Suarez handed nine-match ban

Suarez handed nine-match ban

Uruguay’s Luis Suarez was hit with the biggest ban imposed at a World Cup on Thursday as FIFA punished one of soccer’s most talented but controversial players for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.

The sport’s governing body suspended Suarez from all football-related activity for four months and ruled he could not play in Uruguay’s next nine competitive games, meaning he is unlikely to appear in non-friendly matches for his country until 2016.

The ruling ended Suarez’s World Cup even as his team prepared to play the second round match against Colombia on Saturday.

“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 Disciplinary Committee, said.

The four-month ban means Suarez will have to sit out the first two months of the next English season and he will miss Liverpool’s opening Premier League and Champions League matches. He also cannot enter any stadiums during the four-month period.

FIFA also fined Suarez 100,000 Swiss francs (Rs 66 lakh) after 10 hours of deliberations by its independent Disciplinary Committee.

The Uruguayan Football Association will appeal against the ruling, but Suarez cannot play even if a challenge is lodged.

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