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Reality bites: Uruguay’s Suarez slammed with record 9-match ban, $111k fine

Published time: June 26, 2014 15:51
Edited time: June 27, 2014 04:17
Uruguay's national soccer team player Luis Suarez (Reuters / Carlos Barria)

Uruguay's national soccer team player Luis Suarez (Reuters / Carlos Barria)

Uruguay’s football team has been left toothless in the World Cup after FIFA imposed a nine-match ban on striker Luis Suarez for taking a bite out of his Italian opponent. Uruguay will reportedly appeal the decision, which also comes with a large fine.

Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez takes a bite out of the competition, social media erupts

Jaws and scores: Suarez and other bite-crazy athletes (VIDEO)

Uruguayan fans on Thursday were outraged at FIFA’s punishment for Suarez for the Tuesday incident, when the striker bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder.

Uruguay’s FA vice president Jorge Barrera said they will appeal the record-breaking and harsh ban, according to local media quoted by Reuters.

Suarez, who is a popular player in the Latin American country, was banned from playing for nine matches in a row, additionally suspended from any football-related activity for four months and fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($111,000).

“Such behavior 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.

Uruguay's forward Luis Suarez (L) reacts past Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini during a Group D football match between Italy and Uruguay at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 24, 2014. (AFP Photo / Javier Soriano)

The striker, who scored a crucial goal in Tuesday’s game, will be unable to take part in any match during the tournament. As FIFA’s decision has come into immediate effect, he will also miss the scheduled match against Colombia in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.

The incident and FIFA’s ruling have sparked mixed reactions, with Western press joining the social media ‘trolling’ of Suarez, while Uruguayan outlets posting outraged articles, claiming the ban is too harsh and even biased.

Local media have lashed out at a British-led ‘manhunt’ against Suarez, and president Jose Mujica spoke up for Suarez to be left alone. Some considered the scandal to be a European smear campaign against Uruguay and Latin American football in general.

“They’re acting as if he were a criminal, a terrorist. They’re exaggerating the aggression, although I do think it warranted some sort of punishment,” 48 year-old Maria Cardozo told Reuters in Montevideo.

“I don’t want to get into conspiracy theories, but it seems that FIFA isn’t interested in letting small countries such as Uruguay advance,” 62 year-old lawyer Andres Ramirez said.

Meanwhile, German sportswear giant Adidas said it “fully supports FIFA’s decision,” adding that it will no longer use Suarez in 2014 FIFA World Cup marketing activities. The company, however, stopped short of ending its sponsorship deal with Suarez.

The ban, if upheld after appeal, will also bar Suarez from training and attending matches with England’s Liverpool at the club’s Premier League and Champions League games until late October.

As a Liverpool player, the 27-year-old Suarez was voted England’s Footballer of the Year after scoring 31 league goals for the club last season.

However, in the English football league the name of Suarez has also been surrounded with controversy. The striker once had to sit out eight matches for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, while taking a bite out of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic also earned him a ban in the league.

Comments (39)


Luca Valenzin 28.06.2014 21:18

By the way HE hurt HIS Country, witch I really like in soccer. He is the one having NO respect for his team


Luca Valenzin 28.06.2014 21:17

A pro should be a pro. He makes enough money not to do stupid thigs like theese, sorry guy but you cannot have it both ways: you want to play with your south america rules, ok, but then why have adidas as a sponsor? You get the money you follow the rules or just stay home


shars 28.06.2014 03:43

This guy is a real sicko and to think Uruguay apparently dismisses Suarez's actions. They think the punishment too harsh??? They think it's a smear campaign??? Hate to tell you, Uruguay, but your behavior is just as bad. I agree the guy should have been banned totally.

And shame on Adidas for not ending Suarez's sponsorship deal! Shows they don't have any values either.

View all comments (39)
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