Uruguay Fans Flock to Airport to Give Banned Luis Suarez Hero's Welcome Home

Mark Patterson@@MarkPattersonBRUK Staff WriterJune 26, 2014

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez is seen at the Serhs Hotel in Natal, Brazil, Thursday, June 26, 2014.  FIFA banned Suarez from all football activities for four months on Thursday for biting an opponent at the World Cup, a punishment that rules him out of the rest of the tournament. (AP Photo/Vlademir Alexandre)
Associated Press

Updates from Friday, June 27

For the large group of Uruguayan fans who gathered at a Montevideo airfield in support of disgraced and banished striker Luis Suarez, they were left disappointed. 

According to the Associated Press, the Uruguayan FA announced to the roughly 1,000 fans awaiting Suarez' return that the controversial striker was still in Brazil. 

Uruguay President Jose Mujica made a brief cameo at the airport, but left when it was revealed that Suarez' flight had been delayed. 

Original text 

Luis Suarez is set to be met by hundreds of fans in Carrasco Airport, Uruguay, after flying home from the World Cup. 

The striker was given a nine-match international suspension, along with a four-month ban from all football-related activity, as FIFA confirmed on Thursday.

As part of the punishment, he is also banned from stadiums and has had to leave the party.

The Uruguayan FA have already confirmed plans to appeal the verdict—as per the Daily Mirrorand, to reinforce the sense of injustice felt in his homeland, he was set to be given a hero's welcome on his return to the capital, Montevideo.

Earlier in the day, a Facebook group had been started imploring citizens to go to the airport to greet the Liverpool forward—more than 1,000 members had indicated they would be attending by those means alone. 

"We have to make him feel our support face to face," the message read.

Pictures then began to emerge of the crowd:

¡Algo de lo que se está viviendo en el Aeropuerto de Carrasco, para recibir a Luis Suarez! pic.twitter.com/pTKPJguBWS

— Peñarol de CORAZON!! (@capdecorazon) June 26, 2014

Uruguay espera así la llegada de Suárez en el aeropuerto. Mucho cántico, mucha bandera! pic.twitter.com/vwiMo6Waz6

— Diego Pérez Ilundain (@dperez_elpais) June 26, 2014

Así esperan a Luis Suarez en el aeropuerto de Montevideo: [ @dperez_elpais ] pic.twitter.com/JtT8JvIxDL

— Juez Central (@Juezcentral) June 26, 2014

 The exact time of his arrival was unclear—although he is expected to land in the coming hours.