MOMTEVIDEO: Luis Suarez has admitted that he did bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup last week, apologised to “the football family” and promised it will never happen again writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The 27-year-old Uruguay and Liverpool striker was banned from all football for four months and from Uruguay’s next nine competitive internationals.
Initially he, his team-mates, manager Oscar Washington Tabarez and a queue of football officials and politicians back in Uruguay had angrily refuted all accusations against Suarez after he bit Chiellini in the closing stages of their Group D clash.
Uruguay won the match 1-0 to overtake Italy for runners-up spot in the group. However, without the banned Suarez, they were then knocked out of the World Cup after losing 2-0 in Rio de Janeiro in the second round on Saturday.
This was the third time Suarez had been banned for biting after suspensions in both Holland and England. FIFA’s disciplinary commitee indicated that it had taken his record into account into deciding the punishment. Suarez was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs.
In a statement on Twitter Suarez said:
“After several days of being home with my family I have had the opportunity to regain my calm and reflect about the reality of what occurred during the Italy-Uruguay match on 24 June 2014.
“Independent from the fallout and fhe contradicting declarations that have surfaced during these days, all of which have been without the intention of interfering with the good performance, of my national tean, the truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me.
“I deeply regret what occurred;
“I apologse to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family;
“I vow to the ublic that there will never again be another incident like it.”
Sources close to FIFA had suggested that one of the concerns of the discipinary committee has been a refusal by both Suarez and the Uruguayan federation to offer any expression of regret.
The UAF has indicated an intention to appeal and may hope that Suarez’s volte-face helps their mitigation plea.
Sources in Montevideo suggested that advisers from Barcelona, who are preparing a bid for the Liverpool forward may have had a hand in drafting the apology.
It worked, as far as Chiellini was concerned.
The defender responded: “It’s all forgotten. I hope FIFA will reduce your suspension.”