Uruguay FA to appeal Suarez ban

The Liverpool star has been suspended for nine competitive international matches, banned from all football-related activity for four months and fined €82,000

By Liam Twomey in Rio de Janeiro

The latest Luis Suarez controversy is set to rumble on after the Uruguay FA confirmed its intention to appeal the striker’s four-month global ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini.

On Thursday Fifa announced that the Liverpool star will be suspended for nine competitive international matches, banned from all football-related activity and stadia for four months and fined €82,000 for the offence, which went unseen by the match officials but was captured on several television cameras.

The Fifa statement read: “The player Luis Suarez is to be suspended for nine official matches. The first match of this suspension is to be served in the upcoming Fifa World Cup fixture between Colombia and Uruguay on June 28, 2014.

“The remaining match suspensions shall be served in Uruguay’s next Fifa World Cup match(es), as long as the team (remains in the competition), and/or in the representative team’s subsequent official matches.

“The player Luis Suarez is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four months.”

Claudio Sulser, the chairman of the Fifa disciplinary committee, added: “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 Suarez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the code. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated.”

In the wake of the announcement Uruguay FA president Wilmar Valdez insisted they are not prepared to accept Fifa’s decision. “We are preparing our appeal now, we have three days to do it,” he told reporters.

“It is a severe punishment. I don’t know exactly which arguments they used but it is a tough punishment for Suarez.

“It 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.”

The punishment ends Suarez’s involvement at this summer’s World Cup, since article 124 of Fifa’s Disciplinary Code states that any appeal against a suspension does not see sanctions lifted while it is heard – scuppering any hope of the striker featuring in Uruguay’s round of 16 clash with Colombia at the Maracana on Saturday. 

It will also see the 27-year-old miss the first 12 matches of Liverpool’s season in all competitions, though a possible transfer away from Anfield this summer remains a possibility.

In a statement published on the club’s official website, chief executive Ian Ayre said: “Liverpool Football Club will wait until we have seen and had time to review the Fifa Disciplinary Committee report before making any further comment.”

Adidas, who sponsor Suarez, welcomed Fifa’s punishment and confirmed in a statement that they “will again be reminding him of the high standards we expect from our players”, while online poker network 888 Poker have also revealed they are reviewing their commercial relationship with the Liverpool star.

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