Uruguay's Suarez banned for four months
Suarez banned for four months
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Luis Suarez was today handed a record four-month ban by Fifa after being found guilty of biting an opponent for the third time in his chequered career.
The Liverpool striker was also handed a nine-match international suspension, meaning he will miss the remainder of Uruguay's World Cup campaign, which continues against Colombia in the round of 16 in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
Television footage showed Suarez biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during Tuesday's clash in Natal after which Fifa's Disciplinary Committee opened an investigation.
Its findings were announced at a media briefing in Rio on Thursday morning.
The sanction, which included an €82,000 fine, means Suarez cannot play for Liverpool until the end of October. Depending on how Uruguay do at this World Cup will determine whether he is able to play at next summer's Copa America.
It does not, however, prevent him from moving clubs this summer, increasing speculation he may decide to end his career in England for a career in Spain.
The Uruguay FA and Suarez himself can appeal the sanction but the ban will stand until that process has been completed.
A Fifa statement read: "The player Luis Suarez is to be suspended for nine official matches. The first match of this suspension is to be served in the upcoming Fifa World Cup fixture between Colombia and Uruguay on June 28, 2014.
"The remaining match suspensions shall be served in Uruguay's next Fifa World Cup match(es), as long as the team (remains in the competition), and/or in the representative team's subsequent official matches.
"The player Luis Suarez is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four months.
"A stadium ban is pronounced against the player Luis Suarez in accordance with article 21 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code as follows: the player Luis Suarez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of the ban.
"The player Luis Suarez 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.
"The player Luis Suarez is ordered to pay a fine in the amount of 100,000 Swiss Francs."
Claudio Sulser, the chairman of the Fifa disciplinary committee, said the panel had taken into account all the factors in the case.
Sulser said: "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 Suarez's guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the dode. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated."
Surez will now go into a second successive season with Liverpool carrying a suspension for biting.
Last season, he missed the Reds' opening games as he was still serving a ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic towards the end of the 2012-13 campaign.
It was not his first ban for such an offence. In 2010, while playing for Ajax, Suarez bit PSV's Otman Bakkal to earn himself a seven-match suspension.
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