Luis Suarez ban: Uruguayan fans swarm Montevideo airfield to give Suarez hero's welcome...except banned striker never arrives
Suarez was expected to fly back to Uruguay after he was banned for four months from all forms of football, except he is believed to have stayed in Brazil
Hundreds of Uruguay fans flooded the Montevideo airport on Thursday night – including President Jose Mujica – ready to cheer up Luis Suarez following his four-month worldwide ban that has ended his World Cup, but the striker was nowhere to be seen.
Suarez received the heaviest ban in World Cup history on Thursday after Fifa punished his bite on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini with a four-month ban from all forms of football as well as a nine-match international ban and 100,000 Swiss franc fine.
The 27-year-old has been defended vehemently by many from his homeland, and they turned out in their masses to welcome him home after he was informed he can no longer train or stay with the rest of Uruguay’s World Cup squad.
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With President Mujica also in attendance, news soon filtered through that Surez’s flight had been delayed, and he would spend the night in Natal in Brazil while the President made his way back home and the crowd dispersed to another adjacent air force base to await his arrival.
The Uruguayan Football Association has already confirmed that it will appeal the decision, after UAF President Wilmar Valdez said “it feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup.”
Despite Valdez’s complaints that Suarez’s ban was both “excessive” and too sever considering the evidence, Fifa said that his actions could not be tolerated after he was found guilty of biting an opponent for the third time in his professional career.
“Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch and in particular not at a Fifa World Cup, when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field,” Claudio Sulser, chairman of the Fifa disciplinary committee, said in a statement released at Thursday’s morning briefing.
However, the feeling in Uruguay is unanimously in support of their national hero, and a lawmaker for Uruguay’s ruling Broad Front coalition blasted the “hypocrisy” of Fifa’s decision.
“The immorality and hypocrisy of Fifa has no limits. Neither does Chiellini's inclination for being a tattle-tale and a fink!” said Luis Puig, while another fan was reported by the Telegraph as saying: “They clearly wanted to kick Suarez out of the World Cup. Uruguay is a small country that eliminated two big nations like Italy and England and it doesn't benefit Fifa to let Uruguay continue playing.”
The general conception in the South American country is that there is a conspiracy against Suarez coming from England, Italy and Brazil, and rather than apologise for biting Chiellini, Suarez intends to fight the suspension.
He received more support from Argentinian legend Diego Maradona, who told Venezuela's Telesur network: “This is football, this is incidental contact. They have no common sense or a fan's sensibility. Luisito, we are with you.”
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