LONDON – Liverpool striker Luis Suarez chose not to appeal his 10-match ban for biting an opponent during a Premier League game.
The Football Association said Friday that Suarez's suspension will begin immediately, meaning he'll miss the last four games of this season and the first six of next season.
The Uruguay international was handed one of English soccer's harshest penalties for on-the-field misbehavior for biting Branislav Ivanovic's upper arm during Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Sunday.
Suarez could have appealed the decision, which added seven games to the regular three for violent conduct.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said the punishment was "against the man rather than the incident." Suarez was previously suspended for seven matches for biting an opponent in a Dutch league game in 2010 and eight games for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in 2011.
Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina said he felt the ban is "absurd, out of proportion and unfair."
However, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday that Suarez has set an "appalling" example to youngsters by biting a fellow player and welcomed the tougher sanction.
"I made my own views clear just as a dad watching the game," Cameron said. "I've got a 7-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.
"I've read in some newspapers, who think somehow this isn't serious," Cameron added. "I think it is serious, when we're trying to bring up our children properly, they do see football players as role models."
The FA said it will release the independent panel's written reasons for the 10-match ban.