Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has issued an apology for the bite on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini that got him sent home from the World Cup with a nine-match suspension and four-month ban from all football-related activity. The apology comes after Suarez told FIFA's disciplinary committee that he did not intentionally bite Chiellini and that he simply fell and hurt his teeth — a defense the panel did not accept.
On Monday, Suarez tweeted "my apologies to Chiellini" and included an image of a longer statement.
The statement reads:
After several days of being home with my family, I have had the opportunity to regain my calm and reflect about the reality of what occurred during the Italy-Uruguay match on 24 June 2014.
Independent from the fallout and the contradicting declarations that have surfaced during these past days, all of which have been without the intention of interfering with the good performance of my national team, the truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me. For this:
-I deeply regret what occurred.
-I apologize to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family.
-I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like
Montevideo, 30th of June 2014
The evasive wording of the statement ("Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite" instead of "I bit Chiellini") seems curious, as does the fact that this comes two days after it was reported that Barcelona would require Suarez to publicly apologize ahead of making a deal to sign him from Liverpool this summer.
Suarez called Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic to make a personal apology after biting him during a match last year. That was Suarez's second biting offense.
Suarez has been vigorously defended by his countrymen over the last few days, with Uruguay president Jose Mujica calling the player's punishment a "fascist ban."
"He should go through a treatment," FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke told reporters. "I don't know if one exists but he should do something for himself because it is definitely wrong."
Shortly after Suarez issued his statement, Chiellini tweeted back at him saying, "It's all forgotten. I hope FIFA will reduce your suspension."
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- Giorgio Chiellini