Suarez ban ‘barbaric’, blasts Conmebol president

Eugenio Figueredo confirmed the Liverpool star will miss next year’s Copa America but says he is battling to see the suspension reduced

Luis Suarez’s nine-month international football ban has been blasted as “barbaric” by the president of the South American Football Confederation.

The Uruguay international was handed the suspension by Fifa for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chillieni during his side’s World Cup group stage win in Natal, which saw Oscar Tabarez’s side qualify for the last 16 – where they were eventually eliminated by Colombia.

Suarez was also handed a four-month ban from all football-related activities – which will rule him out of Liverpool’s first nine Premier League and three Champions League games next season should he stay at the club – and was ordered to pay a hefty fine.

The chief of Conmebol, Eugenio Figueredo, confirmed that Suarez will miss Uruguay’s Copa America matches next year and some of the team’s 2018 World Cup qualifying games, but stressed he is working to see the suspension reduced.

“Right now I’m defending Suarez 24 hours a day and, for now, the penalty is for official matches of the Uruguayan team, but not friendly matches or anything like that,” Figueredo told Uruguay radio station, Sport 890.

“If the referee had seen something, he could not have acted on his own, but the 34 cameras that Fifa have detected what the three officials failed to detect.

“Suarez’s punishment is barbaric. I hope that [the ban] is not for as many games. Already there are people working on reducing the ban.

“Our goal is to see that the ban is lowered and we are working on that.”

Uruguay will be hoping to defend their Copa America title next year in Chile, and should la Celeste make it to the final of the tournament, Suarez would only miss two of his side’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

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