KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS —- Luis Suarez has been hit with an exemplary punishment by world federation FIFA for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in the 1-0 win in Natal which took Uruguay, instead of the Azzurri, into the knockout stage of the World Cup.
He has been banned from all football for four months and from Uruguay’s next nine competitive internationals including, of course, Uruguay’ second round World Cup-tie against Colombia in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. Suarez has also been fined 100,000 Swiss francs.
The decision was delivered by the FIFA disciplinary committee, headed by former Swiss international striker Claudio Sulser, and announced this morning in Rio de Janeiro at the standard daily media briefing.
Sulser, explaining the unprecedented severity of the punishment for player at the World Cup finals, 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 previous heaviest World Cup sanction was an eight-match ban on Italy defender Mauro Tassotti for an elbow which broke the nose of Spain’s Luis Enrique at the 1994 finals in the United States.
Suarez has a ‘biting’ history with domestic suspensions in Holland and England. Sulser did not say specifically that this record has been taken into account but he did say: “The disciplinary committee took into account all the factors of the case.”
Jim Boyce, British vice-president of FIFA who is head of the referees’ committee, said: “Hopefully he will realise now that behavior of this type will not be tolerated”
Liverpool hit again
Liverpool, Suarez’s Premier League club, have no right of appeal. If he remains with the Anfield club then the coming season would be the second in succession he would start while under a biting ban.
The terse nature of a comment from Suarez’s sponsor, Adidas, illustrated the sportwear’s company’s displeasure.
It said: “Adidas certainly does not condone Luis Suarez’s recent behaviour and we will again be reminding him of the high standards we expect from our players. We have no plan to use Suarez for any additional marketing activities during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.”
The FIFA statement read:
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided that:
· The player Luis Suárez is regarded as having breached art. 48 par. 1 lit. d of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) (assault), and art. 57 of the FDC (an act of unsporting behaviour towards another player).
· The player Luis Suárez 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 in accordance with art. 38 par. 2a) of the FDC.
· The player Luis Suárez is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four (4) months in accordance with art. 22 of the FDC.
· A stadium ban is pronounced against the player Luis Suárez in accordance with art. 21 of the FDC as follows: the player Luis Suárez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of the ban (point 3). The player Luis Suárez 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 (point 2).
· The player Luis Suárez is ordered to pay a fine in the amount of CHF 100,000.
The decision was notified to the player and the Uruguayan FA today.
“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 Suárez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated,” said Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.