Soccer News of Sat, 28 Jun 20142
Suarez denies bite accusation
Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has told FIFA's disciplinary panel that he did not bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini when the two sides met in Natal on Tuesday.
Suarez has returned to Uruguay after he was fined, thrown out of the World Cup and hit with a four-month ban from all football-related activity following the incident.
But in a letter to the FIFA panel dated June 25, the Liverpool striker insists his actions during the game have been misinterpreted.
"In no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite,” Suarez wrote. "After the impact ... I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent.
"At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth."
But the seven-man panel which met on Wednesday evening dismissed Suarez’s protestations.
The bite was "deliberate, intentional and without provocation," FIFA's disciplinary committee ruling read.
The ruling also confirmed that referee Marco Rodriguez of Mexico, his two assistants and the fourth official all missed the incident.
"I haven't seen the incident because the ball was in another sector of the pitch," Rodriguez wrote in his witness statement.
The disciplinary panel was chaired by former Switzerland international Claudio Sulser and included FIFA members from the Cook Islands, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Panama, South Africa and Singapore.
Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez has already stated his intention to resign from his role in FIFA's Technical Study Group in protest at a decision which he thinks has made a “scapegoat” of Suarez.
Meanwhile, the Uruguay football federation has now formally appealed against the sanction imposed on Suarez.
FIFA head of media Delia Fischer told a news conference in Rio de Janeiro: "We have received a declaration that they are planning to appeal. They informed us of their intention to appeal yesterday evening.
"The reasons for the appeal must now be given in writing within a deadline of seven days after the three days has expired."