FIFA Bans Soccer Star 4 Months for Bite

Luis Suarez is out for 9 national matches, will pay $110,000 fine
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2014 9:20 AM CDT
In this June 24, 2014 file photo, Uruguay's Luis Suarez holds his teeth after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder.   (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)
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(Newser) – It was, as the Washington Post puts it, "the bite felt round the world." Now, Luis Suarez's World Cup is over as a result. FIFA officials have handed the Uruguayan soccer star a four-month ban from all soccer activity, including nine national team games, after he chomped down on Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder in a match earlier this week. He must also pay a fine of more than $110,000, the Bleacher Report notes. Uruguayan soccer officials argued the incident was all played up by the media, however. "Everybody knows the British media have an issue with Suarez" and the pictures "don't show anything," Uruguay's captain told the Guardian.

Others argued the images of bite marks on Chiellini were Photoshopped to appear worse. Uruguay's soccer federation president even told the AP that Italy may have to answer to FIFA officials as members of Italy's staff tried to hit Suarez afterward, he said. The FIFA disciplinary committee could have suspended Suarez for anywhere from two games to two years, but how they landed on four months isn't clear. Meanwhile, the whole debacle has paid off for a lucky few: The AP notes more than 150 people across Europe bet that Suarez would again sink his teeth into someone on the pitch, raking in winnings at odds of about 175:1.

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