Luis Suarez has tonight issued an apology for biting Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s Last 16 encounter with Italy at the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament in Brazil.
The Liverpool striker took to his Facebook and Twitter accounts to apologise to the Italian defender, almost a week after the incident occurred after having ‘the opportunity to regain calm and reflect about the reality’.
Suarez went on to convey his deep ‘regret’ for the incident, and apologised ‘to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family’. He also vowed that ‘there will never again be another incident [like this]’.
Television replays appeared to show Suarez making contact with Chiellini, before biting him on the shoulder. Regardless of Suarez and Uruguay’s denial, the evidence was damning and ultimately prompted FIFA to investigate.
Football’s global governing body was quick to act, as Suarez was suspended for 9 international matches and hit with a four month ban from ‘any kind of football-related activity’. The ban, details of which were published on FIFA’s website, also prohibits him from being present in any football stadium and from training with any team. Should he stay with Liverpool for next season, Suarez will have been banned for a total of 34 matches over four seasons, despite not having received a red card during that time.
The ban prompted a strong reaction from the Uruguayan camp, with captain Diego Lugano going as far as to say that it was ‘a breach of his human rights’.
The absence of Suarez was no doubt a significant factor in Uruguay’s exit from the World Cup after he had previously helped them to a crucial 2-1 win over England by netting a brace. While ‘La Celeste’ are far from a one man team, they evidently missed their main man up front during their last 16 tie against Colombia, with Diego Forlan looking a shadow of the player who won the Golden Ball for being the best player in the tournament four years ago in South Africa.
Meanwhile, speculation continues about the Uruguayan’s future. His punishment does not impede any transfer, with Barcelona’s interest rumoured not to have wained despite the striker’s latest controversy.