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Haroon Khan wins his debut fight

Younger Khan follows in Amir's footsteps by winning debut fight on points over Fidoe

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

21:10 GMT, 27 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:49 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Haroon Khan's bid to follow in the footsteps of big brother Amir began seamlessly on Saturday night with a points victory over Brett Fidoe in Sheffield.

The 21-year-old made his professional debut just hours before his elder sibling's clash with Julio Diaz and never looked in serious trouble at the Motorpoint Arena.

Boxing at super flyweight, Khan was however too eager to impress at times – an accusation levelled at his brother throughout his career – but came through unscathed.

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Representing Pakistan, Khan won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and is now working under Salford-based trainer Oliver Harrison who guided Amir to a 17-fight undefeated professional career before their sudden split in 2008.

Fidoe, meanwhile, began his career with successive defeats at the tail end of last year before halting the slide with his sole victory to date in February.

Such was the ease with which he was expected to be deposed, the 22-year-old already had his next assignment lined up – against an unbeaten prospect in Manchester in just 13 days time.

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Making his debut six months after turning professional, Khan was afforded a warm welcome by the simmering crowd and he looked determined to give them something to cheer about from the first bell.

Abandoning his jab, he repeatedly attempted to land the overhand right, only for Fidoe to slip it with ease.

The few punches that did land came from Khan however and that pattern continued into the second session.

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

At the start of the third stanza, Khan threw an eye-catching three-punch combination and although the first two missed the target, the third, a left, landed flush.

He had further success when he switched downstairs to the body and had by this time built up a commanding lead.

To Fidoe's credit, he came out swinging for the final three minutes and deserved the consolation of winning the round only to be forced to share the spoils as the referee awarded Khan victory by 40 points to 37.

Edgar Davids unable to save Barnet from final day heartache as Bees sink back into non-League

Davids unable to save Barnet from final day heartache as Bees sink back into non-League

By
Andrew Warshaw

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 27 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:54 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Edgar Davids’ first season in management ended in disappointment as Barnet fell out of the Football League after eight seasons.

Three years in succession, Barnet had somehow survived on the last day of the campaign. But this time there was no miracle as play-off qualifiers Northampton sealed their fate.

More than 1,300 visiting fans saw their team dominate for long periods but they were made to pay for poor finishing, including a couple of glaring misses, as Northampton’s Roy O’Donovan and Luke Guttridge netted twice in the space of six minutes midway through the second period.

Bitter pill: Edgar Davids contemplates his future

Bitter pill: Edgar Davids contemplates his future

Table

League Two table

Davids’ future at Barnet is now uncertain and a new stadium seven miles outside the borough will play host to Conference football next season.

Frustratingly, a draw would have been enough to save Barnet with Dagenham losing at home, while anything but a win for AFC Wimbledon against Fleetwood would have seen the south Londoners go down.

As it was, Barnet’s tally of 51 points was the highest ever for a side to lose their league status. ‘It’s certainly a bitter pill to swallow,’ said Davids, whose 40-year-old legs could not quite push his side over the line. ‘I’m aware of the consequences but the players can look at themselves in the mirror and say they did everything. You have to take chances but Northampton were more clinical than us.’

Davids, who was not being paid by the club and was brought in partly to develop Barnet’s academy, hinted strongly he would have to move on after an illustrious playing career that included both Milan clubs, Barcelona, Juventus and Tottenham as well as Ajax.

‘I’ll have to sit down with the chairman
and evaluate a lot of things,’ said the Dutchman. ‘You have to be
realistic. I have done everything that was asked of me in terms of the
objectives set. Fifty-one points playing good football and some
promising young players — that’s what makes it so hard.’

Anxious moments: Barnet fans contemplate relegation

Anxious moments: Barnet fans contemplate relegation

Northampton manager Adie Boothroyd, whose side meet Cheltenham in this week’s play-offs, felt for the visitors.

