A simple, harmless bite on the shoulder of an opponent may have made Luis Suarez a global villain overnight, earning him a nine-match suspension, four months of stadium ban and a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs ($112,000), but not everyone is making a meal out of it.
Sympathy and support poured in from all over the world ever since FIFA handed the punishment to the controversial Uruguayan striker, reports Reuters, AFP.
Suarez flew home to Uruguay on Friday and was met by outraged President Jose Mujica when he landed at a military base next to Uruguay’s main airport before dawn, an air force spokesman said.
Mujica had joined hundreds of fans who gathered at the airport on Thursday night to show their support for Suarez but they left after a few hours when it became clear he had not yet left Brazil.
After his arrival on Friday, Suarez, his wife and other family members were driven to a home he has in the small coastal town of Solymar and the player appeared keen on maintaining a low profile.
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, who was at the receiving end of Suarez’s biting during their Group D match, was among the first to express sympathy for the otherwise talented striker, saying FIFA punishment is ‘excessive.’
‘Now inside me there’s no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez for an incident that happened on the pitch and that’s done,’ Juventus centre back Chiellini said in a statement on his website (giorgiochiellini.com).
‘There only remain the anger and the disappointment about the match.
‘At the moment my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult period.
‘I have always considered unequivocal the disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies, but at the same time I believe that the proposed formula is excessive.
‘I sincerely hope that he will be allowed, at least, to stay close to his team mates during the games because such a ban is really alienating for a player.’
Argentine star Diego Maradona went on saying world soccer’s governing body FIFA might as well handcuff
Suarez and lock him up in Guantanamo prison.
‘Who did Suarez kill?’ Maradona said on a TV show he hosted. ‘This is football, this is contact… They may as well handcuff him and bring him to Guantanamo directly.’
Brazil striker Fred said on Thursday the lengthy ban for biting handed down to Uruguay’s Luis Suarez could ‘ruin his livelihood.’
‘You can’t deny that he committed a mistake, but as a player and a human being who sometimes takes things to heart, I think (the ban) is too severe,’ said Fred at a press conference in Teresopolis in a rare show of unity between the old South American rivals.
‘The majority of people I have spoken to about it think it is fair but it is a punishment that could ruin his livelihood.
‘I think he has to be punished, but I would really like to see him continue playing in this World Cup in Brazil.’
-With New Age input