Most of the soccer-playing world felt Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez went too far when he took a bite out of Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder during the Italy-Uruguay match on Tuesday.
As for the target of Suarez's chomp? Well, he was quite angry after the match too and understandably so.
But get this: Chiellini now says that the penalty FIFA administered to Suarez was "excessive." The soccer organization announced on Thursday that Suarez would be banned for nine matches as well as receive a ban from soccer activities and stadiums for four months.
Here's what the Italian defender had to say on his official site:
"At the moment my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult period. 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.
"I sincerely hope that he will be allowed, at least, to stay close to his team-mates during the games because such a ban is really alienating for a player. 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. There only remain (sic) the anger and the disappointment about the match."
As for Chiellini's hope that Suarez can still chill with the Uruguayans as they prepare to face Colombia in Saturday's round of 16? No dice. Suarez's credentials for the World Cup were revoked on Thursday and he had to say goodbye to his teammates.
Still, you have to give Chiellini credit for maintaining a strong sense of empathy, not only after being the subject of a cannibal attack but also after suffering the disappointment of Italy's exit in the group stage.
At the very least, it's a display of sportsmanship that Chiellini didn't have to give after Suarez threw all sense of sportsmanship and decorum out the window with one big bite on Tuesday.
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- Sports & Recreation