‘It’s one of those terrible professional situations,’ he said. ‘You have to do your job and you have to win. We got a good hiding there in the corresponding game and I wanted us to finish strongly.

‘Unfortunately someone has to suffer. I’m disappointed for them but it’s a great chance now for us to try and get promoted.’

Anthony Ogogo won his first professional fight

Olympic star Ogogo throws knockout blow in second round of professional debut

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

20:56 GMT, 27 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:42 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Anthony Ogogo entered the ring to the wise words of Winston Churchill but was never forced to revert to the trenches as he started his professional career in blistering style.

The 24-year-old was the second member of Team GB to make his debut in the paid ranks having signed with American promoters Golden Boy last year.

And the middleweight made short work of his opponent Kieron Gray, stopping him in the second round after a straight right landed flush on the chin.

Jumping for joy: Anthony Ogogo celebrates knocking out Kieron Gray inside two rounds

Jumping for joy: Anthony Ogogo celebrates knocking out Kieron Gray inside two rounds

Ogogo won a bronze medal last summer
having given serious consideration to pulling out following shoulder
surgery and his mother's life-threatening illness.

Gray, 35, won his first five contests
as a professional but had lost his previous 14 as he settled into a
career as a journeyman.

Ogogo on the other hand can expect to
grace more iconic venues than Sheffield's Motorpoint Arena and will make
a quick turnaround on the undercard of Lee Purdy's challenge for Devon
Alexander's world welterweight title in Atlantic City on May 18.

Competent start: Ogogo uses his jab to good effect in the opening round against Gray

Competent start: Ogogo uses his jab to good effect in the opening round against Gray

Cameos in Las Vegas also await but the Lowestoft man had to first take care of the durable Gray.

Making his way from his dressing room
to the sound of Churchill's 'We shall fight on the beaches' speech from
1940, Ogogo's white shorts were trimmed with bronze in a nod to his
achievements in London.

Having already been hailed as a
potential cross-over star after a brief appearance on celebrity show
Splash and a regular slot as the face of Subway sandwiches, Ogogo was
given a rapturous reception by the Sheffield crowd.

And he was switched on from the first bell as he made a fast start, landing with a jab and right hook in the opening seconds.

Ended: Ogogo turns away after throwing the punch that sealed his debut victory

Ended: Ogogo turns away after throwing the punch that sealed his debut victory

Gray was content to box on the back foot in the face of fast hands from his younger opponent.

Despite his dominance, even Ogogo will have been surprised to have put Gray to the sword as comprehensively as he did.

The Shropshire man had only been
stopped twice previously but was sent crashing to the canvas after two
minutes of the second session before the contest was waved off by the
referee.

'That was great fun,' Ogogo said. 'The atmosphere was brilliant and I can't wait to get back out there. I love boxing!

'I'm not going to get carried away as I'm a million miles away from the top, but that was a statement of intent.'

Graeme Swann winds up Australia Test man Ed Cowan

Swann strikes first blow in the phoney Ashes war by winding up Cowan

By
Peter Hayter

PUBLISHED:

22:33 GMT, 27 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:03 GMT, 27 April 2013

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Graeme Swann appears to have won the first skirmish in the pre-Ashes phoney war by duping Ed Cowan into believing the spinner and fellow Nottinghamshire team-mate Stuart Broad have been ordered by England not to bowl to the Aussie opener in the county's nets.

Cowan, named in the 16-man Ashes squad to face England, has begun a seven Championship-match stint for Notts, played alongside Broad against Derbyshire and will link up with Swann against Durham tomorrow when the off-spinner returns after the elbow surgery that forced him to miss England's Test series in New Zealand.

Having a laugh: Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann

Having a laugh: Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann

But Swann may have some talking to do first as Cowan seems to have fallen victim to his notorious sense of mischief.

The spinner has claimed he and Broad have been instructed by Test coach Andy Flower not to give the Aussie any chance of a sighter in the nets or in the middle, particularly as the first Ashes Test is at Nottinghamshire's Trent Bridge ground.

