Updates from Friday, June 27
Sky News' Paul Kelso, Daily Telegraph's Henry Winter and ESPN's Miguel Delaney have an update on sentiment toward Suarez after Oscar Tabarez's press conference in Maracana:
Tabarez resigns as a member of the Fifa strategy committee: "It is not prudent to be part of the organisation"— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) June 27, 2014
Tabarez: "In the way they sanctioned him, they showed values and standards very different from what I want to have."— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) June 27, 2014
Tabarez: "It was a decision focused on the view of the media... I don't know what nationality they were but they all spoke English"— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) June 27, 2014
Tabarez on Suarez: "You forget the scapegoat is a person who has rights."— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) June 27, 2014
Tabarez: "I'm not justifying anything, and I don't think that he shouldn't be punished."— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) June 27, 2014
Tabarez leaves to applause from Uruguayan journalists— Paul Kelso (@pkelso) June 27, 2014
Four months away from all soccer-related activities. Nine international matches. Up to 13 club matches with Liverpool. A $112,000 fine. No appeal for the suspension, only the fine.
That's what Luis Suarez will miss for his bite heard 'round the world.
Suffice to say, FIFA took swift, decisive and stern action after Uruguay's Suarez bit Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in their World Cup group stage match. Not surprisingly, both Liverpool—the club Suarez plays for—and Uruguay aren't terribly pleased with the decision and are weighing their options.
We start with Liverpool, via James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo:
Liverpool are seeking legal advice after being stunned by the commission’s verdict and they could even take action against FIFA.
Despite the ban, which also bars Suarez from all stadia and even training with his club, the prolific frontman could still be transferred this summer—but the early indications are that Liverpool aren’t ready to wash their hands of him.
Owners Fenway Sports Group stood by Suarez when he bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in April 2013 and vowed to help him conquer his demons. They are likely to do so again.
In a statement, Liverpool's chief executive, Ian Ayre said, via Sam Borden of The New York Times, “Liverpool Football Club will wait until we have seen and had time to review the FIFA Disciplinary Committee report before making any further comment.”
Liverpool find themselves in a tricky position. On one hand, this is the third suspension Suarez has received since he joined the club, and rebuilding his reputation with the supporters once again won't be easy.
On the other hand, this latest incident likely will affect his value on the transfer market. If his release clause is around the £80 million mark, as Pearce noted, it's hard to imagine Liverpool getting anywhere near that now if they are keen to sell him.
In the short term, however, the biggest development is that Uruguay have lost their best player as they prepare for a difficult round of 16 matchup against Colombia. The squad looked pretty dreadful in long stretches against Costa Rica without Suarez, so the match against Colombia could be a rough one for Uruguay.
Obviously, Uruguay are not pleased with the decision and are preparing to take action, as the president of the Uruguay FA, Wilmar Valdez, told Ed Malyon and Joe Mewis of the Mirror:
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.
It's hard to find many impassioned defenses for Suarez at the moment, however. This is now the third time he's bitten an opponent in a match. The first came with Ajax in 2010, when he bit PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal. The second was with Liverpool in 2013, as he took a chomp at Branislav Ivanovic.
And now, he's done it on the global stage. Suarez certainly has to be disappointed with his actions. But in the wake of his third biting incident, it's his club and country that are left to pick up the pieces.