- World Cup
Suarez publicly apologises for biting Chiellini
Luis Suarez has issued a public apology for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
FIFA's disciplinary panel handed Suarez a four-month ban from all football-related activity, as well as a nine-match international suspension, despite the Liverpool striker's plea that his actions were not intentional.
Suarez released the apology on his official Twitter feed on Monday and despite having been sanctioned twice for bites in the past - most recently on Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic last April - insisted he would never repeat his actions again.
My apologies to Chiellini: pic.twitter.com/CvfkkjxzlM— Luis Suarez (@luis16suarez) June 30, 2014
Chiellini later issued his response via the social networking site stating "all is forgotten" and that he hoped FIFA would consider reducing the ban.
.@luis16suarez It's all forgotten. I hope FIFA will reduce your suspension.— Giorgio Chiellini (@chiellini) June 30, 2014
Suarez's statement looks set to satisfy the demands of Barcelona; it is understood that, while the La Liga club remain interested in signing the £80 million-rated player, they required a public apology from Suarez and, should he move to Spain, may even consider inserting clauses into his contract which would allow them to punish him if he were to repeat his actions.
The suspension sparked outrage in Suarez's native Uruguay and several members of the national team's contingent have issued support to their countryman. Diego Lugano and coach Oscar Tabarez, who stepped down from his FIFA role in protest, have both defended Suarez in wake of the incident while the Uruguayan President branded FIFA "a bunch of old sons of bitches" in the latest outraged response.
While Liverpool are yet to make a formal comment on Suarez's future, former director of football Damien Comolli joined the chorus of support for the striker but manager Brendan Rodgers refused to comment on the situation when asked by Sky Sports on Monday.
The length of the sanction will mean Suarez will miss at least 12 games of the domestic season and the club are understood to be considering legal action against FIFA.
However, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes the severity of Suarez's ban is justified despite victim Chiellini, indicating that he thought the punishment was too severe.