Suarez Defends World Cup Bite in Letter, Says He Fell Into Italian Defender

Uruguay's soccer player Luis Suarez holds his children as he greets fans from their home's balcony on the outskirts of Montevideo, Uruguay, Friday, June 27, 2014.

Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan striker banned for four months for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during a match last week, said he fell into Chiellini, and accidentally hit him with his teeth, according to a letter he wrote to FIFA.
"After the impact ... I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent," Suarez wrote in a letter, dated June 25. "At that moment I hit my face against the player, leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth." Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 during that match.

In the letter to FIFA's disciplinary committee ahead of its meeting on Wednesday, Suarez said he accidentally hit Chiellini's left shoulder with his teeth. FIFA's appeal panel will consider this argument, after Suarez's national federation, the Uruguayan Football Association, notified FIFA that it would challenge the league's disciplinary actions.
"In no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite,"
"In no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite," Suarez wrote in Spanish.

The seven-man panel that met on Wednesday rejected the argument Suarez laid out in his letter, and handed down the longest ban for any World Cup player in two decades, prohibiting Suarez from playing in the next nine Uruguay World Cup matches, and a four-month ban from all of football. They also fined Suarez 100,000 Swiss francs, or about $112,000.
The bite was "deliberate, intentional and without provocation," the ruling stated.
On Saturday, FIFA confirmed that a formal challenge to Suarez's ban had begun. "We have a declaration that they are planning to appeal," FIFA spokesperson Delia Fischer said. The Uruguayan Football Association now has seven days to submit written grounds for the appeal.
This was not Suarez's first brush with FIFA penalties due to his toothy behavior on the pitch. Earlier in his career, he was suspended in the Netherlands and England for biting opponents.
Uruguay faces off against Colombia on Saturday in a Round of 16 match. In a tweet on Saturday, Suarez wished his team good luck, and thanked his fans for their support.

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