Aggrieved at the severity of Luis Suarez's 10-match ban for biting an opponent, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers launched a robust defense of the striker Thursday and said the punishment was given ''against the man rather than the incident.''
Suarez was hit with one of English football's longest suspensions for on-pitch misbehavior after biting Branislav Ivanovic during Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Sunday.
''He has a sanction that doesn't really fit what he did,'' Rodgers said. ''I can't help but look at it and look at the sanction that's been put on Luis for the incident, and honestly feel the punishment has been against the man rather than the incident. That's my underlying feeling.''
Backing up his theory, Rodgers cited a similar offense committed in 2006 by Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe, who only received a yellow card. Defoe escaped further punishment because the referee saw the incident at the time, meaning the incident couldn't be looked at retroactively. In the...