Discussing criticism of counties giving Aussie players the chance to acclimatise to English conditions and England bowlers using a Duke ball, Cowan said: 'I can certainly see that point, but I can also see the other side.

'The fact is that it's an Ashes year, so, sure, there is some benefit for me, but there is some benefit for Swann and Broad as they get a pretty intimate look at my batting.

'They're not allowed to bowl at me in the nets. It's a bit of a joke. We're getting on famously, but I'd have thought that knocking me over a few times in the nets might plant a few seeds…'

Asked whether he knew the source of this instruction, Cowan insisted it had come from the England management. But Notts coach Mick Newell denied any such order and revealed the whole thing was a Swann wind-up.

Cowan knows how humour can backfire, as he has still not spoken to Kevin Pietersen over the 'Puddinggate' row in the last Ashes tour Down Under.

Wound up: Ed Cowan

Wound up: Ed Cowan

In his critically acclaimed diary, In The Firing Line, Cowan recounted that South African-born Pietersen could not identify the bread-and-butter he ate during lunch in England's match against Australia A in Hobart on the last Ashes tour.

When Cowan told Pietersen he should recognise the dish as it was typically English, Pietersen responded by joking: 'I'm not f***ing English. I just work there.'

The joke turned sour when the comment was used to cast doubt on Pietersen's loyalty.

Despite trying to contact Pietersen to clear the air, Cowan has still not talked to him directly and he now admits he wishes he had not included the story in his book.

'The KP thing was said as a joke and it got blown out of proportion,' said the 30-year-old. 'I was disappointed and I'm sure he wasn't thrilled. I think it was a good line all the same.'

One thing about which Cowan is deadly serious, however, is what he calls the defining moment for him and his team, the upcoming Ashes series, which, after their 4-0 defeat in India, he claims will be the making or breaking of many careers.

Cowan was among those who expressed concerns over aspects of 'team culture' to coach Mickey Arthur before the issue came to a head with three players, including vice-captain Shane Watson, dropped for failing to do their homework. Cowan knows the consequences of failure.

'I wasn't some sort of tell-tale,' he said. 'There were about six people saying: “Right, is this where our culture should be heading”

'You lose a lot of intellectual ability when players like Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey, and even someone like Justin Langer, the batting coach, leave in pretty quick succession. It's not just batting and bowling, it's culture.

'Some things are trivial, like lateness to meetings; some aren't so trivial, like general attitudes of not going out of your way to making sure that the team is your absolute priority.

'It showed a lot of courage. It was the day the coach and captain put their heads on the block. They said: “We are going to cop some flak, but we are all in this together.”

'It was saying – if we're going to win the Ashes, we need to be solid around all these core values.

'If we lose these back-to-back Ashes series, you will see a change of personnel and management.

'But the other side is that if you can win an away Ashes series, then it is a defining moment for this team.'

Guan Tianlang fires fine 69 in New Orleans

Guan steals the show again as teenage sensation makes cut in New Orleans while Rose is hot on heels of leader Glover

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

21:10 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:02 GMT, 27 April 2013

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Lucas Glover took his place at the top of the leaderboard at the midway point of the Zurich Classic as Chinese teenager Guan Tianlang once again caught the eye.

American Glover carded a 67 on the second day to add to his opening round of 65 to sit 12 under par overall, one stroke ahead of his countryman Boo Weekley.

But just as many eyes were focused a little further down the leaderboard, where 14-year-old Guan matched his achievement at the Masters by making the cut with nothing to spare, carding a 69 to finish three under for the day and for the tournament in a share of 57th.

In form: Guan Tianlang reacts as his birdie putt just misses on the ninth green

In form: Guan Tianlang reacts as his birdie putt just misses on the ninth green

'I think I played a very good round
today and I made a lot of birdies and a couple of good up and downs,' he
told www.pgatour.com. 'So I think I had a pretty good round.

