Reina slams ‘absurd, out of proportion & excessive’ Suarez ban

The 30-year-old says his colleague has been treated differently to others in the past, referencing recent racism cases, while suggesting the forward may leave as a result

Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina has blasted the Football Association for handing team-mate Luis Suarez a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

The forward dug his teeth into the Serb’s arm during the Premier League match on Sunday, but escaped punishment at the time as the referee missed the incident.

The FA then issued the Uruguayan with the 10-match suspension after reviewing video evidence of the clash, seven more than the standard violent conduct charge, and the Merseyside outfit’s goalkeeper believes his colleague is being discriminated against.

He told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope: “I consider myself a friend of Luis. People in England are treating him different because he is Uruguayan or because he has had a previous episode like this.

“He knows he is wrong but a 10-game ban seems to me absurd, out of proportion and excessive. It seems that the people making the decisions have got it in for Luis a little bit.

“I know Luis and I know that he is the complete opposite [off the pitch]. He is a magnificent person and great team-mate.

“But because of the way he plays, he is aggressive and very competitive, he plays like a street player and sometimes the way he is gets him into trouble. Sometimes his strong temper does not help him.”

The 30-year-old then referenced recent racism cases, involving Suarez and others such as John Terry, to highlight his claim that the punishment given to his teammate is too harsh and inconsistent.

“There is a lot of hypocrisy,” he continued. “In England there [is a] very sensationalist media that pay more attention to some than others. In the racism cases: the one with proof got a four-game ban [Terry] and Luis got eight matches.

“There have been other times and it seems there is a rule that if the referee has seen it then nothing further can be done. [If] he was an English player I think the treatment [would be] different.”

The former Ajax forward’s latest moment of controversy has only added to speculation about a possible move in the summer, with Reina admitting it is affecting his family and indicating the striker would find no shortage of offers should he decide to leave.

“Right now he is a Liverpool player,” he said. “He is having a bad time of it and so is his family. He is certainly good enough to fit into any team in the world.”

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