FIFA, the world governing body of football, has banned Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, who plays as a forward for English Premier League club Liverpool. Suarez was found guilty of biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Claudio Sulser, who chaired the disciplinary committee, said such behavior cannot be tolerated on any football pitch, and in particular not at a World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field. Sulser added the disciplinary committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Suarez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the code and the decision comes into force as soon it is communicated.
The disciplinary committee of FIFA banned Suarez for nine competitive international matches and fined £66,000. He also receives a four-month ban, which will prevent him from playing, training or even entering a football stadium. This would mean Suarez will be ruled out of the first nine Premier League matches of next season and the first three Champions League group games, though this would not prevent him from being transferred to another club. The worst thing is that Suarez is out of the last-16 match of Uruguay against Colombia at the Maracana Stadium and the rest of the World Cup.
The Uruguay striker cannot be with his teammates ahead of the game and Suarez said he will head back to Montevideo to be with his family. The Uruguay federation's president Wilmar Valdez remarked we are preparing our appeal now, we have three days to do it and added it is an excessive decision and there was not enough evidence and I have seen more aggressive incidents recently. Valdez also said it is a severe punishment and he doesn’t know exactly which arguments they used but it is a tough punishment for Suarez and it feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup.
In accordance with Article 119 of FIFA’s disciplinary code, Uruguay is entitled to appeal. The code states anyone who has been a party to the proceedings before the ﬁrst instance and has a legally protected interest justifying amendment or cancellation of the decision may lodge an appeal with the Appeal Committee.
In 2010, Suarez was given a suspension of seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal on the shoulder while playing for Ajax in the Netherlands. In 2013, Luis Suarez was suspended for 10 games in 2013 while playing for Liverpool in England for biting Chelsea’s Branislov Ivanovic on the arm. The striker was suspended in 2011 for eight games and was fined 40,000 pounds by the English Football Association after racially abusive remarks were made by him against Manchester United’s Patrice Evra, who was born in Senegal. Suarez is not new to controversy as he at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa deliberately handled the ball on the goal-line to deny Ghana a place in the semifinals of the World Cup.
Adidas, one of Suarez’s principal sponsors, extended full support to FIFA's decision and remarked they would remind Suarez of his responsibilities. The company added we have no plan to use Suarez for any additional marketing activities during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.