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British media sink teeth into 'cannibal' Suarez

REUTERS

Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic (R) challenges Liverpool's Luis Suarez during their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield in Liverpool, northern England, April 21, 2013.

REUTERS

LONDON: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been dubbed a "cannibal" by British media after his shameful bite on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match on Sunday.

The Uruguayan could face heavy punishment from the Football Association when they begin an investigation into his assault on Ivanovic, which was missed by match referee Kevin Friend.

Television replays clearly showed the 26-year-old seizing Ivanovic's forearm and sinking his teeth into it.

It was not the first time Suarez, who scored a stoppage time equaliser in a 2-2 draw, has been involved in a biting incident. He was previously banned in the Netherlands after biting the neck of PSV's Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax in 2010.

"The Kop Cannibal" was the Daily Mirror's back page headline, a description also used by the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, both papers suggesting it was time Liverpool parted company with the controversial striker.

Mass circulation tabloid The Sun said "Same Old Suarez, Always Eating" while The Times back page said Suarez had "shamed" the club which stood by him during a racism storm that saw him banned last season.

Suarez, who leads the Premier League's scoring charts with 23 goals, issued an apology on Sunday and Liverpool also condemned their player's behaviour. Managing director Ian Ayre described his actions as "not befitting of any player wearing a Liverpool shirt".

The FA said they would talk to the match referee on Monday as they begin an investigation.

Retrospective punishment, using video evidence, has been used before to sanction players whose misdemeanours were missed on the pitch and it is unlikely Suarez will escape a lengthy ban.

Liverpool would also find themselves in a moral dilemma.

While some will call for Suarez to be shown the door, or even sacked, others will point to his undeniable quality on the pitch and his value to the team.

Manager Brendan Rodgers, who has backed Suarez to win the Player of the Year award, was initially reluctant to talk about the bite but said no player was bigger than the club.

"Players are always replaceable, no matter how good they think they are," Rodgers said on Liverpool's website.

"The standards at this club have been met for many years and that's why it is the worldwide institution that it is."


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