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Suarez defends bite: I lost my balance

ESPN staff
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Luis Suarez said in a letter to FIFA's disciplinary panel that he did not intend to bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Suarez was given a four-month ban from "all football activity" and suspended for nine international matches in what is thought to be FIFA's severest punishment to date.

However, in a letter of defence to the panel, which was dated the day after Uruguay's victory against Italy and has been reported by The Associated Press, Suarez said: "In no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite.

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"After the impact ... I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth."

However, in paragraph 26 of their conclusions, the panel said that Suarez's actions were "deliberate, intentional and without provocation."

Meanwhile, FIFA has confirmed that Uruguay will appeal Suarez's ban and they now have seven days to submit a written declaration.

FIFA head of media Delia Fischer said: "We have received a declaration that they are planning to appeal. They informed us of their intention to appeal yesterday [Friday] evening.

"The reasons for the appeal must now be given in writing within a deadline of seven days after the three days has expired."

On Saturday, Suarez released a statement on his Twitter account which thanked fans for their support.

The Liverpool striker said: "Hi all, I write this post to give thanks to the outpouring of support and love I am receiving. Both myself and my family really appreciate it. Thank you very much for being by my side and I want all my colleagues today we support selection for the match against Colombia."

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez claimed on Friday that Suarez had been made a scapegoat by English-speaking media.

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