Luis Suarez has said he is “upset by accusations of racism” aimed at him after he was banned for eight matches for a comment he made to Patrice Evra.
The Liverpool striker was also fined £40,000 for the incident on October 15.
The clash between the two players during the match at Anfield in Liverpool led to the Manchester United defender, Patrice Evra, making the allegation that Suarez racially abused him.
Speaking after the match Evra claimed that Suarez had said a racist insult to him “at least 10 times”.
Liverpool Football Club has said it is “surprised and disappointed” by the punishment and will consider appealing.
The Uruguay striker had strongly denied the accusation and was backed by his club.
Both players spoke to Football Association (FA) officials during the ensuing investigation and Suarez’s defence was that he was unaware language that is acceptable in Uruguay is viewed as racist in Europe.
Suarez told Uruguayan media: “There is no evidence I said anything racist to him. I said nothing of the sort.
“There were two parts of the discussion – one in Spanish, one in English. I did not insult him. It was just a way of expressing myself. I called him something his team-mates at Manchester call him, and even they were surprised by his reaction.”
The FA said it found “a charge of misconduct against Luis Suarez proven”.
It said the 24-year-old Uruguay international had “used insulting words towards Mr. Evra during the match” and that “the insulting words used by Mr. Suarez included a reference to Mr. Evra’s colour.”
After the FA’s verdict Suarez tweeted: “Today is a very difficult and painful day for both me and my family. Thanks for all the support, I’ll keep working!”
On his website the footballer continued: “I am upset by the accusations of racism. I can only say that I have always respected and respect everybody.
“We are all the same. I go to the field with the maximum illusion of a little child who enjoys what he does, not to create conflicts.”
In response to the ruling Liverpool Football Club released a strongly-worded statement saying: “Liverpool Football Club is very surprised and disappointed with the decision of the Football Association Commission to find Luis Suarez guilty of the charges against him.
“We look forward to the publication of the commission’s judgment. We will study the detailed reasons of the commission once they become available, but reserve our right to appeal or take any other course of action we feel appropriate with regards to this situation.”
However, in an open criticism of the FA, the statement continues: “It seems incredible to us that a player of mixed heritage should be accused and found guilty in the way he has based on the evidence presented. We do not recognise the way in which Luis Suarez has been characterised.
“It appears to us that the FA were determined to bring charges against Luis Suarez, even before interviewing him at the beginning of November.”
Liverpool’s manager and former striker Kenny Dalglish tweeted: “Very disappointed with today’s verdict. This is the time when @luis16suarez needs our full support. Let’s not let him walk alone.”
Chairman of anti-racism organisation Kick It Out, Lord Herman Ouseley, said: “The FA has shown leadership and intent through what has clearly been a difficult and complex complaint to deal with, and invested time and expertise to ensure this outcome.
“It has demonstrated that it will not stand for discrimination, something organisations such as FIFA and UEFA should take heed of.
“Kick It Out will continue to work with clubs and players, at professional and grass roots level, offering education on what is deemed offensive and unacceptable behaviour.”
Meanwhile Suarez faces a separate FA charge of improper conduct over an alleged incident during a match with Fulham on December 5.—SkyNews