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Suarez Bite Victim Says FIFA’s Four-Month Ban Harsh

Giorgio Chiellini
Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini shows an apparent bitemark by Uruguay forward Luis Suarez during a Group D football match between Italy and Uruguay at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 24, 2014. Photographer: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images

Luis Suarez’s four-month ban from soccer for biting Giorgio Chiellini is excessive, the Italian victim of the Uruguayan striker said.

Suarez bit Juventus defender Chiellini, 29, on the shoulder about 10 minutes before the end of a 1-0 World Cup win over Italy three days ago.

Suarez, who has two prior suspensions for the same offense, yesterday was handed a four-month ban from all soccer by governing body FIFA, which also ordered him to sit out Uruguay’s next nine games.

“The proposed formula is excessive,” Chiellini wrote on his personal website. “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 was greeted by hundreds of supporters at Montevideo airport last night after being expelled from Uruguay’s team hotel by FIFA.

Jose Mujica, Uruguay’s president, used his weekly radio address to criticize the sanctions imposed on Suarez.

‘Eternal Shame’

FIFA’s penalty was an “aggression not just for a man but also for a country,” Mujica said. “It will be an eternal shame in the history of World Cups.”

Uruguay takes on Colombia in Rio de Janeiro tomorrow for a place in the quarterfinals.

FIFA’s punishment is a record for an incident of violence at a World Cup. In addition to the ban from international soccer, Suarez will miss at least 12 games for his club, Liverpool. He won’t be allowed to train with the English Premier League team or play practice games during the four-month layoff.

Suarez missed the start of last season as he completed a 12-game suspension after sinking his teeth into the arm of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in 2013. Three years earlier at Ajax, he got a seven-game ban for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal. He also served an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

Suarez should seek professional help, FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke told reporters in Rio today.

Needs Help

“He should find a way to stop doing it,” said Valcke. “He should go through treatment because it’s definitely wrong. It’s not the first time.”

Uruguay officials said they plan to appeal the penalty, which also included a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs ($112,000).

Adidas AG, which has a sponsorship agreement with Suarez, yesterday said it would remove him from future World Cup promotions and warned him about his conduct. Fans in Rio reenacted the incident and snapped photos next to a giant poster of Suarez in an Adidas advertisement on the city’s famous Avenida Atlantica.

“Inside me there are no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez for an incident which happened on the pitch and is done,” Chiellini said. “There only remains the anger and the disappointment about the match. At the moment, my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult period.”

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