Rio de Janeiro, June 26 (IANS) Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was Thursday banned for four months by world body FIFA for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
FIFA announced the ruling following an investigation into the incident during Uruguay’s 1-0 victory over Italy Tuesday, a result that secured the south American side’s place in the World Cup round of 16.
Suarez has also been suspended for nine international matches, ruling him out for the rest of the World Cup, reports Xinhua.
“The player Luis Suarez is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity for a period of four months in accordance with article 22 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code,” FIFA said in a statement Thursday.
In addition, the 27-year-old was fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($112,000) and is prohibited from “entering the confines of any stadium” during the ban.
The decision came just a day after FIFA announced it had open disciplinary proceedings against the Liverpool forward.
“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.
“The disciplinary committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr. Suarez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the code. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated.”
Suarez’s status as a repeat offender are understood to have played a significant part in the ruling. In 2010 he received a seven-match ban for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax.
Last year, he was handed a 10-match sentence for the same offence against Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic while representing Liverpool.
The ban is a huge blow to Uruguay’s World Cup hopes as they prepare of Saturday’s round of 16 clash against Colombia.
Oscar Tabarez’s team advanced to the knockout stage after finishing second in Group D.
Suarez, who underwent keyhole knee surgery last month, returned for La Celeste’s second group match against England, scoring both goals in the team’s 2-1 victory in Sao Paulo.
Uruguay’s football association did not immediately comment on the ban.