His Bite Is Worse Than His Bark?

URGENT: FIFA Bans Suarez for 9 matches

Luis Suarez

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez looks out from his hotel in Natal, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Suarez bit Italian player Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s game with Italy on Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Football’s governing body FIFA on Thursday banned Luis Suarez for 9 matches and four months for a bizarre incident this week in which the Uruguayan superstar appeared to bite an Italian defender on the left shoulder.

The defender Giorgio Chiellini protested to the on-field referee at the time, pulling his jersey off to show what appeared to be bite marks, but no foul was called nor card issued.

Thursday’s announcement removes Suarez from the rest of the World Cup, and puts in jeopardy Uruguay’s bid to bring home the championship for the first time since 1950. In addition to the ban, FIFA also hit Suarez with a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs. (US$111,000). Uruguay faces Colombia on Saturday in the Round of 16 do-or-die knockout round.

The incident, captured on TV and circulated endlessly on the Internet for days, captivated World Cup fans and footballers around the world, threatening to overshadow what has been a lively and unpredictable tournament to date.



“Such behavior 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 released by the organization.

Suarez had at least three previous incidents where he either bit opponents or made racial slurs. Uruguay’s Football Federation and many fans had defended Suarez, saying he had been the victim of a witch hunt by FIFA and by European media.


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