Prime Minister David Cameron said today that Luis Suarez’s bite on Branislav Ivanovic set an ‘appalling example’ to his seven-year-old son – but the Liverpool striker’s punishment is a matter for the FA.
Cameron told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that his intervention in the matter was merely that of a concerned father.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers yesterday reacted angrily to his star striker’s 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, claiming that remarks from both the FA and Cameron had affected the impartiality of the independent panel hearing his case.
The Prime Minister said this morning: ‘I made my own views clear just as a dad watching the game.
‘I’ve got a seven-year-old son who just loves watching football and when players behave like this it just sets the most appalling example to young people in our country.’
Pressed on whether a 10-match ban was appropriate for the offence, he added: ‘That’s up to the FA, it’s not my decision.
‘The FA make the decision, they’re entirely independent and that is the way it should work.
‘I’m going to leave it entirely to the FA. But if you’re asking me as a dad and as a human being, do I think we should have tough penalties when players behave like this, yes I think we should.
‘There are people, I’ve read in some newspapers, who think somehow this isn’t serious. I think it is serious, when we’re trying to bring up our children properly, they do see football players as role models.
‘Bringing up children is one of the toughest things we do but you can’t wrap them in cotton wool and hide them away from the world, they do see these real-life examples and they repeat them back to you.’
Rodgers yesterday claimed the comments from the FA and the Prime Minister, among others, had ‘prejudiced’ the decision of the independent panel which handed down the ban.
‘We had been given clear indications by the FA that there was going to be an independent – or so-called independent – case put together and then we would receive what that sanction would be,’ he said.
‘If you are an independent panel and yet the day beforehand the FA come out and say he (Suarez) will serve more than three games it is not independent because they are already putting pressure on the sanction.’