• Premier League

Liverpool ready to fight FIFA over Suarez

ESPN staff
June 27, 2014
FIFA bans Luis Suarez for 9 games and 4 months

Liverpool are considering legal action against FIFA after Luis Suarez was hit with a wide-ranging four-month ban from football for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

The Uruguay striker has left Brazil after world game's governing body also suspended him for nine international matches and fined him £66,000, but Liverpool have been angered about how the tough punishment impacts on them with their striker prohibited from "any football-related activity" until the end of October.

Suarez and Uruguay - who beat Italy 1-0 to reach the knockout stages - will appeal against the decision and the country's FA has indicated it is prepared to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

FIFA should have given him help

  • Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor believes FIFA should have offered Luis Suarez counselling as well as handing him a worldwide four-month ban.
  • FIFA's punishment for the Liverpool striker does not mention anything about any potential rehabilitation and Taylor feels that is the only way for Suarez to committing an offence he has now been punished for three times during his career.
  • "FIFA should have led the way with regard to trying to make sure this behaviour is just eradicated and insisted on some serious treatment for Luis Suarez," Taylor told Sky Sports News.
  • "There's no doubt he's one of the finest players in the world, but this is a trait he has to get rid of and it's just not good for him or any of his clubs, or his country or the game in general. I've not seen that issue addressed.
  • "Everybody should feel the same. It's just not good when you have somebody of such talent who spoils it with this behaviour.
  • "That's why I feel it needs looking at in a serious way, and I would suggest a treatment course should be part of any sanction."

Liverpool are also taking specialist legal advice over the global ban, which excludes him from training with them or anyone else and from going to any stadium but does not prevent him being transferred to another club.

The club view the incident and punishment as unprecedented and have been left in an difficult position. Liverpool have supported Suarez during previous problems and relying heavily on him last season as he earned PFA and FWA player of the year awards and was the Premier League's top scorer with 31 goals.

The player's lawyer, Alejandro Balbi said that he will meet with legal representatives from the Merseyside club on Friday. "We will meet in Barcelona with Liverpool's lawyers,'' he told Cadena Cope.

Interestingly, Balbi also claimed Pere Guardiola, the agent brother of former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, will also be present at the meeting - something which will fuel claims Suarez could be set to move to Barcelona, who have been strongly linked with signing him this summer.

"Tomorrow we will talk with Pere Guardiola,'' Balbi added when asked about a potential move for Suarez from Liverpool to Barcelona.

FIFA's decision means it is the third time Suarez has been sanctioned for biting opponents with the two previous offences occurring in club football. He was banned for 10 matches in 2013 for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and in 2010 he was given a seven-game ban while playing for Ajax for biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal.

How Uruguay reacted

A newsstand in Montevideo © ESPN FC
  • Montevideo was a strange, tense place in the hours before Luis Suarez's World Cup ended in suspension, writes Wright Thompson. The city woke up waiting on the news to break, almost frozen in anticipation of it. The front page of one of the daily papers put words to the feelings: "The Italians and English Crucify Suarez." A huge photo showed him on his knees, like a pose from a cheesy war movie, leaned back, arms spread in a Christ pose.
  • Click here to read the full story
He also served an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra three years ago.

Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre said on Thursday that Liverpool will wait to read a full report from FIFA before ultimately deciding what to do next.

But The Times claims Liverpool are furious with the decision to punish Suarez at club level for an incident which occurred during an international competition as they had released him to play for his country. Liverpool may argue that Suarez is registered to the FA and appealing against the decision through them could be one avenue.

If the punishments stand, Suarez will miss their first nine Premier League games as well as their first three Champions League matches.

President of the Uruguay FA Wilmar Valdez said of the ban: "We are preparing our appeal now, we have three days to do it.

"It is an excessive decision and there was not enough evidence and I have seen more aggressive incidents recently. It is a severe punishment. I don't know exactly which arguments they used but it is a tough punishment for Suarez. It's feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup."

Meanwhile, 888poker has announced that it has ended its relationship with Suarez following the Chiellini incident.

A statement read: "888poker signed Luis Suarez following a fantastic season for which his achievements were widely recognized. Regrettably, following his actions during Uruguay's World Cup match against Italy on Tuesday, 888poker has decided to terminate its relationship with Luis Suarez with immediate effect."

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