League better without Suarez, says EPL chief

League better without Suarez, says EPL chief
Courting fans: Suarez with his supporters after his hearing on Aug 8 at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Yesterday, the CAS upheld his four-month ban, but allowed him to train with Barcelona.

LONDON - Barcelona forward Luis Suarez was an "accident waiting to happen" at former club Liverpool, and the English Premier League will be a better place without him, according to league chief Richard Scudamore.

Uruguay's Suarez - who was initially suspended from all football-related activity for four months after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup - joined Barcelona last month for a fee put at 81 million euros (S$135 million) by the local media.

He lodged an appeal and, yesterday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld his four-month ban, but cleared him to train with Barcelona.

His move from Liverpool follows a season in which he finished as the Premier League's top scorer with 31 goals, and won the English PFA and Football Writers' player of the year awards.

But, having already served bans for two previous biting offences and another for racially abusing then Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, Suarez's exit from English football was welcomed by Scudamore.

Speaking at the launch of the new Premier League season on Wednesday, the league chief said of the 27-year-old's move: "I think, probably, the time had come.

"He's a great player and I'm not taking anything away from his talents. He was voted by both his own players and the media last year as the player of the year, and deservedly so.

"He's great to have, but (is) an accident waiting to happen, and if you spend your time trying to promote what's good about the Premier League, you're always waiting for the next thing to come along.

"And this one in the summer, although it was with Uruguay, although it didn't directly involve the Premier League, clearly it reflected on Liverpool as one of our great clubs, and it reflected on us.

"He's done his time here, but I can't say I'm sorry to see him go. I think it was good business on a number of levels from Liverpool to move Suarez on."

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