Fifa’s independent disciplinary committee have banned Luis Suárez from all football-related activity for four months after he was seen biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.
The decision means Suárez, who has also been fined £66,000, will miss the rest of the World Cup, pending an appeal. He is banned from Uruguay’s next nine international matches, and from entering any stadium during this period.
Speaking before the verdict was announced, Suárez’s lawyer, Alejandro Balbi, claimed there was a European campaign against the Liverpool striker being led by England and Italy, while Uruguay’s FA suggested that pictures of teeth-marks on Chiellini’s shoulder were digitally altered.
Balbi told Uruguayan radio: “We don’t have any doubts that this has happened because it’s Suárez involved and secondly because Italy have been eliminated. There’s a lot of pressure from England and Italy. We’re convinced that it was an absolutely casual play, because if Chiellini can show a scratch on one shoulder, Suarez can show a bruised and an almost closed eye.”
Uruguay won the Group D encounter in Natal 1-0 to secure a last-16 match against Colombia. Suárez defended himself on Uruguayan television after the incident, saying: “These situations happen on the pitch, we were both just inside the area, he struck me in the chest with his shoulder and he hit me in the eye as well.”
Chiellini, however, insists that Suárez knew exactly what he was doing and was dismayed that he was not sent off for his apparent actions.
The defender told Rai TV: “It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off, it is clear, clear-cut and there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn’t have done.”