Sepp Blatter comments on Luis Suarez's ban

Pele With Sepp Blatter

The FIFA president reflected on Luis Suarez's ban and the group stage of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.

Sepp Blatter has backed the independent FIFA panel's decision to ban Luis Suarez after he bit Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

The FIFA president stopped short, however, of stating whether he feels the length of the ban is appropriate.

This is the third time in Suarez's career that he has been suspended for biting an opponent. The Liverpool striker was banned for seven games for biting PSV's Otman Bakkal in 2010, and three years later he was handed a 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea.

Now Suarez faces four months away from football after his latest infraction, including a nine-match international ban which will see him miss the remainder of Uruguay's World Cup campaign.

The Uruguayan football association, fans and press have all claimed that Suarez has been treated unfairly and believe that the suspension is excessive.

Blatter, however, gave his support to the panel that made the decision on the ban.

"This is not fair, what he has done, that's definitely not fair," Blatter said. "Now to discuss the decision which has been taken by a panel of seven judges is not up to me to make a comment on that.

"But obviously they have taken into consideration the other incidents of this player who has already been banned in football for the same activity.

"So I cannot say it is too much or less or whatever, this is an independent organisation in FIFA, they have taken this decision."

Blatter and FIFA faced a troubled start to the World Cup. Brazilians protested against the tournament being held in their country and the governing body were accused of corruption in relation to Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid.

But the furore has now died down, and Blatter thanked Brazilian fans for embracing the tournament.

"The population of Brazil is now more in the game than in the streets, and now they are more in the Fan Fests than in demonstrations, and this is great," he said.

"I have to express thanks to the people of Brazil for the acceptance of this World Cup, and it will be ongoing because the last matches are very tight and very tough, and it is exceptionally good football."

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