3 July 2014 02:49
FIFA president Sepp Blatter praised Luis Suarez after the embattled Uruguay striker apologised for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Suarez was suspended from all football-related activity for four months and banned for nine international games after being found guilty of biting Chiellini during the Group D FIFA World Cup fixture in Natal on June 24.
The 27-year-old, who was banned for biting an opponent for the third time in his professional career, had initially protested his innocence following fierce backlash around the globe.
But the Liverpool striker finally apologised publicly in a move many believe was an attempt to help pave the way for a transfer to La Liga giants Barcelona, who are weighing up a big-money offer.
Regardless of any hidden motives, Blatter told reporters at a seminar in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday that he was pleased with Suarez’s stance.
“He said ‘I’m sorry’ to the soccer family, and that’s fair play too,” Blatter said.
“That shows he’s a great player and I hope he can have his soccer career back.”
Suarez was first embroiled in a biting controversy back in 2010 during his time with Ajax, when he accepted a seven-game ban for an incident involving PSV midfielder Otman Bakkal.
The Liverpool front man was handed a 10-game suspension three years later for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic at Anfield.