FIFA president Sepp Blatter has given the clearest possible hint he thinks Luiz Suarez’s bite ban should be cut.
Barcelona-bound Liverpool striker Suarez has an appeal to FIFA’s disciplinary committee, after he was banned for nine international games and from all footballing activities for four months for chomping Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup group match, dismissed last week.
The Uruguay star is not now appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne and, in a move that appeared to undercut his own organisation’s process, Blatter said he felt Suarez had been unduly punished.
Blatter, speaking at the final 2014 World Cup press conference in Rio’s Maracana stadium, said: “Concerning disciplinary cases, they are to be dealt with by independent committees.
“It’s not like the past, when we had designated committees and could tell them what to do. We are now in a democratic system, with independent jurisdiction in FIFA.
“But concerning Suarez, as a footballer, I feel for him. I feel such a punishment hurts, it hurts.
“As president of FIFA I have to accept the decisions taken by an independent committee. But I hope this player will come back to football because, on the pitch, he showed before his suspension, his capacity technical, tactical and how he smells the goal with two great goals against England.
“He will be back. He is now at one of the greatest clubs in the world and he will confirm his position as one of the great players.”