Soccer’s global governing body FIFA has rejected Luis Suarez’s appeal against a four-month ban from all football-related activities for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.
Uruguay’s Luis Suarez was also banned for nine international matches after the incident at the World Cup in Brazil.
The Uruguayan FA had described FIFA’s ruling as an “excessive decision” for which “there was not enough evidence”.
Luis Suarez can now make a further appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
FIFA also imposed a fine of 100,000 Swiss Francs ($105,000) on Luis Suarez, who has apologized for his behavior.
FIFA rejects Luis Suarez’s appeal against bite ban
Under the terms of the suspension, Luis Suarez cannot train with his club and is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium, although players’ union FIFpro argue the details “lack clarity”.
Should Luis Suarez and the Uruguayan FA decide to appeal further, ordinarily the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) would sit and hear the matter while the player adheres to the terms of his ban.
However, as the World Cup is still ongoing, they could apply to the CAS “ad-hoc” division, which exists for the duration of the tournament to hear matters such as this.
The ad-hoc division could suspend the sanctions pending a full hearing later in the year, allowing Suarez to play and take part in “football related activities” in the meantime.
Since Luis Suarez was suspended, Liverpool has been in transfer negotiations with Spanish giants Barcelona, who have told the Anfield club they are willing to meet a buy-out clause of $120 million to sign the 27-year-old.
He has now been found guilty of biting three opponents in his career.
Luis Suarez was banned for 10 games for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match in 2013 and was also suspended for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax in 2010.
Including this latest punishment, Luis Suarez will have missed 32 games through four separate bans since arriving at Liverpool in 2011.
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.
Millions of soccer fans in America have stopped work early to watch team USA playing Belgium for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals in Brazil.
The match kicked off at 16:00 on the US east coast, so offices have emptied a little early.
Big screens have been erected in public viewing areas across the country, including at Chicago’s American football stadium.
An estimated 20 million Americans watched the US-Germany game last week.
This time, as many as 14 million workers could down tools to watch Tuesday’s game, costing the US economy more than $600 million in lost labor productivity, according to an estimate by Yahoo Finance.
Millions of soccer fans in America have stopped work early to watch team USA playing Belgium for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals in Brazil
Even President Barack Obama told reporters he had arranged his schedule around the match.
“I thought I’d get the cabinet together this morning, because we all know that America will be busy this afternoon. Go team USA,” he said.
Large viewing parties are planned across the US, including in Chicago, Kansas City and Washington DC.
At Freedom Plaza in Washington, the city government was hosting a viewing party, where viewers grabbed a spot on the stone plaza in the blistering heat hours before the match.
But not everyone will be tuning in. Despite the increased viewing figures, an NBC News poll suggests six in 10 Americans have very little interest or no interest at all in the World Cup. Only 22% had a “great deal” or “quite a bit” of interest.
Team USA’s success thus far – defeating Ghana and drawing Portugal to slip out of the group stage into the last 16 – has driven a wave of enthusiasm for football, which typically lags far behind American football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey in popularity.
The US and Belgium have not played each other in the World Cup since the first tournament in 1930, where the Americans won 3-0.
“I’m sure if we play to the best of our ability, we’ll get a positive result,” US captain Clint Dempsey said.
“For some of the guys, it’s the last opportunity, so we have to make the most of it.”
Speaking after the US lost 1-0 to Germany on Thursday, US coach Jurgen Klinsmann said: “We will work … to shift our entire game up forward. So that will put more pressure on the opponents and create more chances.”
Luis Suarez has received support from World Cup winner Diego Maradona, while his biting victim, Giorgio Chiellini, branded the ban “excessive”.
The Uruguayan is not allowed to train with his club or enter a football stadium yet Spanish side Barcelona remains interested in signing the player from Liverpool.
For their part, Liverpool are seeking legal advice after being denied the services of last season’s leading Premier League scorer until the end of October.
Meanwhile, online gambling firm 888poker says it has terminated its relationship with Suarez with immediate effect.
Suarez, who flew back to the Uruguayan capital Montevideo in the early hours of Friday morning, denied the allegations following his clash with Giorgio Chiellini, claiming the centre-back had bumped into him.
However, FIFA decided he was guilty and gave him the longest ban in World Cup history.
Luis Suarez has received support from World Cup winner Diego Maradona (photo Telesur)
Luis Suarez also received a nine-match international suspension and a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs.
Writing on his personal website, Giorgio Chiellini, 29, said: “I have always considered unequivocal the disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies but, at the same time, I believe that the proposed formula is excessive.
“Now inside me there’s no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez for an incident that happened on the pitch and that’s done. There only remains the anger and the disappointment about the match.
“At the moment my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult period.”
Former Argentina captain and coach Diego Maradona declared his support for Luis Suarez on his television show De Zurda on Thursday night.
