FIFA has confirmed striker Luis Suarez will be banned for nine international matches and all involvement in football for four months for biting defender Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay’s 1-0 World Cup victory over Italy on Wednesday morning.
Immediately claiming his innocence, Suarez told reporters it was in fact Chiellini who sparked the incident following Uruguay’s victory, claiming the Juventus defender had forced his shoulder into his teeth.
No stranger to controversy on and off the pitch, Suarez was banned for seven matches for biting an opponent when playing for Dutch side Ajax in 2010, before again being ruled out for ten matches for the same offence on Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic when playing for Liverpool in 2013.
Releasing a statement following the ruling, FIFA said this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and outlined the extent of Suarez’s punishment.
“The player Luis Suarez is to be suspended for nine (9) official matches. The first match of this suspension is to be served in the upcoming FIFA World Cup fixture between Colombia and Uruguay on 28 June 2014. The remaining match suspensions shall be served in Uruguay’s next FIFA World Cup match(es), as long as the team qualifies, and/or in the representative team’s subsequent official matches,” the statement read.”The player Luis Suarez is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four (4) months”
”A stadium ban is pronounced against the player Luis Suarez … the player Luis Suarez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of the ban. The player Luis Suarez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium in which the representative team of Uruguay is playing while he has to serve the nine-match suspension”.
“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.
Further to his ban from all footballing activities, Suarez has been fined 100,000 Swiss Francs, equating to around $120,000.
The Uruguayan FA have confirmed they will appeal the sentence handed down, however Suarez will take no further part in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with a hearing unlikely to be granted until after the world’s premier sporting tournament.