LONDON – Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini has said the ban FIFA handed down to Luis Suarez is “excessive” and that he feels no anger toward the controversial Uruguay striker.
Suarez was given the longest sanction imposed at a World Cup by soccer’s governing body on Thursday, suspended from all soccer-related activity for four months and banned for nine international matches for biting Chiellini in their final Group D match in Natal, Brazil on Tuesday.
Suarez will miss the first two months of Liverpool’s Premier League and Champions League campaigns, and may not appear for his country in a non-friendly match again until 2016.
“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 center back Chiellini said in a statement posted on his website.
“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.
He added: “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 teammates during the games because such a ban is really alienating for a player.”
Uruguay won the match 1-0 and advanced to meet Colombia in a round of 16 tie on Saturday, but Suarez, 27, will miss the contest and the rest of the tournament after his ban.