Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sports

FIFA comes down hard on Uruguayan biter

RIO DE JANEIRO — FIFA on Thursday banned Uruguay star forward Luis Suarez for nine international games and from all games for four months for biting an opponent. That ends his World Cup, including Uruguay's round of 16 game against Colombia on Saturday.

Uruguay's federation said it will appeal. There is no timetable for that to be heard.

"It feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup," federation president Wilmar Valdez said.

Suarez bit the left shoulder of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during Tuesday's game.

"Such behavior cannot be tolerated on any football pitch and, in particular, not at a FIFA World Cup," Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA disciplinary committee, said in a statement.

Suarez also was fined 100,000 Swiss francs (about $112,000). He was not available for comment. But his brother, Maxi, told espn.com he was shocked.

"I am devastated," he said. "I am very sad. No, I thought it was not going to be so severe."

This is Suarez's third ban for biting an opponent, including incidents in the Dutch league and English Premier League.

The four-month ban sidelines Suarez for the first two months of Liverpool's season in the Premier League and its first three Champions League games. The international ban rules him out of next year's Copa America, where his team is the defending champion.

The longest World Cup ban is Diego Maradona's for 15 months for doping in 1994.

Ghana discord: Ghana threw midfielders Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng off the team a few hours before its game against Portugal. According to a statement from the federation, Muntari engaged in an "unprovoked physical attack on an executive committee member" while Boateng hurled "vulgar verbal insults targeted at coach Kwesi Appiah." Boateng said he and Muntari joked around during practice Wednesday, which upset Appiah. "No one should think that I insulted the coach or did anything wrong," he said. Muntari was unavailable for comment. Appiah, however, said his players got their bonuses before kickoff as requested. Wednesday, it was reported the nation's president sent $3 million in cash to Brazil. The coach didn't say where the money came from.

No spying: Chile temporarily stopped practicing when a Brazilian news helicopter flew over the field in Belo Horizonte two days before the countries meet in the round of 16. Chile's spokesman, Hector Olave, said the broadcaster apologized. And the players reacted in jest. "We tried to hit (the helicopter) with the ball, but we couldn't," defender Mauricio Isla said.

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