The 2014 World Cup is over for Luis Suarez with FIFA announcing that it has suspended the three time offender for his attack on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 win in Natal on Tuesday.
This is the third biting offence for Suarez, FIFA could also have considered the rest of Suarez’s rap sheet, which includes a red card for a deliberate handball in the 2010 World Cup, and most infamously his racial abuse of Patrice Evra.
Under the ban Suarez will miss nine official international matches, beginning with the remainder of Uruguay’s World Cup games in Brazil, the first being the team’s Round of 16 tilt against Colombia on Saturday.
The ban is the biggest in World Cup history, beating the eight games given to Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for elbowing Spain’s Luis Enrique in 1994.
“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,” Claudio Sulser, chairman of the Fifa disciplinary committee, said in a statement.
Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce added: “I think the punishment handed out to Luis Suarez is fully justified. Hopefully he will have learnt that this type of behaviour cannot be tolerated.”
The Liverpool striker cannot take part in any kind of soccer related related activity for four months, and may not darken the door of any stadium while the ban is in effect.
Suarez has also been fined 100,000 Swiss Francs ($111.000).
Uruguay FA have confirmed that they will lodge an appeal against the decision, calling it an “excessive decision” for which “there was not enough evidence”.
Uruguay Football Association president Wilmar Valdez added: “I have seen more aggressive incidents recently.
“It is a severe punishment. I don’t know exactly which arguments they used but it is a tough punishment for Suarez.”
Given Suarez’s outsized influence on the Uruguayan team as well as the fine form displayed by Colombia, it seems likely that Uruguay will be headed out of the World Cup as soon as Saturday. Any hopes that Uruguay may have held of replicating their World Cup Championship from 1950, when the Copa was last held in Brazil, would similarly seem to be doomed.