FIFA World Cup: I lost my balance, it was no bite: Luis Suarez
Shamed Uruguayan star Luis Suarez insisted he lost his balance and did not bite Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, according to a FIFA report on the assault which led to him being expelled from the World Cup
Rio de Janeiro: Shamed Uruguayan star Luis Suarez insisted he lost his balance and did not bite Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, according to a FIFA report on the assault which led to him being expelled from the World Cup.
But the FIFA disciplinary commission which banned 27-year-old Suarez from all football for four months said in a report seen by AFP that he had acted "intentionally and without provocation."
Suarez's statement to the commission, which was included in their report, said: "I lost my balance and ended up falling on my opponent (Chiellini)".
"At that moment, my face hit the player (Chiellini) leaving a small bruise and sharp pain in the teeth."
He added: "In no case what has been described as a bite or attempting to bite happened."
Television images of the incident in last Tuesday's Group D game in which Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 showed clear bite marks in Chiellini's shoulder. Suarez has served two previous bans for biting.
The FIFA commission on Thursday banned Suarez from any football activity for four months, suspended him for nine international matches and ordered him to pay a 100,000 Swiss francs (83,000 euros/112,000 dollar) fine. The Uruguayan government and football association has reacted with outrage to the sanction.
But the disciplinary commission gave a damning assessment of Suarez's actions in its final report in Spanish which was leaked to various media.
It said "the offence was carried out directly against an opposing player, while the ball was not being disputed, and it was done deliberately, intentionally and without provocation."
It added that "intentionally causing physical injury to an opposing player, through a bite ... is completely alien to football (and) obviously violates the principles of fair play or sporting ethic."
Suarez on Saturday thanked fans for the support they have shown.
The goalscorer has taken refuge with his family since being expelled from the World Cup.
The 27-year-old Liverpool striker posted a Twitter statement "to give thanks for the outpouring of love and support I am receiving.
"Myself and my family really appreciate it," he added. "Thank you very much for being by my side. I want all of us to support my teammates in today's match against Colombia."