x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Fifa general secretary rejects backlash against Suarez ban

Players' union FIFPro claims Liverpool striker's right to work infringed by four-month ban on all football activities

A child shows his support for Uruguay striker Luis Suarez by wearing toy plastic vampire teeth as he awaits the player's arrival at Carrasco International Airport in the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay, on June 26, 2014. Matilde Campodonico / AP Photo
A child shows his support for Uruguay striker Luis Suarez by wearing toy plastic vampire teeth as he awaits the player's arrival at Carrasco International Airport in the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay, on June 26, 2014. Matilde Campodonico / AP Photo

Luis Suarez should seek professional help to stop him from repeatedly biting opponents, Jerome Valcke, the Fifa general secretary, said on Friday.

“I think he should find a way to stop doing it,” Valcke said. “He should go through a treatment. It is definitely wrong.”

Uruguay striker Suarez was suspended for four months from all football-related activity on Thursday, ending his involvement in the World Cup finals, for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during a Group D match on Tuesday.

It is the third time in Suarez’s career he has been banned for biting.

Valcke dismissed comments from Chiellini yesterday, who said the punishment on Suarez – the heaviest sanction of a player at a World Cup – was too harsh.

“You will always find someone who says it’s excessive,” Valcke said. “It’s not only him who says it’s excessive.”

When pointed out that Chiellini was the victim, Valcke said: “So what? They are decisions which are made by the disciplinary committee based on what they have seen.

“Again, it’s not just about the incident – it was seen by hundreds of millions of people.

“It is not what you want, your kids, the little ones who are playing football around the world, to see in a football game at the level of the World Cup, or any level – amateur football or professional football.”

Suarez flew home to Uruguay on Friday, and the international players’ union FIFPro weighed in with their support for the 27 year old, as they have questioned why Liverpool should be affected by his ban.

FIFPro has called for Fifa to address that issue and said the sanction on the striker should have included “serious treatment” to help Suarez deal with his problem.

“The fact that Suarez is prohibited from working for a long period must be addressed as it directly infringes his right to work,” a FIFPro statement said. “Also, the fact that Liverpool FC is affected needs to be an important issue.

“Luis Suarez should receive all the support he needs to deal with any off-field issues he may be experiencing at this time. This means that the focus should be on the rehabilitation and serious treatment of the player. FIFPro believes that treatment must be a part of any sanction.”

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