'Victim' - Suarez ban too harsh
Giorgio Chiellini (AFP)
Milan - The four month global ban imposed on Luis Suarez for his World Cup
bite is too harsh, the victim Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini said on
Friday as the Uruguay striker returned home to a hero's welcome.
of fans were waiting at Montevideo airport for Suarez who arrived in a
private jet after being ordered by FIFA to leave Uruguay's team hotel in
Chiellini, who became Suarez's third biting victim in his
side's 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, said he felt for the temperamental
striker and his family.
"I have always considered unequivocal the
disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies, but at the same time
I believe that the proposed formula is excessive," said Chiellini on
Aside from the four month ban from all football
activity, FIFA also imposed a nine game international suspension and a
$112 000 fine. The sanctions booted
Suarez out of the World Cup.
"There only remains the anger and
the disappointment about the match," Chiellini said. "At the moment, my
only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very
"I sincerely hope he will be allowed to stay
close to his teammates during the games, because such a ban is really
alienating for a player."
Suarez, 27, bid farewell to his
team-mates on Thursday as they prepared for Saturday's last 16 game with
Colombia. FIFA said the ban on football activities meant he could not
stay at the hotel. Suarez will not even be allowed in a stadium where
Uruguay are playing during the four months.
The Uruguayan nation has rallied behind the shamed goalscorer however.
private jet landed in Montevideo just before dawn. Hundreds of fans
carrying banners with slogans such as "Luis, All Of Uruguay Is With You"
"He has been treated worse than a murderer, when it was just a mistake," one of the fans at the airport told AFP.
Jose Mujica went to the airport intending to greet the star striker. He
left again because Suarez's flight was delayed. Mujica has strongly
defended Suarez insisting that he had seen no bite during Tuesday's
Group D match which Uruguay won to reach the last 16.
Suarez was driven away to his mother's home in the southern province of Canelones.
indicated it was worried about damage to football's global image from
the biting storm which has dominated front pages and sports pages around
the world for three days.
"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," FIFA
Disciplinary Committee chief Claudio Sulser said in announcing the ban
Fallout from the ban quickly spread with gambling website 888 Poker terminated its sponsorship deal with Suarez.
equipment giant Adidas said it was halting the use of Suarez in adverts
for the duration of the World Cup. The company said it "fully" backed
It is the third time Suarez has been banned for biting an opponent.
served a seven-game ban for biting a player in November 2010 when he
was with Dutch side Ajax and a 10 game suspension after biting Chelsea
defender Branislav Ivanovic while playing for Liverpool in April 2013.
media speculated that the sanctions could wipe a substantial amount off
the value of Suarez if Liverpool decide to sell him. The English club
has not yet commented on the case insisting it was waiting to see FIFA's
Spanish media said that Barcelona remained interested in
Suarez despite the scandal. Barcelona refused to comment on the reports
that Suarez's lawyer would hold talks with the club on Friday.
Suarez scored two goals against England, media reports said Barcelona
and Real Madrid would be ready to pay 100 million euros for the striker.
Because of the four month ban, Suarez would not be allowed to play in
any championship, nor train with any team, until October.