'Making the cut is one of my goals.
I'm having fun these couple of days, and I hope to play my best and go a
little further into the weekend.'

Guan's round, which contained five
birdies and two bogeys and was watched by huge crowds from start to
finish, took some of the spotlight away from Glover at the top of the
leaderboard.

Teenage kicks: Guan Tianlang playing a tee shot in his second round

Teenage kicks: Guan Tianlang playing a tee shot in his second round

Glover sunk eight birdies against
three bogeys to take over at the top from overnight leader Ricky Barnes,
who undid much of his good work on day one by carding a four-over 76,
12 shots worse than his opening round.

Weekley got his second eagle in as
many days, at the par-four 10th, to sit a shot behind Glover and one
ahead of DA Points, while Morgan Hoffmann was fourth on nine under and
Ernie Els fifth on eight under.

Meeting the fans: Guan signs an autograph for a young fan after finishing the for the day

Meeting the fans: Guan signs an autograph for a young fan after finishing the for the day

Hoffmann, a relative youngster on
tour who, at 23, is till nearly 10 years older than Guan, said of the
achievement of the young Chinese: '[It] is unbelievable. You know, The
Masters and then here, it's awesome…

'I hope he understands what he's doing, because everybody out here is following him.'

Parental guidance: Guan wipes his face after taking water from his mother, Liu Hongyu

Parental guidance: Guan wipes his face after taking water from his mother, Liu Hongyu

England's Justin Rose and Brian Davis
led the European challenge in a group of six men on seven under, one
ahead of Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts.

Defending champion Jason Dufner just made the cut, like Guan, at three under.

WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP 2013: Shaun Murphy beats Graeme Dott

Shock treatment riles Dott as Murphy battles to second round win in gripping battle

By
Ivan Speck

PUBLISHED:

23:05 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:51 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Graeme Dott lost a gripping late night second round encounter 13-11 to Shaun Murphy but it was the shock treatment he endured in the morning session which jarred him most.

The Scot felt a static shock every time he played a shot close to the cushion and refused to play on until an official sprayed the carpet with water.

Happy days: Shaun Murphy celebrates his win at the Crucible

Happy days: Shaun Murphy celebrates his win at the Crucible

Shaking hands: Murphy and Dott after their gripping second round clash

Shaking hands: Murphy and Dott after their gripping second round clash

Dott said: ‘I had it once before in Ireland and they watered the carpet there so that’s why I told them to do that today.

‘It was every shot and if it wasn’t
the big shocks I was getting little ones constantly. They wanted me to
finish the frame before they watered the carpet. I refused because it’s
not fair to get an electric shock every time you touch the table.

Murphy, winner here in 2005, said: ‘I
could hear the crack of the shots but I thought water and electricity
together was bad, so I don’t get it.

'I've never seen a man out there spraying the carpet. I thought it was weird.'

On the ball: Murphy battled through to the last eight in Sheffield

On the ball: Murphy battled through to the last eight in Sheffield

Scot of bother: Graeme Dott lost a dramatic second round match

Scot of bother: Graeme Dott lost a dramatic second round match

Dott battled back superbly from 6-2
down to draw level at 8-8 going into the concluding session on Friday
night. The two remained level at 10-10, before Murphy crucially won a
frame that lasted nearly an hour on a re-spotted black.

He then won the next to move 12-10 in
front, and even though 2006 champion Dott stayed alive by winning the
23rd frame, Murphy kept his nerve to book his place in the last eight.

Dott said afterwards: 'It was a good game to be involved in. I played well this morning but yesterday I kept missing unbelievable balls. You don't win many matches where you lose the first session 6-2. I think Shaun played well tonight and was stronger than me, and he deserved to win.'

Murphy said: 'Finishes like that are great fun. That's the whole point of being a snooker player, those moments there. I've lost my fair share of late-night Crucible matches and it's nice to come through one of them.'

