An unusually lengthy hearing that started last Wednesday, which itself followed a month long investigation, eventually determined Suarez – who was also fined £40,000 – had abused Evra during a 1-1 Premier League draw at Anfield on October 15.

Suarez said the decision had hit him hard.

“Today (Tuesday) is a very difficult and painful day for both me and my family. Thanks for all the support, I’ll keep working!” tweeted the 24-year-old Uruguayan international striker.

Evra had revealed immediately after the match that Suarez had repeatedly abused him.

Evra, speaking to French television station Canal Plus, said Suarez had racially abused him “more than 10 times” during the game.

“I was very upset,” Evra said. “In 2011 you can’t say things like this. He knows what he said, the ref knows it, it will come out.

“I won’t repeat what he said, but it was a racist word, and he said it more than ten times. He tried to wind me up. I won’t make a huge deal out of it, but it’s very upsetting and disappointing.”

And the FA disciplinary panel agreed with Evra, their statement Tuesday saying: “An independent regulatory commission has today 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.”

The commission’s ruling stated: “Mr Suarez used insulting words towards Mr Evra during the match contrary to FA Rule E3(1);

“The insulting words used by Mr Suarez included a reference to Mr Evra’s colour within the meaning of Rule E3(2);

“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.

“The (penalty) is suspended pending the outcome of any appeal lodged by Mr Suarez against this decision.”

Suarez always denied the charge and Liverpool were firm in support of their player, with manager Kenny Dalglish saying last week: “We are standing right beside him and helping him as much as we possibly can.”