Did not intend to bite: Suarez
Rio de Janeiro: Luis Suarez told FIFA’s disciplinary panel that he did not deliberately bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.
The Uruguay striker’s defense that he lost balance and fell on his opponent will now be presented to FIFA’s appeal panel, after his national federation notified FIFA late on Friday it would challenge the nine- match, four- month ban.
“In no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite,” Suarez wrote in Spanish in a letter dated June 25. The player’s defense is in paragraph 6 of FIFA’s disciplinary committee ruling. “After the impact... I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent,” Suarez wrote in his submission.
“At that moment I hit my face against the player leav- ing a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth,” Suarez said.
However, the seven- man panel which met on Wednesday evening dismissed the argument. The bite was “deliberate, intentional and without provocation,” the ruling stated in paragraph No. 26 of the panel’s conclusions.
The panel, chaired by former Switzerland international Claudio Sulser, also included members from the Cook Islands, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Panama, South Africa and Singapore.
On Saturday, FIFA confirmed that formal proceedings had begun to challenge the longest ban for a World Cup player in 20 years.
“We have a declaration that they are planning to appeal,” FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said.