Elsewhere on Friday night, world No 1 Mark Selby edged 9-7 ahead against Barry Hawkins.

Earlier in the day, 2011 runner-up Judd Trump fired in breaks of 109, 127 and 112 in building a 6-2 lead against Marco Fu.

Mike Tyson: Just who was brave enough to eat one of ex-heavyweight champ"s pigeons?

Just who was brave enough to eat one of ex-heavyweight champ Tyson's pigeons

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

11:33 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:08 GMT, 26 April 2013

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He's famous as a fearsome fighter, but Mike Tyson has a surprising soft spot for his beloved pigeons.

And now the former heavy weight champion has revealed he was traumatised after an unnamed ex-girlfriend cooked and ate one of his birds in front of him.

The 46-year-old, who has called pigeon racing his 'first love' and at one pointed owned up to 350 birds, recalled the incident during a interview on US sports talk-radio show Boomer & Carton.

Scroll down to listen

Pretty bird: Mike Tyson with one of his many beloved pigeons

Pretty bird: Mike Tyson with one of his many beloved pigeons

When asked if he had ever eaten one
of his animals, he said: 'I tried. I was dating this young lady and she
said, “I don’t know why you’re flying those damn birds, you should be
eating them.”

'She happened to grab one and — and she cooked one and proceeded to eat it. And I just couldn’t do it.'

'You loved that pigeon so much,' host Craig Carton responded.

'Well, ‘cause he’s got a relationship with the pigeons,' co-host Boomer Esiason interjected.

'It just wasn’t the right thing to do,' Tyson added. 'That’s why she’s not my woman anymore.'

Audio: Mike Tyson says ex-girlfriend ate one of his beloved…

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Highs and lows: Tyson twice beat Frank Bruno but suffered defeat to Evander Holyfield.. and bit his ear

Highs and lows: Tyson twice beat Frank Bruno but suffered defeat to Evander Holyfield.. and bit his ear

Challenger Evander Holyfield lands a left to the face of Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield

Mike Tyson bites Evander Holyfield

When
asked why he even allowed the ex-girlfriend to eat the bird in the
first place, Tyson responded: 'It was her house and we were living off
of her dime, so she could do [it].'

The Hangover star, who infamously bit Evander Holyfield ear in a 1997 fight, has previously said he adored birds since he nine.

'They were my escape,' he said. 'I was fat and ugly. Kids teased me all the time. The only joy I had was pigeons.'

Current love: The former heavyweight boxer with third wife Lakiha Spicer at the Scary Movie 5 LA premiere

Current love: The former heavyweight boxer with third wife Lakiha Spicer at the Scary Movie 5 LA premiere

Mike Tyson and Monica Turner

Mike Tyson and Luz Whitney

Days gone by: Tyson with ex-girlfriends Monica Turner (left) and Luz Whitney

Inter Milan fined 38,000 by UEFA after fans racially abuse Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor

Inter fined 38,000 after racial abuse of Spurs' Adebayor during Europa League tie

PUBLISHED:

16:17 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:18 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Inter Milan have been fined 45,000 euros (around 37,900) for 'the improper conduct of their fans' during the Europa League tie against Tottenham on March 14 in which striker Emmanuel Adebayor was racially abused.

Adebayor, who scored in the second leg tie in the San Siro as Tottenham progressed on away goals, and his team-mates were the victims of abuse by Inter fans waving an inflatable banana.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas implored UEFA to act after the match, which Spurs lost 4-1, pointing out Inter's black record for such incidents.

Abuse: Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor was the victim of racist chants during the Europa League match with Inter Milan, a game in which he scored the decisive goal (below)

Abuse: Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor was the victim of racist chants during the Europa League match with Inter Milan, a game in which he scored the decisive goal (below)

Emmanuel Adebayor scores for Tottenham against Inter Milan

Inter were fined only 43,000 by Serie A officials after former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused during February's Milan derby and Villas-Boas pleaded with UEFA to hand out a more severe punishment this time.

