FIFA has announced that Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has been suspended for nine matches and banned from any soccer-related activity for four months after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during their final World Cup group stage match. This ends his World Cup as Uruguay prepares to face Colombia in the round of 16 and will keep him out of next year's Copa America tournament. It also prevents him from participating in any activity at the club level with Liverpool until mid-October, but he can be sold during the current transfer window. In addition to the bans, he has been fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($111,782).
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided that:
· The player Luis Suárez is regarded as having breached art. 48 par. 1 lit. d of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) (assault), and art. 57 of the FDC (an act of unsporting behaviour towards another player).
· The player Luis Suárez is to be suspended for nine (9) official matches. The first match of this suspension is to be served in the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ fixture between Colombia and Uruguay on 28 June 2014. The remaining match suspensions shall be served in Uruguay’s next FIFA World Cup match(es), as long as the team qualifies, and/or in the representative team’s subsequent official matches in accordance with art. 38 par. 2a) of the FDC.
· The player Luis Suárez is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four (4) months in accordance with art. 22 of the FDC.
· A stadium ban is pronounced against the player Luis Suárez in accordance with art. 21 of the FDC as follows: the player Luis Suárez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of the ban (point 3). The player Luis Suárez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium in which the representative team of Uruguay is playing while he has to serve the nine-match suspension (point 2).
· The player Luis Suárez is ordered to pay a fine in the amount of CHF 100,000.
The decision was notified to the player and the Uruguayan FA today.
“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 Suárez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated,” said Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
As a result of the four-month ban, Suarez will miss nine Premier League matches and three Champions League matches should he remain with Liverpool amidst rumors of interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid. It also prohibits him from entering any World Cup stadium or Uruguay's team hotel in Brazil.
This is a surprisingly stiff but fully deserved punishment from FIFA. For his previous two biting incidents, Suarez was banned seven matches by the Dutch FA and 10 matches by the English FA, respectively. Chiellini expressed concern that FIFA would protect Suarez because the organization would "want their stars to play in the World Cup," but it has clearly made an example of him with this punishment.
Shortly after FIFA's announcement was made, the Uruguayan FA said that it will appeal the ban. World Cup sponsor Adidas, meanwhile, has dropped Suarez from all marketing activities. The company's statement read:
Adidas fully supports FIFA’s decision.
Adidas certainly does not condone Luis Suarez’s recent behaviour and we will again be reminding him of the high standards we expect from our players.
We have no plan to use Suarez for any additional marketing activities during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.