Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was suspended for nine games and ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs ($111,000) on Thursday after FIFA found him guilty of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match earlier this week.
The infamous bite took place just 10 minutes before the end of Uruguay and Italy’s final Group D match, with TV footage showing Suarez’s mouth on Chiellini’s shoulder. Uruguay ultimately won the match 1-0 to advance to the final 16.
The team, however, will now be competing without Suarez, who is considered one of the world’s best strikers.
“Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch, and in particular not at a FIFA World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field,” Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, said in a statement.
“The Disciplinary Committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suarez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated,” he added.
In addition to the nine-match ban, Suarez was suspended from any football-related activity for four months.
‘Suarez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium’
The 27-year-old’s coach and teammates immediately leapt to his defence, as did Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica.
“We didn’t choose him to be a philosopher, or a mechanic, or to have good manners – he’s a great player,” Mujica said on Wednesday, echoing the protective attitude towards the brilliant but volatile Suarez felt around his homeland.
“I didn’t see him bite anyone. But they sure can bash each other with kicks and chops,” he added to reporters.
Suarez, who plays for Liverpool, has been punished twice in the past for biting, and also for racism. He earned notoriety at the last World Cup for a handball on the line against Ghana, denying the Africans a certain goal and spot in the semi-finals.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-06-26