Thompson backs Liverpool on Suarez
Published 22/04/2013 | 17:56
Liverpool stalwart Phil Thompson believes the club has reacted in the right way to the latest storm surrounding Luis Suarez and has urged the Reds to accept whatever punishment is given to the striker.
Suarez was caught on camera biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic during Sunday's 2-2 draw in an incident that went unsanctioned at the time, going on to score an equaliser deep into stoppage time. The 26-year-old is expected to receive a lengthy ban from the Football Association while Liverpool condemned the actions of Suarez and fined him.
The Reds were heavily criticised for their handling of the situation when Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra last season and Thompson is pleased Liverpool have reacted quickly and decisively this time. He told Sky Sports News: "Luis apologised, then we had the club apologising and now they've fined him very quickly."
He continued: "In the FA's eyes, they will look at Liverpool Football Club as having acted in the right manner as befits our club. But in terms of thinking, 'We may get away with a lesser ban', I don't think anything like that's been done.
"Luis Suarez will get a massive ban, 10 games plus or maybe even more, maybe a monthly ban as Eric Cantona got. We have to be willing and ready to accept that."
Suarez was banned for seven matches in Holland in 2010 after another biting incident when he was an Ajax player, and former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen criticised the striker for shaming the club.
Speaking on Match of the Day 2, Hansen said: "You're not expecting anything like this. This is absolutely appalling. Why he did it, we will never know. He's got previous, there's obviously a massive flaw in the character.
"To watch these pictures that will be going right round the world is horrific for Liverpool Football Club, their history, their tradition, and for the player himself. When he sees these images, he'll be apoplectic. It's just appallingly bad."
Another former Liverpool player, John Barnes, thinks the reaction to Suarez's bite has been over the top and described suggestions he should not play for the club again as "ridiculous".
"He has to suffer the consequences of his actions - that's all he has to do," Barnes told BBC Radio Five Live. "I've heard talk about him not playing for Liverpool again, which I think is ridiculous. I've heard talk about him bringing the good name of Liverpool down, which is also ridiculous - he's brought his own good name down."