Bitten Italian Player Says Punishment 'Excessive'

  • VOA News

    June 28, 2014 08:43

    Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez, during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal on June 24, 2014. /Reuters

    The Italian football (soccer) player bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez in a World Cup match earlier this week says the punishment handed down against Suarez was "excessive."

    In a post on his website Friday, Italy's Giorgio Chiellini said he has always considered the punishments enforced by governing organizations as absolute.

    But he said in this case FIFA, the governing body for international football, went too far by banning Suarez from nine international matches and preventing him from participating in football-related activities for four months. Suarez was also fined $112,000 for the incident.

    It was the harshest punishment ever handed down for an on-field incident at the World Cup.

    Suarez bit Chiellini in the shoulder in a match won by Uruguay, 1-0, on Tuesday. Officials have suspended Suarez twice before in club play for biting opposing players and once for using racially abusive language.

    The punishment means Suarez, a star striker, will not be able to play in the World Cup's coveted round of 16, also known as the knockout round.

    That round begins on Saturday with games featuring four South American teams.

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