“The FIFA sanction is shameful, they have no sensitivity towards the fans, they might as well handcuff him and throw him in Guantanamo,” said Diego Maradona, who was wearing a T-shirt bearing the message, “Luis, we are with you”.
“It hurts that they have cut short the career of a lad who is a winner. It’s an excessive suspension, FIFA cannot talk about morals to anyone.
“Suarez didn’t kill anyone. This is an unjust punishment, the act of an incredible mafia.”
Diego Maradona interviewed Uruguay’s president Jose Mujica during the program, broadcast on Telesur TV.
“We Uruguayans are full of anger, those coming from below do not understand anything,” said Jose Mujica.
“We kicked out Italy and England, no doubt they lost a lot of money.”
Jose Mujica claimed FIFA used “a different standard” to judge certain countries.
“That’s what hurts and angers us the most,” he added.
Uruguay will play Colombia in the last 16 on Saturday after qualifying from Group D behind Costa Rica.
Uruguay’s striker Luis Suarez appeared to bite Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during their Group D clash at the World Cup tournament in Brazil.
Luis Suarez pushed his head towards Giorgio Chiellini in the penalty area just before Diego Godin’s Uruguay winner.
Giorgio Chiellini pulled his shirt down to show the referee an apparent mark on his shoulder made during the clash.
“It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off. It is clear, clear-cut,” Giorgio Chiellini told Italian television station Rai TV.
“Then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn’t have done.”
Uruguay’s striker Luis Suarez appeared to bite Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during their Group D clash at the World Cup tournament in Brazil (photo Reuters)
After the clash between the players, Luis Suarez, 27, went to ground holding his mouth, apparently suggesting he had been elbowed.
As the Italian ran after referee Marco Rodriguez, Uruguay forward Gaston Ramirez attempted to get Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, 29, to cover his shoulder.
Luis Suarez has twice been banned for biting and, at the 2010 World Cup, committed a handball on the line to stop Ghana from scoring.
FIFA will wait to receive the referee’s report. The disciplinary committee of world football’s governing is responsible for “sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match ofﬁcials’ attention”.
Any suspension could range from “up to three matches or up to two months”.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez tried to play down the incident and believes there is a vendetta from certain media towards Luis Suarez.
“I’d like to see the images first before making any comment. If it happened, then the referee probably didn’t see it,” said Oscar Tabarez.
“Despite mistakes Suarez has made, he is the target of certain media, a certain press.”
Italy manager Cesare Prandelli said he was resigning after the defeat by Uruguay, which eliminated his side from the tournament in Brazil.
“I didn’t see the images of Suarez but I did see the bite marks in Chiellini’s shoulder,” said Cesare Prandelli.
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was banned for 10 games for biting Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match in April 2013.
Luis Suarez was also banned for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal’s shoulder while Ajax captain in 2010.
President Dilma Rousseff says Brazil is ready for the football World Cup which starts on Thursday.
In a TV address, Dilma Rousseff said “the pessimists” had been defeated by the determination of the Brazilian people.
She rejected criticism of overspending, saying that the tournament would leave a lasting legacy of infrastructure.
Brazil has seen a year of protests against bad governance and perceived excessive spending on the World Cup.
Metro strikes are also threatening to disrupt the opening game in Sao Paulo.
President Dilma Rousseff says Brazil is ready for the football World Cup 2014
Speaking less than 48 hours before the start of the tournament, President Dilma Rousseff said that visitors would not be taking away infrastructure projects “in their suitcases”, which would instead remain in the country as a benefit for everyone.
Dilma Rousseff defended the $11 billion expenditure on the tournament, calling it a “false dilemma” that World Cup spending somehow diminished investments in health and education.
The budget for these areas between 2010 and 2013 was many times greater than the investment in stadiums, she added.
“Rest assured of this, the World Cup accounts are being meticulously scrutinised by the country’s auditing institutions,” she said.
It follows criticism by local residents who say that many promised development projects have been delayed or never materialized.
The World Cup will kick off on Thursday with a match between the hosts Brazil and Croatia at the Itaquerao stadium, or Arena Corinthians, in the outskirts of Sao Paulo.
However, work is still continuing to prepare the stadium ahead of the opening match.
Meanwhile, union leaders are threatening to resume a metro strike in Sao Paulo during the tournament if their demands are not met.
They are calling for staff threatened with dismissal for their involvement in strike-related disturbances to be reinstated,
A five-day stoppage that began last week caused wide scale traffic chaos, with fears that a repeat of the disruption could prevent fans and employees from attending group stage matches. The strike was suspended on Monday.
Dilma Rousseff has said she would not allow demonstrations to disrupt the tournament.
Thousands of extra police and soldiers will be deployed to ensure the matches get under way smoothly.