Friday, June 27, 2014
After his now infamous bite, Luis Suarez has been banned by FIFA for nine matches along with an additional four month ban "from taking part in any kind of football-related activity" (you can read FIFA's full statement here). Suarez is also prohibited from entering the confines of any stadiums, and to top it all off the Uruguayan received a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs.
FIFA retains that the ban is rightfully harsh, and that, "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." however, Suarez has his protectors. Diego Maradona has sided with the Liverpool player, and Giorgio Chiellini (the Italian defender who was bitten) also put out a statement on his website saying that the ban is excessive. Furthermore, the Uruguayan FA has said that they will be appealing FIFA's decision, but it is unlikely that they will manage to change the outcome before Uruguay's next match against Colombia.
Aside from his official sentence, Suarez has also lost his sponsorship deal with 888poker after his bite. The betting website terminated its relationship with Suarez immediately after the incident. Suarez's current club, Liverpool FC, are also looking to end their relationship with him, but in the form of selling the striker to FC Barcelona, who apparently will be making an 80 million Pound bid. However, there could be difficulties with the move because it has been reported that FIFA's sentence extends to the point of disallowing a possible transfer of Suarez.
While Liverpool, Barcelona, and FIFA will decide where Suarez might play next year, Uruguay still have a World Cup to play. Their round of 16 match against Colombia will be difficult, and finding a proper system to play without Suarez in the lineup gives coach Oscar Tabarez an additional challenge to overcome. Perhaps the exclusion of Suarez will finally give PSG striker Edinson Cavani the space to shine, and allow Uruguay to push on in the tournament.