Football

Suarez vows not to bite again after apologising to Chiellini

Suarez says sorry to Chiellini, Italian accepts his apology 
and hopes Fifa reduces ban

Disgraced Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has apologised to Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini for the bite that saw him banned for four months and expelled from the World Cup.

Suarez acknowledged for the first time yesterday that he bit the Italian.

"I deeply regret what occurred," said the 27-year-old Liverpool striker in a statement on his official Twitter account.

"I apologise to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family. I vow to the public there will never again be another incident like it."

Chiellini, who said the ban is harsh, reacted quickly to Suarez's apology.

"It's all forgotten. I hope Fifa will reduce your suspension," he tweeted.

Suarez bit Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 win over Italy which took the South Americans into the World Cup last 16. They were beaten 2-0 by Colombia on Sunday.

The prolific striker had initially denied the charges against him. He told a Fifa disciplinary commission that he had lost his balance and there was no bite.

But, within 48 hours of the incident, Suarez was handed a four-month ban from all football activities, suspended from nine internationals and fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($140,000). It was his third offence of biting an opponent.

The 27-year-old returned last Friday to Uruguay where the sanction has caused national outrage.

President Jose Mujica slammed Fifa leaders as "sons of b******" for imposing the sanction.

But Suarez said in his statement yesterday: "After several days of being home with my family, I have had the opportunity to regain my calm and reflect about the reality of what occurred during the Italy-Uruguay match on June 24, 2014.

He said that there had been "contradicting declarations" of the events but that he had no "intention of interfering with the good performance of my national team".

"The truth is that Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me. For this: "I deeply regret what occurred."

Despite Suarez's denials, the disciplinary commission gave a damning assessment of his actions in its final report.

It said: "The offence was carried out directly against an opposing player, while the ball was not being disputed, and it was done deliberately, intentionally and without provocation."

Several football leaders inside and outside Fifa have said that Suarez - one of the best strikers in the world but also one of the most temperamental - should seek counselling.

Many have pointed to Suarez's past offences.

He served a seven-game ban for biting a player in November 2010, when he was with Dutch side Ajax Amsterdam, and a 10-game suspension after biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic while playing for Liverpool in April 2013.

Since the latest furore, Suarez has lost a sponsorship deal with a gambling website and adidas, the sports equipment giant, said it would not use any Suarez advertisements during the World Cup.

But media reports say that Barcelona and Real Madrid are still interested in buying the Liverpool player.

Meanwhile, Suarez has been offered the opportunity to play through his four-month global ban - by joining Hajvalia of the Kosovo Superleague.

Suarez's ban includes playing at club level for Liverpool, but Hajvalia are unaffected by the suspension as Kosovo is not yet a full Fifa member.

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Hajvalia director Xhavit Pacolli told Sport Plus: "As we are not part of Fifa yet, I think he can play in Kosovo, so we have an offer that we will send to Liverpool.

"We offered £25,000 and a salary of £1,200 for each month. This might sound ridiculous to him, but that is all we can do.

"If he is willing to come and play for us, he is welcome. As we are not part of Fifa, it would be ideal for him."

- Wire Services.

World Cup