Earlier in the season Lazio were also fined for racist chanting in their Group J tie at White Hart Lane in September and were reprimanded again for racist behaviour in November's return game.

More to follow..

Louis Oosthuizen hits 500-yard tee-shot at Ballantine"s Championship

Happy Gilmore! Oosthuizen hits 500-yard tee-shot but can only manage par as the ball takes a long stroll down country path

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

11:24 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:02 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Louis Oosthuizen already averages more than 300 yards per drive on the European Tour this season, but not usually in the manner he did in the Ballantine's Championship today.

Oosthuizen's tee-shot on the 583-yard first hole at Blackstone Golf Club was pushed right of the fairway and bounced onto a winding cart path running down the side of the hole.

Scroll down for video

Big hitter: Oosthuizen regularly hits over 300 yards on the European TourEuropean

Big hitter: Oosthuizen regularly hits over 300 yards on the European Tour

It then rolled downhill for more than a minute and a half, picking up speed after almost coming to a halt at one point and trundling past two bemused spectators before coming to a halt against a kerb – around 500 yards from the tee.

From there the world number seven took a free drop and pitched back onto the fairway, eventually recording a par five on his way to a round of 71 and four-under-par halfway total of 140.

It is still not known whether Oosthuizen's drive ended up further than the previous longest hit in tournament history – courtesy of 64-year-old Mike Austin, who hit 515 yards on a 450-yard par 4 in Las Vegas.

Stroll: The South African's drive rolled for a minute and a half down a path, and he ended up making par

Stroll: The South African's drive rolled for a minute and a half down a path, and he ended up making par

That way! Oosthuizen stands with his caddie Wynand Stander on the tenth hole in South Korea

That way! Oosthuizen stands with his caddie Wynand Stander on the tenth hole in South Korea

Luis Suarez latest Liverpool will NOT appeal ten-match ban for bite

Suarez will NOT appeal 10-match FA ban for biting Ivanovic… and it's his own decision

PUBLISHED:

12:40 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Luis Suarez will not appeal the 10-match ban handed to him by the FA for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez had until midday today to lodge an appeal, with the club reportedly leaving the decision to the Uruguayan himself.

The 26-year-old had already accepted the three-match suspension for violent conduct, but will not contest the additional punishment.

Scroll down for video of Brendan Rodgers Press Conference

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

Appeal: Suarez has decided to fight against the 10-match ban he was handed by the Football Association

A three-person Independent Regulatory Commission upheld The FA’s claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will now serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three.

The suspension begins with immediate effect and applies to Liverpool's next ten domestic first-team fixtures.

Closed: Suarez during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on Wednesday

Closed: Suarez during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on Wednesday

Blame game: Graham Poll is relieved referee Kevin Friend (right) was not blamed for missing the incident

Blame game: Graham Poll is relieved referee Kevin Friend (right) was not blamed for missing the incident

Prime Minister David Cameron said today that Suarez's bite on Ivanovic set an 'appalling example' to his seven-year-old son.

Cameron told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that his intervention in the matter was merely that of a concerned father.

'I made my own views clear just as a dad watching the game,' he said.

Prime criticism: Even Prime Minister David Cameron, seen here appearing on BBC Breakfast, told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that players behaving like this sets an 'appalling example'

Prime criticism: Even Prime Minister David Cameron, seen here appearing on BBC Breakfast this morning, told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that players behaving like this sets an 'appalling example'

'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.'

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers yesterday accused the FA of double standards and throwing Suarez out with the ‘garbage’.

Rodgers spoke publicly
yesterday for the first time since Suarez was banned for 10 games for
biting Ivanovic.

And he did not hold back,
insisting the punishment was ‘not right’ and ‘too severe’.

