Luis Suarez banned 4 months for biting incident

Uruguay's Luis Suarez has been banned from all soccer activities for four months for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match, FIFA announced Thursday.

Uruguay appealing decision

Luis Suarez bit an opponent during Uruguay's group-stage match against Italy. (REUTERS)

Luis Suarez's World Cup is over.

The Uruguay striker has been banned from all soccer activities for four months for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match, FIFA announced Thursday, meaning he will miss the rest of the World Cup.

The full suspension covers Uruguay's next nine international matches and the start of the English Premier League season. 

Suarez, who plays professionally for Liverpool, was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($120,000).

Uruguay has announced that it will appeal, but Liverpool can not be formally involved in any legal challenge, FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said.

Uruguay federation president Wilmar Valdez said it was "a severe punishment." 

"It feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup," Valdez said in Rio.

Uruguay advanced to the knockout stage by beating Italy 1-0 on Tuesday in Natal, Brazil. One minute before the decisive goal, Suarez clashed with Chiellini and was caught by television cameras apparently biting his shoulder.

Match referee Marco Rodriguez of Mexico appeared not to see the incident and took no action.

"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," Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, said in a statement. "The Disciplinary Committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr. Suarez's guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the code."

Adidas agrees with ruling

A major sponsor of Suarez, Adidas, said it stands by FIFA's decision. 

The company said it will not use Suarez for "additional marketing" during the World Cup but would not immediately drop him as a client. "We will again be reminding him of the high standards we expect from our players," adidas said in a statement.

No denial

Suarez, 27, has previously been suspended by professional leagues in the Netherlands and England for biting opponents.

The high-scoring striker didn't confirm or deny biting Chiellini, but said he was angry that the Italian defender had hit him in the eye during the game.

"These are things that happen on the pitch, we were both in the area, he thrust his shoulder into me," Suarez said in Spanish. "These things happen on the pitch, and we don't have to give them so much [importance]."

If Uruguay's appeal is rejected, Suarez and Uruguay could take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

At CAS, Suarez could first appeal to have the sanctions frozen during the process which would clear him to return early for Liverpool, but likely not in time for the remainder of the World Cup.

Uruguay faces Colombia in the round of 16 on Saturday (CBC,, 3:30 p.m. ET).

With files from The Associated Press


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