Uruguyan striker Luis Suarez has been banned by FIFA for nine international matches and banned from all football for four months.
This harsh ban comes to Suarez for his career’s third biting incidence.
The controversial Liverpool striker has been punished for biting Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during Uruguay’s win over Italy at the World Cup 2014.
The ban is the biggest in World Cup history, beating the eight games given to Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for elbowing Spain’s Luis Enrique in 1994.
The ban is a death blow for Uruguay who largely depend on Suarez, as now he will miss next year’s Copa America tournament and will also miss some of the qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup.
He is also banned from entering any football stadium during the ban and any stadium where Uruguay is playing during his nine-match suspension. He was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs, or $119,702.
Suarez bit the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 win in the group stage on Tuesday, but escaped unpunished in the game itself as the referee did not see the incident.
“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, said in a statement.
Suarez and controveries go hand in hand. This is the third time Suarez has been banned for biting an opponent, following similar incidents with Ajax in the Dutch league in 2010 and Liverpool in 2013.
Besides the biting incidents, Suarez has been vilified for racially abusing an opposing player and for a handball on the goal-line during an earlier World Cup quarterfinal. He also has been accused of having a penchant for diving.
FIFA sponsor Adidas said it “fully supports Fifa’s decision” and will not use Suarez for any more marketing purposes during the World Cup.
Uruguay plays Colombia on Saturday, June 28, 2014 in the round of 16 of World Cup 2014 and they will surely miss Suarez.