Luis Suarez has been banned for nine international matches and given a four month suspension from all ‘football related activity’ after being found guilty of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Suarez will also serve a stadium ban as part of his suspension and has been fined CHF100,000 (£66,000) after FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee reached its decision following the incident that occurred during Uruguay’s World Cup match with Italy on 24th June.
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee decided that:
· The player Luis Suárez is regarded as having breached art. 48 par. 1 lit. d of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) (assault), and art. 57 of the FDC (an act of unsporting behaviour towards another player).
· The player Luis Suárez is to be suspended for nine (9) official matches. The first match of this suspension is to be served in the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ fixture between Colombia and Uruguay on 28 June 2014. The remaining match suspensions shall be served in Uruguay’s next FIFA World Cup match(es), as long as the team qualifies, and/or in the representative team’s subsequent official matches in accordance with art. 38 par. 2a) of the FDC.
· The player Luis Suárez is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four (4) months in accordance with art. 22 of the FDC.
· A stadium ban is pronounced against the player Luis Suárez in accordance with art. 21 of the FDC as follows: the player Luis Suárez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of the ban (point 3). The player Luis Suárez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium in which the representative team of Uruguay is playing while he has to serve the nine-match suspension (point 2).
· The player Luis Suárez is ordered to pay a fine in the amount of CHF 100,000.
Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, said “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.
“The Disciplinary Committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suárez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated,”
A statement by Liverpool Football Club’s chief executive officer, Ian Ayre, said: “Liverpool Football Club will wait until we have seen and had time to review the FIFA Disciplinary Committee report before making any further comment.”
Thomas Barnard, Solicitor at Thomas Eggar LLP, said of the decision, “This will be welcome news to many spectators and commentators who saw Suarez’s biting incident as inexcusable and a further demonstration that the player is unable to curb his emotions.
“Prior to FIFA’s announcement (the full text of which is awaited) many wondered whether any sanction would apply only at an international level, or whether it would be applicable in domestic competition too.
“Because the offence took place in a FIFA World Cup fixture, FIFA has primary jurisdiction to deal with the issue, with any sanction taking effect, under usual circumstances, at an international level only. An international ban imposed by FIFA does not automatically apply to domestic football (in Suarez’s case to Premier League fixtures).
“However, given the seriousness of Suarez’s offence, it appears (from the fact that the player is to be banned from all football for 4 months) that FIFA has exercised a clause in its disciplinary code requiring the national governing body (the Football Association in this case) and UEFA to apply for the suspension to be extended worldwide.
“That’s a sensible decision: FIFA would no doubt have exposed itself to further embarrassment if the sanction had only prevented Suarez from playing in international fixtures.
“Although Suarez will have 3 days in which to lodge an appeal, that will not prevent the ban from taking effect ahead of Uruguay’s game on Saturday night. In any event, it seems unlikely that any ban would be overturned in its entirety and the player can surely expect to miss the rest of Uruguay’s campaign.”/