Liverpool forward Luis Suarez has reacted to the news that he has been handed an eight-match ban and fined £40,000 by the FA after he was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra by insisting it has been a "very difficult and painful day" for the Uruguayan and his family.
English football's governing body released a statement on Tuesday evening confirming that the former Ajax striker had been found guilty of "misconduct" and ruled that Suarez had used "insulting words" that "included a reference to Mr Evra's colour".
An FA investigation took place after Evra had accused Suarez of racism during Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Anfield on October 15.
Tweeting shortly after the release of the FA statement, Suarez commented: "Today is a very difficult and painful day for both me and my family. Thanks for all the support, I'll keep working!"
Suarez added via his official website: "I'm 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."
Liverpool have also released a statement offering their full support to the Uruguayan, hitting out at what they call an "extraordinary" decision by the FA to have found Suarez guilty of racism based on the evidence that was available.
Injured team-mate Lucas Leiva sent a message of support to Suarez shortly after the verdict was announced.
The Brazilian wrote: "I feel very sad for you my friend, but we are here to support you."