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Uruguay to appeal Suarez punishment

Saturday, June 28, 2014

MONTEVIDEO - The Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) says it will appeal against a four-month global ban imposed against star striker Luis Suarez for biting an Italian opponent at the World Cup.

AUF president Wilmar Valdez called the FIFA punishment against Suarez, also comprising a nine-match international ban, "totally exaggerated".

He said the appeal would be lodged yesterday.

"We feel the decision is totally over the top because for us there was no incontrovertible proof to warrant such a tough punishment," Valdez told reporters in Rio.

"Uruguay does not seek privileges or exceptions. What Uruguay does ask is that the law be applied equally to all and FIFA should ensure that is the case.

"And we have seen more or similarly aggressive incidents than that involving Luis Suarez and yet (in those cases FIFA's) disciplinary commission did not act as it is now doing," he complained.

But he added he did not think Suarez was being victimised.

Uruguayan skipper Diego Lugano meanwhile posted a message to social media saying the squad were aghast at the punishment but felt powerless to do anything.

"Indignant. Powerless. I think this is what we all feel," said Lugano, but "those who are in charge are in charge.

"A hug to Luis, who as always will bounce back.

"We will carry on with humility, solidarity, commitment, recognising our mistakes and with our heads always held high," said Lugano, who was sat on the bench for the match as he was injured.

FIFA banned Suarez after his bite on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in Tuesday's final group match, the suspension ending the controversial forward's involvement at the World Cup.

It is the third time the 27-year-old South American star had been banned for biting an opponent after a previous case while at Ajax in 2010 and last year playing for Liverpool when he bit the arm of Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

Uruguayan Sports Minister Liliam Kechichian has blasted the punishment for Suarez as "disproportionate."

"I have seen many World Cups and many incidents involving hard contact (between players)," said Kechichian.

But "this is the greatest injustice to have resulted" from such a clash, said Kechichian.

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