TIME World Cup

FIFA Denies Luis Suarez’s Appeal for Chiellini Bite

World Cup Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez of Uruguay reacts after biting Giorgio Chiellini of Italy during a 2014 FIFA World Cup match on June 24 in Natal, Brazil. Shaun Botterill—FIFA/Getty Images

This was Suarez's third career biting incident

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By Paul Palladino

Uruguayan Luis Suarez’s appeal of his suspension has been denied by FIFA, soccer’s governing body announced on Thursday.

Suarez was suspended last month for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match on June 24. He was banned for nine of Uruguay’s matches in addition to a four-month ban from all soccer-related events, meaning he will have to sit out matches for his club, Liverpool

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It was the third biting incident in Suarez’s career. He was also suspended eight matches and fined $63,000 for racist remarks on the pitch in 2011.

In Suarez’s absence, Uruguay lost in the round of 16 to Colombia in the 2014 World Cup.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

WATCH: Argentina Ousts Dutch, Sets Up Final vs. Germany

 

TIME World Cup

Suarez Apologizes for Biting Opponent at World Cup

RIO DE JANEIRO — Luis Suarez has issued an apology to Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini for biting him during a World Cup match and vowed never to do it again.

The Uruguay striker says in a statement posted on Twitter on Monday that “I deeply regret what occurred,” and that “the truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me.”

Suarez was banned from all football for four months after the incident, which occurred during Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy in their group-stage game in Brazil. He had denied wrongdoing in a statement to FIFA, saying he simply collided with Chiellini’s shoulder.

Suarez apologized to Chiellini and “the entire football family,” and said “I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like (this).”

 

TIME

FIFA, Players’ Union Agree Suarez Needs Treatment

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The players’ union and football’s governing body agree on one thing in the wake of the heavy ban imposed on Luis Suarez for his third biting incident: the Uruguay and Liverpool striker needs help.

Suarez returned to Montevideo early Friday, arriving too late to see the hundreds of Uruguay fans who had gathered the previous night to give him a hero’s welcome despite his World Cup banishment.

In Rio de Janeiro, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said a third biting incident in Suarez’s career was “unacceptable.”

“I think he should find a way to stop doing it — he should go through a treatment,” Valcke told reporters at Maracana Stadium, where Uruguay plays Colombia in a Round-of-16 match on Saturday.

The players’ union, FIFPro, came to the same conclusion but from a more sympathetic approach.

FIFPro said the FIFA disciplinary panel’s ban for Suarez of nine Uruguay matches and four months from all football “infringes his right to work” and doesn’t offer him the treatment he needs.

“Luis Suarez should receive all the support he needs to deal with any off-field issues he may be experiencing at this time,” the union said, adding that “treatment must be a part of any sanction.”

Neither Valcke nor FIFPro specified if the treatment should include anger management therapy or counselling.

From Italy, Suarez also received support from his latest victim, Giorgio Chiellini, who described the sanction as excessive.

Suarez bit Chiellini’s left shoulder during Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy at Natal on Tuesday. The incident went unpunished by the referee but was broadcast around the world on TV.

It was the third time Suarez has bitten an opponent, after incidents in the Dutch and English leagues. He was banned for seven and 10 matches, respectively.

“If it starts to be more than once it is not any more an (isolated) incident, so that is why also the sanction has to be exemplary,” said Valcke. “I applaud the decision.”

“What happened with Suarez was beyond the game, was something which is far beyond the fair play and the attitude you can have when you play at the World Cup,” the French official said.

Still, FIFPro said the sanctions should be reduced, calling on FIFA’s appeals panel to “focus especially on the accumulation of sanctions.”

“The fact that Suarez is prohibited from working for a long period must be addressed as it directly infringes his right to work,” the Netherlands-based union said in a statement.

FIFPro suggested that a legal review could “re-establish the facts in a calm and considered setting.”

The Uruguay football federation is preparing an appeal to FIFA, which Suarez’s club Liverpool is not involved in.

If FIFA dismisses Suarez’s appeal, a further legal challenge is allowed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

CAS could freeze the sanctions upon request, allowing Suarez to resume training and playing for Liverpool during the appeal process.

Chiellini, a veteran Italy and Juventus defender, wrote in a blog for website Sportlobster such a long ban could be “really alienating” for a player.

“At the moment, my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult period,” Chiellini said.

 

TIME World Cup

Suarez Bite Victim Calls Penalty ‘Excessive’

Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez, during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal, Brazil on June 24, 2014.
Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez, during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal, Brazil on June 24, 2014. Tony Gentile—Reuters

Less than a week after being bitten during a World Cup match by Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, Italian defender Giorigo Chiellini appears ready to move on.

“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,” Chilleni wrote on his Facebook page Friday. “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.”

The bite, viewed live by millions of viewers worldwide, provoked a wide range of opinions, including many who argued for harsh penalties. FIFA, the organization that oversees international soccer, ultimately banned Suarez from competition for four months and fined him more than $100,000.

TIME World Cup

Soccer Star Suspended for 4 Months After World Cup Bite

A bite comes back to bite Luis Suárez

Uruguay soccer star Luis Suárez was suspended for nine matches and banned from any soccer-related activity for four months after he bit an opposing player, FIFA said Thursday.

