Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
There have been many reactions to the heavy ban FIFA gave to Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, but few have been as surprising as the reaction from Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
Suarez bit Chiellini in the second half of Uruguay’s 1-0 victory over Italy last Tuesday, and at the time Chiellini vehemently gestured to Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez to show him the bite marks on his shoulder. However, now after the nine-match, four month suspension and fine has been handed down, Chiellini claimed that the punishment to Suarez is too harsh.
“Now inside me there are no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez for an incident, which happened on the pitch and is done,” Chillieni wrote in his blog for Sportlobster. “There only remains 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.
“I have always unequivocally considered the disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies, but at the same time I believe the proposed formula is excessive. I sincerely hope he will be allowed to stay close to his teammates during the games, because such a ban is really alienating for a player.”
While Chiellini and Italy were knocked out of the World Cup, Suarez has reportedly already flown back home to Uruguay, as he’s not allowed to be with the Uruguayan squad any more. The Uruguayan FA have claimed that they will appeal the decision but it’s unclear whether Suarez would be available to face Colombia on Saturday in the World Cup Round of 16.
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AGUERO RULED OUT FOR SWITZERLAND GAME
Argentina will be missing one of their star forwards for their Round of 16 match against Switzerland on Saturday, but the diagnosis could be better than initially feared.
Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero has been sidelined by the latest thigh injury, suffered during Argentina’s 3-2 victory against Nigeria last Wednesday, and will miss at least the Switzerland match. However, after numerous reports that Aguero could be out for the rest of the World Cup, the team doctors said that they will be taking his recovery day-by-day.
“We have available all the resources to progress as quickly as possible,” team doctor Daniel Martinez told reporters in Belo Horizonte. “He won’t be ready for the Switzerland game, and from there we’ll check his evolution day-by-day.”
The injury might not be the worst thing for Argentina right now, as Aguero has failed to play on the left wing in a front trio with Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain. Ezequiel Lavezzi is the most likely player to take Aguero’s place in the starting XI.
BARCELONA REMAIN INTERESTED IN SUAREZ
Luis Suarez’s latest ban for biting has put his club Liverpool under the spotlight again, and Barcelona could look to take advantage of that this time around.
Despite the bad press surrounding Suarez and Barcelona’s usually spotless image in terms of their player’s conduct on the field, the Catalan club are still looking into negotiating for the Uruguayan forward’s signing, according to numerous reports in Spain.
One report in Sport, a Barcelona-based newspaper, states that Barcelona are happy to sign Suarez as long as he makes a public apology for his bite. It’s expected that Suarez could cost upwards of €60 million, but Barcelona are trying to take the price tag down to €50 million.
If Suarez did sign for Barcelona, he wouldn’t even be eligible to train until the end of October, meaning he likely wouldn’t make his debut until mid-November. FIFA confirmed that Suarez could be transferred during his suspension.
FIFA have reportedly lifted their 90-day ban on German soccer legend and current executive Franz Beckenbauer. (REPORT)
Manchester United have completed the reported £29 million ($49.4 million) signing of Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera. (REPORT)
Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev says that a fan pointing a laser blinded him just as Islam Slimani scored his equalizing goal. (REPORT)
Borussia Dortmund have extended their sponsorship contract with Evonik through 2026, and Evonik has acquired a 9.06% stake in the club for €26.7 million. (REPORT)
Manchester City have signed FC Porto’s Brazilian midfielder Fernando for a reported fee of £12 million. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you agree with Chiellini’s assessment? Shocked that he would defend Suarez? Think Argentina are better off without Aguero? Do you see Liverpool selling Suarez?
Share your thoughts below.