7:00am Saturday 28th June 2014
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has resigned from FIFA’s Technical Study Group in protest at the “excessive” four-month ban imposed on Luis Suarez.
In a 15-minute statement read out at a press conference in the Maracana, Tabarez launched an attack on FIFA for giving Suarez a lengthy ban for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.
Suarez was handed a nine-match suspension and a ban from playing for any team for four months, Tabarez said he was resigning from his position on FIFA’s Technical Study Group (TSG) – an expert panel which analyses international matches – because he believes Suarez’s punishment was unfair.
The Uruguay coach also accused the English media of pressuring FIFA into making Suarez’s ban so long.
“It is not wise or prudent to be in an organisation with people, those who exerted pressure to promote this decision and those who rendered the award, who managed procedures and values very different to those I have,” he said.
“Therefore, in the coming days, I will file my resignation to that position formally.”
Meanwhile, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke has called on Suarez to seek help after being found guilty of biting an opponent for a third time.
“He should go for treatment,” Valcke said. “It’s definitely wrong.
“The first time, it’s an incident. More than once, it is not.”
International players' union FIFPro called for Suarez to “receive all the support he needs”.
“The focus should be on the rehabilitation and serious treatment of the player. FIFPro believes that treatment must be a part of any sanction,” a statement read.
Suarez was banned for ten matches for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in April 2013 and seven matches for doing similar to PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax in 2010.
“That is why the sanction has to be exemplary,” Valke added.
Suarez has been backed by World Cup winner Diego Maradona.
“The FIFA sanction is shameful, they have no sensitivity towards the fans, they might as well handcuff him and throw him in Guantanamo,” said Maradona, who was wearing a T-shirt bearing the message, ‘Luis, we are with you’.
“It hurts that they have cut short the career of a lad who is a winner. It’s an excessive suspension, Fifa cannot talk about morals to anyone.
“Suarez didn’t kill anyone.
“This is an unjust punishment, the act of an incredible FIFA mafia,” he said.
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini appearing to claim Uruguay striker Luis Suarez bit him Chiellini felt the ban “excessive”.
For their part, Liverpool are seeking legal advice after being denied the services of last season’s leading Premier League scorer until the end of October.
Elsewhere, England defender Luke Shaw has joined Manchester United from Southampton for £27m.
His Saints teammate, Adam Lalana, is set to have a medical ahead of a proposed £25m move to Liverpool.
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