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Suarez apologizes and Ivanovic refuses to press charges

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-CHELSEA-SUAREZ

ALTERNATIVE CROP Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez (R) clashes with Chelsea’s Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic (L) after appearing to bite the Chelsea player during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on April 21, 2013. Liverpool striker Luis Suarez on April 21 apologised for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during the sides’ 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield. The incident occurred mid-way through the second half, with Liverpool trailing 2-1 following a tussle in the penalty area. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ?live? services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Luis Suarez has apologized for his bite on defender Branislav Ivanovic in Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea.

The controversial Uruguayan forward bit Ivanovic on the arm midway through the second half of Sunday’s match before scoring in the 97th minute to hand Liverpool a point. After the match Suarez expressed his regret: “I am deeply sorry for my inexcusable behavior earlier today during our match against Chelsea. I have issued an apology and have tried to contact Branislav Ivanovic to speak to him personally. I apologize also to my manager, playing colleagues and everyone at Liverpool Football Club for letting them down.”

Later, Suarez took to Twitter profile to reiterate the apology: “I’m sad for what happened this afternoon, I apologize Ivanovic and all football world for my inexcusable behaviour. I’m so sorry about it!!” The Liverpool striker sent a second update via Twitter later adding: “I’ve just spoken to Ivanovic on the phone and I could apologize directly to him. Thanks for accepting.”

While Ivanovic has not issued a statement regarding the incident, he impliedly accepted Suarez’ apology but not moving forward with a formal complaint to the police. Following Sunday’s match Merseyside Police received numerous complaints from the public concerning Suarez’ bite on Ivanovic. The Liverpool force contacted their Surrey counterparts, who met with Ivanovic back in London to discuss the incident.

The Serbian defender was asked for his version of the events and thereafter informed police that he did not wish to press charges over being bitten by the Liverpool striker. It is understood that by the time police met with the Chelsea player Suarez had already apologized for his “inexcusable behavior.”

Merseyside Police thereafter issued the following statement: “Merseyside Police can confirm that following an incident at the Liverpool v Chelsea game yesterday (Sunday, 21 April 2013) officers have spoken to Branislav Ivanovic in person. He had no apparent physical injuries and did not wish to make a complaint. This is now a matter for the Football Association.”

Ivanovic’s reaction to Suarez’ apology should not be understated as many men would have happily heaped added punishment on what the Uruguayan will receive from Liverpool and the FA. The fact that he decided against doing so speaks volumes to the character of Ivanovic, an on-field gladiator who seemingly subscribes to the theory that what goes on the pitch stays on the pitch. Next time the two meet up, beers should be on Suarez’ tab.