FIFA’s disciplinary committee ruled that the striker had committed “an act of unsporting behavior towards another player.” Suárez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match Tuesday. The suspension means Suárez will miss Uruguay’s upcoming match against Colombia on June 28. He will then have to sit out either more World Cup matches, depending on how far Uruguay advances, or other games in the future.

Suárez was also banned from entering any stadium during this period and will have to pay a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs, or $112,000.

“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.

TIME World Cup

Uruguay Defends Suárez as FIFA Scrambles

Italy v Uruguay: Group D - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Luis Suarez of Uruguay walks in the tunnel after the 1-0 win in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas on June 24, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. Mike Hewitt—FIFA/Getty Images

World Cup organizers scrambled Wednesday to quickly decide on a punishment before Uruguay plays Colombia Saturday in the round of 16.

(RIO DE JANEIRO) — As the world was judging Uruguay’s Luis Suárez for biting a player in the World Cup, his teammates, coaches and fans in his soccer-crazy country defended the star, blaming the foreign media, his Italian opponents and uneven treatment.

World Cup organizers scrambled Wednesday to quickly decide on a punishment before Uruguay plays Colombia Saturday in the round of 16.

“We have to resolve it either today or tomorrow,” FIFA disciplinary panel member Martin Hong told reporters Wednesday. “It’s our duty to see justice done.”

The disciplinary committee meeting was already underway on Wednesday evening, FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said.

Wilmar Valdez, Uruguay football federation president, told the Associated Press shortly after midnight local time that the disciplinary hearing will continue Thursday morning.

“What we know is they (the disciplinary panel) met for a long time,” he said. “We don’t know if that’s a good or a bad situation.”

A day after he tangled with defender Giorgio Chiellini, Suarez was coping well, according to Valdez.

“Luis is fine. He’s been through 1001 battles,” he told the online site Tenfield.com on Wednesday. “We all know who Luis is and that’s why we have to defend him.”

The bite — just before Uruguay scored the clinching goal to eliminate the four-time champion Italians —will now test FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s often-stated commitment to “fair play, discipline, respect.”

Blatter, who was in the crowd for the Uruguay-Italy match at Natal, has pledged a zero tolerance for the darker side of the game.

Many are questioning where that leaves a player like Suarez, who has a history of disciplinary problems including separate bans of seven and 10 matches for biting opponents in the Netherlands and England.

Valdez said Uruguay officials were sent a video of the incident by FIFA, and would respond with footage showing Suárez — a striker for Liverpool and last season’s player of the year in England’s Premier League — as a victim of Italian aggression.

“When he falls, several substitutes insult him on the ground and some members of Italy’s staff even came out of the bench to try to hit him,” Valdez said, suggesting FIFA could investigate Italy.

Uruguay also will cite Brazil star Neymar getting only a yellow card in a clash with a Croatia player, Valdez said.

Uruguay federation board member Alejandro Balbi, who is Suarez’s lawyer, blamed European media reporting.

“This happened because there have been campaigns launched by the media in England and Italy,” Balbi told Uruguayan radio Sport 890.

Suarez’s teammate Diego Lugano agreed.

“The British media has a vendetta against Suarez, and everyone knows that,” he said. “It’s obvious the vendetta sells newspapers in England, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. Uruguay and Italy played yesterday. On Saturday Uruguay plays Colombia, I don’t know why there’s a British journalist asking about Suarez.”

Lugano said he had seen “much more violent plays” than the bite at the World Cup.

“It was a normal taunt in football, and the world press ends up talking about something totally trivial,” he said.

FIFA’s case against Suárez — announced early Wednesday — will be managed by a Swiss lawyer, Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA disciplinary committee. A former international forward himself, Sulser has worked for four years at FIFA, first as head of its ethics court.

Sulser can choose to judge the offense within the scale of typical red-card incidents: A three-match ban may then be appropriate, banishing Suarez at least until the World Cup final should Uruguay advance that far.

The maximum penalty would be a ban of 24 international matches.

FIFA can also choose to ban Suarez for up to two years. That would cover club and international games and would ruin a widely speculated transfer to Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Suarez and the Uruguay football federation had until 5 p.m. local time Wednesday (4 p.m. EDT/2000 GMT) to present a documented defense.

Completing the case ahead of Saturday’s match could be complicated if Suarez appeals. That challenge could go direct to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland for an urgent and binding ruling.

However, one option open to FIFA and Sulser to avoid that scenario is that a suspension of “fewer than three matches or of up to two months” cannot be appealed, according to FIFA rules.

Already, one of Suarez’s sponsors said it was “reviewing our relationship with him.”

“We will not tolerate unsporting behavior,” 888poker said in a Twitter message.

Last month, the firm announced a global endorsement contract with Suarez, a poker enthusiast.

adidas, which also has Suarez as a client and is FIFA’s longest standing World Cup sponsor, said it was monitoring the case.

Meanwhile, Suarez was criticized by a Uruguay football great Alcides Ghiggia, the last survivor of the team which defeated Brazil to win the 1950 World Cup.

Suarez “plays well but he has done things that are not normal for a player nor for a soccer game,” Ghiggia told The AP. “I think FIFA can sanction him.”

TIME World Cup

The Bite Heard ‘Round the World

Uruguay's star striker Luis Suárez isank his teeth into opponent Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match that sent the Italy team home in defeat. The chomp was not even Suárez's first during professional play

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