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Suarez given four-month ban for biting Chiellini

ESPN staff
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The ban explained

Luis Suarez has been suspended for nine matches and banned for four months "from any football activity" by FIFA for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

The Liverpool striker bit Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 victory over Italy at the World Cup on Tuesday and FIFA has decided to hand him what is thought to be their severest punishment to date. The Uruguayan FA has since confirmed it will be appealing the suspension.

Suarez will miss Liverpool's first nine games of the Premier League season, which includes fixtures against champions Manchester City and Everton, as well as their first three Champions League group games. Suarez has also been fined £65,700 for the incident. FIFA clarified, however, that the ban would not affect any potential transfer.

How Uruguay reacted

A newsstand in Montevideo © ESPN FC
  • Montevideo was a strange, tense place in the hours before Luis Suarez's World Cup ended in suspension, writes Wright Thompson. The city woke up waiting on the news to break, almost frozen in anticipation of it. The front page of one of the daily papers put words to the feelings: "The Italians and English Crucify Suarez." A huge photo showed him on his knees, like a pose from a cheesy war movie, leaned back, arms spread in a Christ pose.
  • Click here to read the full story

Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, said: "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.

"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."

Suarez's ban suggests he will not be able even to train with Liverpool and he will not be allowed to enter any stadium during this period. The 27-year-old has now been banned for 34 games since 2010 without receiving a single red card.

Suarez's lawyer had previously claimed his client was the victim of a European conspiracy and Uruguay are likely to appeal the decision.

Liverpool also released a statement, with chief executive officer Ian Ayre saying the club "will wait until we have seen and had time to review the FIFA Disciplinary Committee report before making any further comment".

FIFA launched an investigation on Wednesday and an independent disciplinary panel announced the punishment ahead of Uruguay's last-16 meeting with Colombia in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.

The incident happened when Suarez and Chiellini clashed off the ball in the penalty area. Suarez fell to the ground holding his mouth, apparently suggesting he had been elbowed, while the Juventus centre-back pulled down his shirt to reveal a bite mark on his left shoulder as he ran to Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez to complain.

As he did so, Uruguay forward Gaston Ramirez tried to pull his shirt back into place. The referee took no action against Suarez.

It is the third time in his career that Suarez has been involved in such a controversy.

He was suspended for seven matches after biting PSV midfielder Ottman Bakkal while playing for Ajax in a Dutch Eredivisie game in November 2010, and banned for 10 games after doing the same to Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match at Anfield in 2013.

After missing the beginning of the 2013-14 season due to that ban, Suarez scored 31 goals to help Liverpool finish second in the Premier League and won all three major domestic Footballer of the Year awards.

Delia Fischer, media relations manager for FIFA, said in a statement: "The player Luis Suarez is suspended for nine matches and banned for four months from any football related activity.

"The FIFA disciplinary committee has decided the player is regarded as having breached article 48 paragraph one and article 57. The player is to be suspended for nine matches, the first is the upcoming match between Uruguay and Colombia on Saturday."

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