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FIFA Bites Back: Uruguay's Luis Suarez Suspended 9 Games

Uruguay's Luis Suarez holds his teeth after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder during Tuesday's World Cup match between Italy and Uruguay in Brazil. FIFA has banned Suarez for nine games and four months over the incident.
Ricardo Mazalan
/
AP
Uruguay's Luis Suarez holds his teeth after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder during Tuesday's World Cup match between Italy and Uruguay in Brazil. FIFA has banned Suarez for nine games and four months over the incident.

Two days after the sporting world reacted in shock to what appeared to be a case of one elite soccer player biting another, FIFA, the sport's governing body, announced that it's suspending Uruguayan star Luis Suarez for nine matches and fining him 100,000 Swiss francs (about $112,000).

The suspension comes two days before Uruguay faces Colombia in the round of 16 on Saturday. It begins immediately, FIFA says. Suarez is also banned from any soccer activity for four months.

The punishment stems from Tuesday, when Suarez lunged at Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder. Both of them fell to the ground in pain afterward, and Chiellini pulled the top of his jersey down to show referees what looked to be teeth marks. The play didn't bring a penalty.

FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings Wednesday, promising a quick resolution to the matter.

"Such behavior 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," said Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.

As we reported yesterday, more than 100 gamblers won money as a result of Suarez's actions, having bet that he would bite someone at the World Cup.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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