Uruguay striker Luis Suárez has been suspended for nine games and barred from all football-related activities for four months, the New York Times reported.
FIFA announced the decision at its World Cup briefing in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, after its disciplinary committee determined that he bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 World Cup victory over Italy on Tuesday.
Suárez, who has been suspended twice previously for biting opponents, was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs (US$112,000).
“Such behavior 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, was quoted as saying in a statement.
The ban is the longest World Cup suspension issued for an on-field action, and it will begin immediately, the report said.
Even if Suárez appeals the decision, the appeal will only delay his payment of the fine, not his suspension, according to FIFA. This means that Uruguay, which faces Colombia on Saturday, will be without its top player for the remainder of the World Cup and beyond. Liverpool, too, will not have its star scorer until the end of October unless his penalty is reduced on appeal.
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