Updates from Friday, July 25
SunSport Now has the latest on Suarez's appeal:
Court of Arbitration for Sport say they are likely rule on Luis Suarez's appeal against his biting ban before La Liga starts on August 23.— SunSport Now (@SunSportNow) July 25, 2014
Updates from Sunday, July 13
Craig Hope of The Daily Mail spoke to Adidas about their relationship with Luis Suarez:
Adidas confirm to @MailSport they won't be dropping Luis Suarez in wake of four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini.— Craig Hope (@CraigHope01) July 13, 2014
Updates from Monday, June 30
Luis Suarez has apologised for the incident that led to his nine-match ban from FIFA via his Twitter account:
My apologies to Chiellini: pic.twitter.com/CvfkkjxzlM— Luis Suarez (@luis16suarez) June 30, 2014
Earlier in the day, Uruguayan president Jose Mujica blasted FIFA for its decision to throw Suarez out of the World Cup and ban him from football for four months for biting.
Mujica, asked what the World Cup means to him, replied with the following according to The Independent's Charles Reynolds: "That FIFA are a bunch of old b******s."
He also labelled the punishment "fascist," according to the Mirror's Ed Malyon, as the country continues to back the Liverpool striker.
Updates from Saturday, June 28
Luis Suarez talked about the incident on Saturday, denying that he bit Giorgio Chiellini, according to Graham Dunbar of The Associated Press:
The Uruguay striker writes in Spanish that "in no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite."
The player's defense is in paragraph 6 of FIFA's ruling, which has been seen by The Associated Press.
Suarez says "after the impact ... I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent.
"At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth," Suarez writes.
Rob Harris of the AP adds more from Suarez:
ITV reports that the Uruguayan FA has officially appealed the sanctions against Suarez:
FIFA head of media Delia Fischer told a news conference in Rio de Janeiro: "We have received a declaration that they are planning to appeal. They informed us of their intention to appeal yesterday evening.
"The reasons for the appeal must now be given in writing within a deadline of seven days after the three days has expired."
Updates from Friday, June 27
The bad news keeps coming for Luis Suarez, who has now been dropped by one of his major sponsors in the aftermath of the four-month worldwide football ban handed down by FIFA for biting.
The website 888Poker.com confirmed the following on Friday:
888poker terminates relationship with Luis Suarez. Read our official statement: http://t.co/JzapD95JCR— 888poker (@888poker) June 27, 2014
An official statement read:
888poker signed Luis Suarez following a fantastic season for which his achievements were widely recognized. Regrettably, following his actions during Uruguay’s World Cup match against Italy on Tuesday, 888poker has decided to terminate its relationship with Luis Suarez with immediate effect.
Giorgio Chiellini, the man Suarez bit, has tweeted his reaction to FIFA's ban, claiming it to be "excessive." Chiellini expressed his sympathy for Suarez in the following:
Now inside me there's no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez for an incident that happened on the pit... http://t.co/ESlqaHBu9b— Giorgio Chiellini (@chiellini) June 27, 2014
The Sport Bible provides the full tweet:
Now inside me there's no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez for an incident that happened on the pitch and that's done. There only remain the anger and the disappointment about the match. At the moment my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult period. I have always considered unequivocal the disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies, but at the same time I believe that the proposed formula is excessive. I sincerely hope that he will be allowed, at least, to stay close to his team mates during the games because such a ban is really alienating for a player.
Jerome Valcke, FIFA's secretary general, commented on Suarez's punishment, according to ITV:
It's not Liverpool who is punished. It's the player who is punished.
What happened with Suarez was far beyond the fair play and the attitude you should have when you play at the World Cup.
When you are with the 32 teams among 23 players in each team you have to show the best of the best as they are the example for the rest of the world.
I applaud the decision which was made by the committee to sanction the player in this way because what he did is unacceptable and not the image we want to give to the world.
I think he should find a way to stop doing it. He should go through a treatment and find something, it is definitely wrong.
It is more than one incident that's why it is has to be exemplary.
Uruguay forward Luis Suarez will miss the national team's next nine matches and is banned from football-related activities for the next four months as punishment from FIFA for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the final match of the World Cup group stage for both sides.
FIFA Media announced the ban:
DISCIPLINARY: Uruguay’s Luis Suarez suspended for 9 matches & banned for 4 months from any football-related activity.— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 26, 2014
FIFA continued with additional details and a statement:
The player Luis Suarez is ordered to pay a fine in the amount of CHF 100,000. ...
... '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. 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,' said Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
100,000 Swiss Francs is roughly $112,000.
