Liverpool's Luis Suarez banned for eight matches & fined £40,000 for racism row involving Patrice Evra

The FA issued the punishment on the grounds that the Uruguayan made insulting comments in reference to the Red Devils defender's skin colour but the attacker is likely to appeal
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been found guilty of a misconduct charge towards Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra and has subsequently been fined £40,000 and banned for eight matches.

The French full-back had filed a complaint against the Uruguayan due to comments the attacker is believed to have said during the 1-1 draw between United and Liverpool at Anfield back on October 15.

The FA have issued the punishments due to Suarez making insults in reference to Evra's skin colour, while the Uruguayan is to be warned over his future conduct.

Despite the fine and ban being given to Suarez, the Liverpool striker will have the opportunity to appeal the Independent Regulatory Commission's decision and he has already reacted to the decision and revealed it had been a "painful day" for him and his family.

A statement on the FA's official website read: "An Independent Regulatory Commission has today [Tuesday 20 December 2011] found a charge of misconduct against Luis Suarez proven, and have issued a suspension for a period of eight matches as well as fining him £40,000, pending appeal.

"On 16 November 2011, The Football Association charged Luis Suarez with misconduct contrary to FA Rule E3 in relation to the Liverpool FC versus Manchester United FC fixture on 15 October 2011.

"A hearing took place from 14-20 December 2011 before an Independent Regulatory Commission of The FA to consider the charge.

"The Independent Regulatory Commission announced its decision on 20 December 2011, which is as follows:
  1. Mr Suarez used insulting words towards Mr Evra during the match contrary to FA Rule E3(1);
  2. the insulting words used by Mr Suarez included a reference to Mr Evra's colour within the meaning of Rule E3(2);
  3. Mr Suarez shall be warned as to his future conduct, be suspended for eight matches covering all first team competitive matches and fined the sum of £40,000;
  4. the [penalty] is suspended pending the outcome of any appeal lodged by Mr Suarez against this decision.
"The Independent Regulatory Commission will provide written reasons for its decision in due course setting out:

(a)          the findings of fact made by it;

(b)          the reasons for its decision finding the charge proved; and

(c)           the reasons for the penalty.

"Mr Suarez has the right to appeal the decision of the Independent Regulatory Commission to an Appeal Board. An appeal must be lodged within 14 days of the date of the written reasons for the decision.

"The penalty is suspended until after the outcome of any appeal, or the time for appealing expires, or should Mr Suarez decide not to appeal.

"The reason for this is to ensure that the penalty does not take effect before any appeal so that Mr Suarez has an effective right of appeal."

Liverpool, meanwhile, have released a statement expressing their dismay at the "extraordinary" decision by the FA to have found Suarez guilty of racism.