Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has spoken out for the first time since the severe punishment handed out to him by FIFA earlier this week.
FIFA suspended him for nine international matches and banned him from all football-related activities for four months.
That punishment was imposed on him for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s crucial World Cup Group D encounter at the Arena das Dunas in Natal on Tuesday.
Without being provoked, the former Ajax star bit the Juventus defender on his shoulder – it was the third time in his career that he had committed this offence on the football pitch.
Suarez was widely condemned for his behaviour, but he did get support especially from the Uruguay unit.
Team coach Oscar Tabarez claimed that Suarez has been made a “scapegoat” and hinted at the British media trying to taint the country’s best footballer.
Uruguay captain Diego Lugano also expressed his anger at the punishment given to Suarez, writing on social networking site Twitter: ‘Indignation, impotence, I think that is what we all feel. We would all like a more just world, but this world simply does not exist’.
Suarez has now spoken for the first time since being given the ban ahead of Uruguay’s match against Colombia in the last 16 today, taking to Twitter to make the following statement:
‘Hi All, I write this post to convey my thanks for the outpour of support and love I am receiving. Both my family and I really appreciate it. Thank you very much for being by my and my teammates’ side. Today we all will support the team for the match against Colombia’.
Hola a todos, escribo este mensaje para dar las gracias a todas las muestras de apoyo y cariño que estoy (cont) http://t.co/SXgz9MuQZX— Luis Suarez (@luis16suarez) June 28, 2014
Uruguay struggled without Suarez against Costa Rica in their opening game of the World Cup. How will they fare against fellow South American side Colombia at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro? We will find out soon.