London: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches and fined 40,000 pounds ($62,000) by the English Football Association on Tuesday after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Evra, a black France international, claimed that Suarez had directed a racial insult at him during United's Premier League match at Liverpool on October 15.

The FA said in a statement that it found "a charge of misconduct against Luis Suarez proven."

It said the 24-year-old Uruguay international had "used insulting words towards Mr Evra during the match" and that "the insulting words used by Mr Suarez included a reference to Mr Evra's colour."

The FA also gave the Liverpool forward a warning about his future conduct.

Suarez had denied the charge and has been backed by Liverpool throughout the investigation.

Reacting to the verdict on his Twitter account, Suarez said: "Today is a very difficult and painful day for both me and my family. Thanks for all the support, I'll keep working!..."

The FA said that the punishment was suspended, pending any appeal.

"An appeal must be lodged within 14 days of the date of the written reasons for the decision," the FA added in the statement.

(Agencies)