Premier League match.
Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Gordon Taylor also criticized Suarez.
“It is very depressing and embarrassing that it should happen,” he told BBC Sports. “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.”
In the Liverpool statement, Suarez said he had tried to contact Ivanovic to “speak to him personally.”
“I apologise also to my manager, playing colleagues and everyone at Liverpool Football Club for letting them down,” Suarez was quoted as saying.