Sunday 17 December 2017

Suarez to lead Ajax despite biting controversy

Luis Suarez is still expected to captain Ajax against Real Madrid in the Champions League tonight, despite his club handing him a two-game domestic ban for biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal.

The incident occurred in Saturday's 0-0 draw between the two clubs, with Suarez initially escaping punishment because referee Bjorn Kuipers had been looking in the opposite direction. The official later said he would have sent off Suarez had he seen it.

The Dutch FA (KNVB) are investigating and could yet impose a longer ban but that will not stop him turning out against Madrid.

"We talked to him about it today," coach Martin Jol said. "But we will keep the contents of that conversation internal. That's all for after the game against Real Madrid, that to me is the key issue now."

Jol gave his pre-match press conference before the club had announced the punishment for Suarez, who will also pay a fine to charity. And Jol failed to condemn the actions of his star striker.

"I still do not know whether he has bitten Bakkal hard," Jol said. "I know that Bakkal stood on him a few times."

Suarez had complained after the game that Bakkal had stood on his feet numerous times, but said the matter had been settled between the two before the final whistle, and they did leave the pitch arm-in-arm, with Bakkal saying he did not want to see further action taken.

However, Ajax saw it differently, and their self-imposed ban rules Suarez out of matches against VVV-Venlo and NEC Nijmegen.

Ajax v Real Madrid,

Live, Setanta Ireland, 7.45

Irish Independent

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