Liverpool will almost certainly challenge the eight-match ban given to Luis Suarez after the striker was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra.
The Football Association last night imposed the punishment, suspended for 14 days pending any appeal from the club, and a £40,000 fine after a ruling by an independent regulatory commission.
Liverpool have steadfastly supported the Uruguay international since the incident occurred in mid-October and in a strongly-worded response have stressed they do not believe the player is a racist.
The club also said they were “looking forward to the publication of the commission’s judgment” and have also questioned the credibility of Evra’s evidence.
A statement read: “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 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.
“We find it extraordinary that Luis can be found guilty on the word of Patrice Evra alone when no-one else on the field of play – including Evra’s own Manchester United team-mates and all the match officials – heard the alleged conversation between the two players in a crowded Kop goalmouth while a corner kick was about to be taken.
“It is our strong held belief, having gone over the facts of the case, that Luis Suarez did not commit any racist act.
“It is key to note that Patrice Evra himself in his written statement in this case said ‘I don’t think Luis Suarez is racist’.
“The FA in their opening remarks accepted that Luis Suarez was not racist.
“It is also our opinion that the accusation by this particular player (Evra) was not credible – certainly no more credible than his prior unfounded accusations.”
The mention of “prior unfounded accusations” is a reference to racism allegations Evra made against Chelsea groundsman Sam Bethell in 2008 which were not proven.
Liverpool made a staunch defence of their stance on racism, which the club “considers in any form to be unacceptable – without compromise”.