Liverpool fines Luis Suarez for biting opponent
Liverpool fined Luis Suarez on Monday for biting an opponent, and demanded that the troublesome striker works on his disciplinary problems.
The Uruguay striker bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic's arm during Sunday's Premier League match before scoring his 30th goal of the season - a last-gasp equalizer - to clinch a 2-2 draw.
"For my unacceptable behavior yesterday, the club has fined me today,'' Suarez wrote on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.
The sum was undisclosed, but clubs can only fine players two weeks' worth of wages without seeking permission from the Professional Footballers' Association.
Suarez asked for the fine to be donated to families affected by the 1989 Hillsborough Stadium disaster, which killed 96 Liverpool fans, "for the inconvenience I have created to the Liverpool fans and to Ivanovic.''
Suarez will not face a police investigation after Ivanovic said he did not want to press charges.
"He had no apparent physical injuries and did not wish to make a complaint,'' Merseyside Police said in a statement.
Suarez could still face a long ban from the Football Association, but Liverpool said it has no intention of selling its top scorer.
"It affects his future in the sense that we have to work with him on his discipline - but Luis is a very important player to the club,'' Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre said. "He's a very popular player with his teammates. As we keep saying, he signed a new four-year contract last summer and we'd all love to see him here throughout that contract.
"He's a fantastic player, top scorer and everything we'd want in a striker, so there's no change there. This is more about getting him back on the right track.''
The Professional Footballers' Association has offered the services of counselors.
"There is no doubting his football ability, that's why it is so disappointing and embarrassing when he lets himself down,'' PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said. "We have to work hard on anger management now. We have trained counselors in this field and we will be offering their services to Liverpool and the player to try to improve matters.''
Sports goods giant Adidas took the rare step of speaking out against a player it sponsors to announce that it will talk to Suarez about his actions.
"Adidas does not condone Luis Suarez's behavior and we will be reminding him of the standards we expect from our players,'' the company said in a statement.
Suarez was also suspended for seven matches in 2010 while playing for Ajax after biting a player.
Trouble followed Suarez to the English Premier League, and he was suspended for eight games in December 2011 for making racist insults toward Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a match.
Liverpool, which is owned by the Boston Red Sox ownership group, provoked widespread outrage by initially backing Suarez after that incident, but acted quickly this time in punishing the player.
"The most important thing is that we acted swiftly yesterday,'' Ayre said. "Luis issued his apology and then we spoke with him last night and then again this morning ... you can see when you speak to him how sorry he is about it and he's certainly shown quite a lot of contrition to us.''
With his scoring spree this season, Suarez was starting to rehabilitate his damaged reputation this season.
His penchant for diving aside, even his critics had been starting to warm to one of the world's most gifted players. He is one of the leading contenders for the annual Player of the Year award voted on by fellow footballers.