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Uruguay to appeal "exaggerated" Suarez ban

Reuters

By Stephen Eisenhammer

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Uruguay will appeal against FIFA's nine-match ban imposed on striker Luis Suarez for biting an Italy defender in a World Cup group match, Uruguay's FA president said on Thursday.

Suarez was also suspended from any football-related activity for four months and fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($111,000) for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini on Tuesday, soccer's world governing body said in a statement on Thursday. [ID:nL6N0P74BI]

"We are working here on the appeal with the lawyer, we are going to appeal today," Uruguay FA chief Wilmer Valdez told media outside Copacabana Palace hotel in Rio de Janeiro.

"We have three days to do it, but we are going to try and send it today so that the first appeal has the same timeframe as the disciplinary procedure - so that we can get a ruling in the fastest amount of time.

"There isn't definitive evidence that allows us to say that this kind of sanction can be applied. We are talking nine games, four months and a financial penalty - so to me it really seems like a completely exaggerated and abusive sanction."

Valdez's comments have been echoed by many Uruguayans, who are incensed by the ban, slamming it as exaggerated, hypocritical, or even biased. [ID:nL6N0P74RG]

Suarez will miss Uruguay's last-16 match against Colombia in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday and will play no further part in the tournament in Brazil if they progress.

"The player of course, Luis, is very upset, he is very upset about the situation," Valdez said. "As a human being and a football player he is going to have the full support of the FA and the Uruguayans without a doubt."

Later on Thursday Suarez is expected to fly home to Uruguay, where local media said the country's president Jose Mujica is to hold a meeting to discuss "options" relating to the ban - the biggest imposed at a World Cup.

(1 = 0.9005 Swiss Francs)

(Additional reporting by Malena Castaldi in Montevideo; Writing by Alexandra Ulmer and Neil Maidment; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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