Football

Uruguay to appeal Suarez's ban

Fifa orders Suarez to leave team hotel; Uruguay to appeal against ban

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez must leave the team's World Cup hotel following his four-month worldwide ban from all football-related activities for biting an opponent, Fifa said this morning (Singapore time).

Football's governing body confirmed the order hours after it announced the ban - a nine-match international suspension and a 100,000 Swiss franc ($140,000) fine.

Suarez, who bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in their final Group D game on Tuesday, will not even be allowed into a stadium during the four-month suspension, Fifa said.

Uruguay FA president Wilmer Valdez said this morning that Uruguay will appeal against Suarez's ban.

"We are working here on the appeal with the lawyer, we are going to appeal today," Valdez told the media outside Copacabana Palace hotel in Rio de Janeiro, where Uruguay are based.

"We have three days to do it, but we are going to try and send it today so that the first appeal has the same timeframe as the disciplinary procedure - so that we can get a ruling in the fastest amount of time.

"There isn't definitive evidence that allows us to say that this kind of sanction can be applied.

"We are talking about nine games, four months and a financial penalty - so to me it really seems like a completely exaggerated and abusive sanction."

Suarez will miss Uruguay's last-16 match against Colombia in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday morning and will play no further part in the tournament in Brazil if they progress.

UPSET

"The player, of course, Luis, is very upset, he is very upset about the situation," Valdez said.

"As a human being and a football player, he is going to have the full support of the FA and the Uruguayans without a doubt."

Suarez is expected to fly home to Uruguay today, where local media said the country's President Jose Mujica is to hold a meeting to discuss "options" relating to the ban - the biggest imposed at a World Cup.

Meanwhile, Uruguayans were incensed with Fifa for banning their star striker, with many slamming the ban as exaggerated, hypocritical, or even biased.

"They're acting as if he were a criminal, a terrorist," said Maria Cardozo, a 48-year-old administrative worker.

"They're exaggerating the aggression although I do think it warranted some sort of punishment."

In small, football-crazy Uruguay, the Liverpool forward is a rags-to-riches hero that his compatriots have passionately defended.

Uruguayans made plans to welcome their idol Suarez, who was due to travel to his native Uruguay today with his family.

Local media said that police were being dispatched to the British Embassy in Montevideo following reports that angry fans were planning protests over a British-led "manhunt" against him.

"What is incomprehensible is the vitriol with which the English press, in particular, have gone after the Uruguayan. Far worse things have happened on the pitch, even where English players are concerned," said Uruguayan Andreas Campomar, author of "Golazo! A History of Latin American Football".

"For many Latin Americans, the ban will have wider repercussions. It will be construed as the usual high-handedness Europe employs in relation to Latin America. A case of one rule for them and one rule for us."

Local paper El Pais splashed the headline "The Worst Punishment" across its web page, over a picture of Suarez hiding his face in his light blue Uruguayan jersey.

Some tongue-in-cheek commentators argued that according to Fifa's rules, neighbouring Argentina's 1986 World Cup trophy should be removed given Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal in a match against England.

There are, however, some contrary views at home too.

Alcides Ghiggia, the man who scored the winning goal for Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup against Brazil, had told Reuters Suarez deserved a ban. - Wire Services.

WHAT THEY SAY

"I think the punishment handed out by Fifa to Luis Suarez is fully justified. Hopefully, he will realise now that behaviour of this type will not be tolerated under any circumstances."

- Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce

"Indignation, impotence, I think that's what we all feel. We'd all like a fairer world, but that world simply does not exist. Those who rule, rule, and the strong ones are the strong ones... We will carry on with humility, union, determination, recognition of mistakes, and with our heads always high."

- Uruguay captain Diego Lugano

"This is behaviour that we normally only see from animals. For me, this is the incorrect channelling of inner emotions. You saw in his previous game that he almost cried. Maybe this behaviour (biting Chiellini) is his last resort when it comes to relieving tremendous pressure and freeing himself from his tensions. That's the only explanation I have for it."

- Former German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, who once tried to bite an opponent

"It was unfair because it could end a player's life. Four months, nine games, everyone on top of you, criticising his error. He has to be punished, yes, but I'd like to see Suarez still playing in this World Cup."

- Brazil forward Fred

"This is really bad for the World Cup, for the show, and it is really bad for Uruguay and the world of football."

- Chile forward Alexis Sanchez

"I never bit anyone, I know bites hurt. (If) my kids bite me they are punished in the dark room with the big bad wolf: That's the football equivalent of not playing football for four months."

- Former Brazil striker Ronaldo

"I think the punishment's fair. Obviously, the worrying thing for any Liverpool supporter was that
there was very little or no provocation, and the question is: Will he do it again? Liverpool have got to draw a line under this and say: 'One more indiscretion and it's over'."

- Former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen

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