Goalkeeper
Pepe Reina went even further, saying it was ‘absurd, out of proportion
and unfair’ and that the authorities had ‘got it in for Luis’.

He needs help: Suarez has launched an impassioned defence of his under-fire striker

He needs help: Suarez has launched an impassioned defence of his under-fire striker

Brendan Rodgers 'shocked' by length of Suarez ban

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Rodgers believes the three-person Independent Regulatory Committee that imposed the ban were prejudiced by the fact the FA had already announced they considered the offence worthy of more than a three-match ban.

Further to that, he claimed the FA’s disciplinary procedures were inconsistent and said he was mystified by the Prime Minister’s decision to enter the debate.

Rodgers said: ‘Luis has not let me down one bit. He is a player who fell well below the standards of this football club but that doesn’t mean he should be thrown to the garbage, which is what has happened from a lot of people these last few days.

Luis Suarez is seen laughing and joking with his team-mates

Luis Suarez is seen laughing and joking with his team-mates

In the mix: Suarez looked in high spirits during this afternoon's training session on Merseyside

‘I certainly won’t be prepared to do
that. I don’t believe the sanction fits with what he did. There’s no
doubt if you have those high-profile figures making those sorts of
statements, there will be a bias.

‘It’s human nature. If you have people reading and listening to things,
when they sit down to talk about it supposedly for the first time,
people would argue whether they already had a decision in their minds.
That process, for me, would need to change.

‘You have an FA council member, an FA county representative and an
ex-player, so I don’t know how it is independent. That has to be looked
at and this is probably not the first time it’s been said.

All smiles: Luis Suarez trains with Liverpool the day after he was hit with a ten-game ban

All smiles: Luis Suarez trains with Liverpool the day after he was hit with a ten-game ban

‘I felt Luis would maybe get more than three games. But we had hoped
there would be something in there that would allow him a greater
opportunity to rehabilitate. The bigger thing in all of this is to try
to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’

Rodgers made a clumsy analogy yesterday in comparing Suarez’s moment of madness to a tennis player smashing his racket.

But he argued that the length of the punishment was unfair in comparison
to two similar cases in 2006; one saw Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe escape
punishment for biting West Ham’s Javier Mascherano, while the other saw
Chester’s Sean Hessey receive five matches for biting Stockport’s Liam
Dickinson.

‘I feel the punishment has been against the man rather than the
incident,’ Rodgers said. ‘That is my underlying feeling. There was
euphoria around the time that it happened. Everyone has their opinion.
That’s fine. But when you come away and assess it in the cold light of
day, it was violent conduct.’

Bite club: Suarez sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic during the Premier League match at Anfield

Bite club: Suarez sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic during the Premier League match at Anfield

JAMIE CARRAGHER'S VERDICT

CLICK HERE: Luis was wrong, but before we hound him out let's remember other Liverpool legends were not exactly saints

Again, of course, there is a flaw in Rodgers’ argument. The FA stated
their case that a three-game ban for Suarez was insufficient on the same
day it was revealed Suarez felt three games was ample.

Both sides
stated their positions and it was then left to the independent committee
to make a decision.

The committee can take into consideration past misdemeanours and the
fact Suarez had been banned for 10 games in his Liverpool career, not to
mention his seven-match suspension at Ajax for biting PSV Eindhoven’s
Otman Bakkal, would have counted against him.

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

The FA have also not always been successful in arguing for longer
suspensions. In January, an independent panel decided a three-game ban
for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was sufficient after he tangled with a
Swansea ball boy. On that occasion the FA had called for a longer ban,
too.

Pardew baffled by FA action

Alan Pardew has branded the FA’s disciplinary system flawed and wants the organisation’s decisions to be more consistent.

The Newcastle manager hit out after Wigan’s Callum McManaman escaped a ban for his horror challenge on Toon defender Massadio Hadaira but Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was banned for 10 games after biting Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea.