Ben Rumsby of the Daily Telegraph has more:
Fifa confirms Suarez must leave #URU team hotel as part of his ban.— Ben Rumsby (@ben_rumsby) June 26, 2014
Ian Ayre, chief executive officer for Liverpool, also released a statement following Suarez's punishment: "Liverpool Football Club will wait until we have seen and had time to review the FIFA Disciplinary Committee report before making any further comment."
Paul Kelso of Sky Sports reported that Uruguay plan to appeal the decision:
Uruguayan FA president Wilmar Valdez confirms that they will appeal Suarez ban, says punishment is excessive and evidence not strong enough— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) June 26, 2014
The Uruguayan FA commented on the decision, according to The Guardian:
Speaking outside the Fifa hotel in Rio, he told reporters: “We are preparing our appeal now, we have three days to do it.
“It is an excessive decision and there was not enough evidence and I have seen more aggressive incidents recently.
“It is a severe punishment. I don’t know exactly which arguments they used but it is a tough punishment for Suarez.
“It’s feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup. We all know what Suarez means to Uruguay and to football around the world - not having Suarez would be a loss to any team.”
Rob Harris of the Associated Press reports that Sepp Blatter didn't have much to say regarding Suarez:
Blatter refuses to comment to us on Suarez, then speeds off with police escort in Rio— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) June 26, 2014
Jonathan Northcroft of the Sunday Times reiterated how this impacts Liverpool:
Suarez banned for 14 LFC games by my reckoning: 32 games missed through bans in two and a half years.— Jonathan Northcroft (@JNorthcroft) June 26, 2014
Charlie Wyett of the The Sun continued:
Fifa confirm Suarez could still transfer to another club during his ban— Charlie Wyett (@CharlieWyett) June 26, 2014
Oliver Holt of the Daily Mirror weighed in on Suarez's punishment:
Nine-match ban for Suarez for Uruguay games is about right but really don't see why Liverpool should have to be punished as well. Bizarre— Oliver Holt (@OllieHolt22) June 26, 2014
The incident in question happened with just over 10 minutes remaining in the match and the scored tied at zero. Uruguay needed a victory in order to advance to the knockout stages, and frustration was beginning to mount in a slow-paced game.
Suarez and Chiellini were battling in the box when the Uruguayan superstar appeared to lean down and bite the shoulder of the defender, who fell to the pitch. Once that happened, Suarez also tumbled to the ground and proceeded to grab his face.
As seen in this photo courtesy of The Guardian's James Dart, Chiellini appealed to the referee to prove that he had been bitten:
As the chaos occurred, Chiellini pulled down the sleeve of his shirt in an effort to show the referee the bite marks on his shoulder. Despite the evidence, no action was taken against Suarez, and he stayed in the match against an Italian side already down to 10 men.
Just minutes later, a corner kick found the head of Diego Godin, who nodded it past Gianluigi Buffon to give the Celeste a 1-0 lead. Italy wasn't able to find an equalizer, which meant Uruguay was heading for the knockout rounds while the Azzurri were heading home.
Afterward, Nadia Carminati of Sky Sports provided comments Chiellini made to Sky Italia about the bite and the lack of a response from the referee:
Suarez has bitten me and the referee saw it, but then there is the need to have the courage to take decisions.
We will see if there is the courage to utilize the TV images to ban him.
Suarez commented on the incident following the match, courtesy of Football Italia's staff.
"These things happen in the box,” Suarez said. "We were in contact, chest against shoulder, and I got a knock to the eye."
It's not the first time Suarez has found himself in this position.
In 2010, he was banned for seven matches while playing with Ajax in the Dutch Eredivisie for biting PSV Eindhoven attacking midfielder Otman Bakkal.
In 2013, he was suspended for 10 matches across two different campaigns with Liverpool for a biting incident involving Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Suarez released a statement following that incident as well:
Hello to everyone, I wanted to share this statement with all of you. Thanks for your support pic.twitter.com/pzXKiuaJcr— Luis Suarez (@luis16suarez) April 26, 2013
Players can develop a wide range of reputations during their career; some are even considered dirty. Yet, a consistent stream of incidents where a superstar is caught biting opponents would fall into the bizarre category.
What's your opinion of the ban?
Obviously, Uruguay are now forced to move forward without Suarez, which will make trying to advance deep into the World Cup much tougher. His two-goal performance against England showcased the massive impact he's capable of making.
When it comes to Suarez, the outlook has always been taking the good with the bad. He's one of the sport's most dynamic attacking players, but sometimes he loses mental focus. There's also a difference between a bad yellow card and biting somebody.
Apparently he hasn't realized that, despite the previous bans. Maybe a third one, this time from FIFA to keep him from helping his home nation in the World Cup, will finally get the message through.