(WFI) FIFA has banned Luis Suarez from the World Cup over the biting incident that has overshadowed the second week of the tournament.
The Uruguay striker was banned for nine internationals and handed a four-month ban from any football-related activity for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in Tuesday’s group stage game. Suarez was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($112,000).
FIFA said any appeal has no “suspensive effect”, ruling him out of the Brazil 2014 tournament.
It means Uruguay’s most important player will miss the round of 16 clash against Colombia and another eight internationals.
His four-month ban means he cannot play for Liverpool until mid-October; he will miss nine Premier League games and three Champions League matches.
The ban and damage to his reputation has cast doubt on his career at the club. He signed a four-year extension in December that is said to be worth £200,000 a week over four years. Reports this week say the club could sue him for breach of contract for gross misconduct, but it seems unlikely they would be willing to waive a huge transfer fee.
FIFA’s independent disciplinary panel had spent much of yesterday and this morning deliberating on the sanctions that should be imposed on the 27-year-old Liverpool hitman after the incident that has shamed Suarez and Uruguay.
The FIFA committee said Suarez 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). FIFA also imposed a stadium ban on the player during the period of his nine-match suspension.
“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,” said Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
“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.”
Suarez is no stranger to controversy. His bite on was his third biting episode in four years
At the last World Cup, he brought disgrace on himself after putting two hands up to stop a goal-bound effort from Ghana that would have put Uruguay out of the tournament.
The same year, he was involved in a biting incident while at Ajax. In 2011, he was banned for eight matches after being charged with racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra. Then in April 2013, he was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
The Uruguay FA has yet to issue comment on the FIFA verdict but is expected to appeal the ban.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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