Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has been suspended from “all football-related activity” for four months for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini – which means he will miss the first nine Premiership games of the new season should he remain at Anfield, as well as nine international matches.
He will now miss the remainder of Uruguay’s World Cup campaign after the incident which occurred during Tuesday’s 2014 World Cup group stage game. Suarez took the corner that led to the winning goal shortly after the incident.
The ban is the biggest in World Cup history, beating the previous record which was the eight games handed to Italy defender Mauro Tassotti for elbowing Spain’s Luis Enrique during World Cup 1994.
“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,” Claudio Sulser, chairman of the Fifa disciplinary committee, said in a statement.
“I think the punishment handed out to Luis Suarez is fully justified. Hopefully he will have learnt that this type of behaviour cannot be tolerated.” Jim Boyce, FIFA Vice-President, added.
Suarez has now been found guilty of biting three opponents in his career.
He was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match in 2013 and was also suspended for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie fixture in 2010.
Mexican referee Marco Rodriquez did not see Suarez bite Chiellini on the left shoulder, but Fifa ordered an inquiry after the match following protests by the Italian.
“These are just things that happen out on the pitch,” Suarez told the Uruguayan press after the game. “It was just the two of us inside the area and he bumped into me with his shoulder.” S
Suarez’s first match back for Liverpool could be in round four of the Capital One Cup, with matches due to take place in the week commencing 27th October, provided they win their third round fixture in September.
Premier League matches Suarez will miss:
Liverpool v Southampton
Man City v Liverpool
Tottenham v Liverpool
Liverpool v Aston Villa
West Ham v Liverpool
Liverpool v Everton
Liverpool v West Brom
QPR v Liverpool
Liverpool v Hull
Liverpool FC have issued a statement on the matter since the announcement:
“Liverpool Football Club will wait until we have seen and had time to review the Fifa disciplinary committee report before making any further comment,” Ian Ayre said.
The ban terms state that Suarez will not be able to even train with Liverpool until it expires – but he can negotiate a transfer and be sold, carrying the ban over to his new club.