GUARDIAN – Luis Suárez considering future at Liverpool after 10-game ban

• Suárez feels victimised by English football authorities• Striker may be open to offers from Europe this summerLuis Suárez is considering his future in English football having been left stunned by a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic at Anfield on Sunday.Liverpool have repeatedly denied they would sell their leading goalscorer, as recently as Monday, but there are concerns within the club that the severity of the punishment has left Suárez feeling persecuted and more open to offers from Europe this summer. Juventus have retained an interest in the 26-year-old since last year, Bayern Munich have been linked because Pep Guardiola’s brother, Pere, is Suárez’s agent and the striker will be a target for Atlético Madrid in the event of Radamel Falcao’s departure.Suárez will be sidelined until September as a result of Wednesday’s ruling by an independent regulatory commission and has until midday on Friday to appeal against one of the longest suspensions imposed by the Football Association. The ban has commenced with immediate effect. The striker would still have to serve the final six games of the suspension next season if he moved abroad, as was the case when Joey Barton moved to Marseille in the midst of a 12-match ban collected at Queens Park Rangers. But the belief he is being victimised by the football authorities in England has prompted Suárez to consider a fresh start in Europe.The Uruguay forward continues to feel wronged by the eight-match suspension and £40,000 fine he received last season for using racially abusive language towards Patrice Evra, a decision reached by another independent regulatory commission. In a submission to the hearing on Wednesday, Suárez claimed the bite on the Serbian defender did not deserve more than an automatic three-match ban for violent conduct. That was rejected outright by the three-man panel, all impartial from Liverpool and Chelsea, who met via video-link and imposed a penalty more than three times greater than Suárez believed necessary.Liverpool had feared that Suárez’s chequered career in English football and pressure from the prime minister’s office would result in a substantial ban but were taken aback by its severity. The club and player will receive written reasons for the 10-match suspension from the FA on Thursday before deciding whether to appeal. Liverpool supported Suárez’s decision to challenge the FA’s announcement that a three-match ban was “clearly insufficient” and an appeal is expected.Ian Ayre, the Liverpool managing director who publicly rebuked Suárez on Sunday and fined him on Monday, said: “Both the club and player are shocked and disappointed at the severity of today’s independent regulatory commission decision. We await the written reasons tomorrow before making any further comment.”The commission’s explanation for the 10-match suspension will not be made public until Liverpool and Suárez have received its report. A seven-match ban from the Dutch FA for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal in November 2010 could not be taken into account by the panel but they could consider Suárez’s disciplinary record in English football, including the Evra verdict, if they wished.Suárez’s punishment has led to criticism of the inconsistencies in the FA’s disciplinary process, with Jermain Defoe receiving only a yellow card for biting Javier Mascherano in 2006 and therefore avoiding retrospective punishment, and the Uruguayan landing a longer ban for biting than using racially abusive language. The FA’s position on racist abuse has changed since the Suárez and John Terry cases, however, and the organisation has drawn up stiffer penalties, independently of Uefa’s proposed directive, that are expected to be announced within weeks.The commission considered the FA’s charge of violent conduct, and recommendation that three matches were insufficient, against a written submission from Liverpool on Suárez’s behalf.An FA statement said: “A three-person independent regulatory commission today upheld the FA’s claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three. The suspension begins with immediate effect.”The Liverpool forward had accepted a charge of violent conduct but had denied the FA’s claim that the standard three-match sanction was insufficient for the offence. The incident was not seen by the match officials and has therefore been retrospectively reviewed. Suárez has until midday on Friday 26 April to appeal the additional suspension, above the standard three matches.”Suárez’s suspension will commence with Liverpool’s match against Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Saturday evening and the striker, who took his tally for the season to 30 with a 97th-minute equaliser against Chelsea, will also miss matches against Everton, Fulham and QPR before the season finishes.Luis SuárezLiverpoolAndy Hunterguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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GUARDIAN – Liverpool have had ‘no contact’ over Debrecen Champions League match

• Danish paper says 2009 game investigated over match-fixing• Europol has not revealed which matches under suspicionLiverpool today said they have had no contact from Europol or any other body in connection with match-fixing allegations surrounding their 2009 Champions League match against Debrecen.The European law enforcement agency said one Champions League match played in England is under investigation. According to the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, Europol is looking at the Hungarian side Debrecen, who lost 1-0 to Liverpool at Anfield in 2009. There is no suggestion that anyone at Liverpool was involved in any wrongdoing.Vukasin Poleksic, the Debrecen goalkeeper that night, was banned for two years in 2010 by Uefa for failing to report an approach from match-fixers involving a different game.Poleksic took his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport which upheld the ban, saying: “It had been proven to its comfortable satisfaction that there had been contacts between the player and the members of a criminal group involved in match-fixing and betting fraud and that he was obliged to have reported the said contacts to Uefa. By failing to make such a report, Poleksic had violated the principles of conduct set forth in the Uefa regulations.” It added that it had not established that any match fixing took place.A Liverpool spokesman told the Press Association: “We have had no contact from Europol or any other organisation over this.”Europol has not revealed which Champions League match in England is under investigation but that it took place “in the last three to four years” and is one of 380 games being studied.However it also emerged yesterday that neither the Football Association nor Uefa were aware of any such probe.A spokesman for the FA said: “The FA are not aware of any credible reports into suspicious Champions League fixtures in England, nor has any information been shared with us.”While the Champions League comes under Uefa jurisdiction, The FA, alongside the Premier League, Football League and Conference, monitor markets for the top seven leagues and three major cup competitions in England and take matters of integrity in football extremely seriously.”Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, told a news conference that a total of 425 match officials, club officials, players, and serious criminals, from more than 15 countries, are suspected of being involved in attempts to fix matches.Fifa’s head of security, Ralf Mutschke has called for tougher prison sentences for match-fixing. Mutschke said football could ban perpetrators for life, but that the courts need to crack down harder.He said: “In football, a national association can sanction a member of the football family if they are found guilty of contravening the legal, football framework.”Fifa’s disciplinary code provides the opportunity to extend those sanctions, and impose a life ban. But for people outside of football, currently the custodial sentences imposed are too weak, and offer little to deter someone from getting involved in match-fixing.”LiverpoolDebrecen VSCUefaThe FAFifaguardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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