‘I don’t think that’s reasonable,’ Pardew said. ‘That is a flaw in the system. All Premier League managers are looking for that committee to give us the answers as to why. You’re always going to have grey areas when it comes to discipline and fines but at least have some consistency. It’s consistency of punishments we’re looking for.

‘The FA need to answer why it was 10 games for Suarez. It’s interesting why it was.’

Suarez serves the first game of his ban when Liverpool play at Newcastle on Saturday.

Liverpool have promised to stand by Suarez, regardless of whether he
appeals, but they are aware his ban could be increased at a new hearing.
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann said yesterday Suarez should
‘accept it and get on with it’.

Rodgers, in a club suit at the Melwood training ground rather than his
customary tracksuit, has spoken several times with Suarez and his agent,
Pere Guardiola, in recent days. There will be more discussions and
Suarez will train as normal. But Rodgers admitted the club’s greatest
asset may consider whether he wants to continue playing in England.

‘This is a guy who I see on a daily basis trying very hard,’ said
Rodgers. ‘His passions in life are his family and Liverpool Football
Club. It is part of his make-up, you can’t change that. But he is trying
to adapt the traits he has grown up with to the culture here.

‘Each time he makes a step forward we beat him with a stick and beat him
down. I can understand if he felt like that in a moment of reflection.

‘Am I worried he will knock on my door I am not thinking about that. I
can guide him, like I’ve done this year, and will tell him when he’s
done wrong. We will plan for the future with Luis. There is no other
thought. Luis is very much a player I believe will be here.’

Bayern Munich, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with
Suarez but Rodgers added: ‘I’ve had a lot of discussions with Pere
Guardiola that have been very strong. They are very happy with what the
club has done, not only to protect the player but to support him.

‘The objective is to make sure it doesn’t happen again and that is at the forefront of our minds.’

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

VIDEO Liverpool's Managing Director on Suarez controversy

Liverpool to stand by Suarez

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Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Luis Suarez appears to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

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Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

It's not the first time Suarez has used his teeth

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OTHER SUAREZ CONTROVERSIES

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is back in the spotlight after appearing to bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the arm during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Anfield, going on to score a late equaliser.

Here are some of the previous controversies surrounding the Uruguayan forward.

February 2007: Suarez made his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia but was sent off in the final minutes after being shown a second yellow card for dissent.

November 2007: Joined Ajax from Uruguayan side Nacional but he was later suspended by the Dutch giants after a half-time dressing-room altercation with team-mate Albert Luque.

July 2010: During the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, Suarez prevented Ghana's Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and was subsequently sent off. A penalty was awarded but missed by Asamoah Gyan and footage showed Suarez celebrating on the sidelines. Uruguay eventually went through to the last four on penalties.

November 2010: Suarez was handed a seven-match ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.

October 2011: Following his move to Liverpool in January 2011, he was involved in a tackle with Everton's Jack Rodwell and goes down with apparent minimal contact. Rodwell was then sent off.

October 2011: Suarez was alleged to have racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra during a Premier League match. Suarez was later found guilty by an independent regulatory commission and banned for eight matches and fined 40,000.

December 2011: Was seen making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans. At this time he had already been charged by the Football Association over the racism incident, although not yet punished, but was handed a further one-match ban for the gesture.

February 2012: United and Liverpool met again at Old Trafford, but more controversy blew up as Suarez refused to shake Evra's hand before kick-off.

October 2012: Celebrated a goal against Everton by diving in front of Toffees boss David Moyes who had earlier claimed that 'divers' such as Suarez were putting fans off the English game.

January 2013: Handles the ball prior to scoring Liverpool's winner in the FA Cup third round tie at Mansfield.

April 2013: Bites Branislav Ivanovic on the arm but
escapes punishment on the pitch as the referee fails to see it, and
scores Liverpool's equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time as they
draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Anfield. Fined by club the following day and
charged with violent conduct by the FA. Subsequently handed a 10-match
ban by an independent regulatory commission.