Suarez ban excessive – Chiellini

LONDON - Giorgio Chiellini, the Italian player bitten by Luis Suárez, has called the Uruguayan’s subsequent ban “excessive” and fears it will lead to the player becoming alienated.

Fifa has banned Suárez from all “football-related activities” for four months after the clash, ruling the striker out of the rest of the World Cup and the start of the domestic season.

The biting incident, the third in which Suárez has been involved in his career, has also led Fifa’s disciplinary committee to prevent the player from entering any football stadium during the ban or from training with either Liverpool or the Uruguay national squad.

Suárez has also been banned for nine competitive international matches, beginning with Uruguay’s last-16 game with Colombia on Saturday, and fined £66,000.

“Now inside me there’s no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suárez for an incident that happened on the pitch and that’s done. There only remain the anger and the disappointment about the match,” said Chiellini on his personal website.

“At the moment my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult period.

“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 team mates during the games because such a ban is really alienating for a player.”

Diego Maradona has also spoken in support of Suárez, attacking the “Fifa mafia” and likening the ban to being “handcuffed” and “thrown in Guantanamo”.

Meanwhile, Suarez’s ban is a huge boost for a Colombia side who should certainly be seen as favourites to win tonight’s game having impressed with fine performances in the group stages.

Colombia took a clean sweep of wins in their Group C campaign, scoring nine goals and conceding just two as they proved their considerable pedigree in impressive fashion.

Despite the pre-tournament loss of main man Radamael Falcao, Colombia have hardly missed him as they have scored for fun with James Rodriguez scoring three goals and claiming two assists in the first three matches.

Jose Pekerman's men have not trailed once in Brazil and look to have all the tools to go a long way in the World Cup and will prove a mighty difficult test for Uruguay, especially without Suarez.

The Liverpool striker was injured for their opener and they went down 3-1 to Costa Rica, who comprehensively took the victory after Oscar Tabarez's side lost their grip on the game in dramatic fashion.

Suarez bagged a brace as they beat England 2-1 in their second game and a late Diego Godin header saw them claim a 1-0 victory over Italy to make it through the group stages. – Agencies

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