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Rio de Janeiro
Uruguay ’s Luis Suarez was hit
with the longest ban imposed at a
World Cup today as FIFA threw
the book at one of soccer’s most
talented but controversial players
for biting an opponent.
Suarez was suspended from all
football-related activity for four
months by the sport ’s governing
body which also ruled he could
not play in Uruguay ’s next nine
competitive games, immediately
ending his involvement in the
World Cup in Brazil.
The ban means the striker is
unlikely to appear in non-friendly
matches for his country until 2016.
“He is totally distraught. He never
thought the punishment would be
so severe,” Alejandro Balbi who is a
member of the Uruguayan Football
Association’s board and Suarez’s
The four-month ban means
Suarez will have to sit out the first
two months of the next English
season and he will miss Liverpool’s
opening Premier League and
Champions League matches.
“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 FIFA’s
Disciplinary Committee, said.
The 27-year-old striker left his
Uruguay team-mates shortly after
FIFA’s announcement, depriving
them of their most outstanding
player two days before a do-or-die
match against Colombia in the
second round of the World Cup.
FIFA also fined Suarez 100,000
Swiss francs after 10 hours of
deliberations by its Disciplinary
Uruguay president Jose Mujica
was due to meet one of his ministers
to discuss a possible response to
the ruling, local media said. He
summed up the indignation in the
South American country where
Suarez is considered a hero.
“ We didn’t choose him to be a
philosopher, or a mechanic, or to
have good manners — he’s a great
player,” Mujica said, speaking on
Wednesday. “I didn’t see him bite
The support for Suarez at home
is in stark contrast to his image
as a hothead for many in Europe
where he has been involved in two
previous biting incidents.
The Uruguayan FA said it would
appeal against the ruling to FIFA
as quickly as possible, paving the
way for another challenge to the
Court of Arbitration for Sport, a
final appeals body. Suarez cannot
play even if the challenges are
Suarez is one of the most gifted
players in world football, scoring
31 league goals in 33 games for
Liverpool last season.
He returned from a month on
the sidelines with an injury to score
twice in Uruguay ’s 2-1 win over
England last week, transforming
the team’s World Cup which began
with a shock defeat by Costa Rica
in a game Suarez missed through
He is also one of the game’s most
troubled players. As well as two
previous bans for biting, Suarez
was accused of racially abusing a
player in England in 2011.
Former Brazil striker Ronaldo
had no sympathy.
“Football must set an example and
show examples of good players,” he
told reporters. “People who are out
of line must be punished. If my
little children bite me, they are sent
to the dark room with the big bad
wolf. This is football’s equivalent.”
Suarez cannot even train or attend
matches with Liverpool until
late October, a big blow to their
domestic and European ambitions.
Although FIFA has banned many
players for life and issued other
lengthy playing suspensions, this
is the record punishment imposed
for wrongdoing at the World Cup,
surpassing the eight-game ban
handed to Italy’s Mauro Tassotti
for breaking the nose of Spain’s
Luis Enrique in 1994.
- - Reuters
Tiger Woods has struggled to a three-
over par 74 in his PGA return after
a three-month injury lay-off, but was
optimistic after birdies on three of his last
six holes at the National.
The 14-time major champion could not
consistently summon the skill that drew
worldwide audiences to him in his first
comeback round, but he improved to the
finish in his first warm-up for next month’s
“The more I played, the more I felt
comfortable about shot selections, my
sight lines, all different things,” Woods said
“I played a lot better than the score
indicated, which is good.”
On a Congressional Country Club
layout where Woods won in 2009 and
2012, he struggled early after not playing
competitively for 109 days due to back
surgery to relieve a pinched nerve.
But Woods said his back was not a
problem at any point in the round.
“The back is great,” Woods said.
“I had no issues at all. No twinges, no
nothing. It felt fantastic. That ’s one of the
reasons why I let go on those tee shots. I
hit it pretty hard out there.”
Woods, who began off the 10th tee,
opened and closed the back nine with
back-to-back bogeys, then made bogeys at
the second and third to fall 10 strokes off
“I made so many little mistakes,” Woods
Woods responded with a birdie at the
fourth hole and consecutive birdies at the
seventh and eighth.
“The hard part was just getting into the
rhythm of playing competitively,” Woods
“Adrenaline is rushing and I hit the ball
further out here than I do at home. Try
to get the feels. Didn’t start happening
until midway through my front nine. It
unfortunately took a while to get the feel
Woods, chasing Jack Nicklaus’ all-time
record of 18 major titles, hopes to play
his way into shape this week ahead of the
British Open at Royal Liverpool, where he
won the Claret Jug in 2006.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Germany, the United States and
Algeria sealed last 16 World Cup
places today but much of the spotlight
was on the tournament ’s bad boys as
Uruguay ’s Luis Suarez got a nine-
match ban for biting and Ghana sent
two players home in disgrace.
On the final day of group matches,
Germany beat the US 1-0, a result
that put both teams through from
group G, while Algeria’s 1-1 draw with
Russia saw them join already-qualified
Belgium in the second round for the
first time from group H.
Germany will now play Algeria
on Monday in Porto Alegre while
Belgium will battle with the US in
Salvador on Tuesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Ghana,
South Korea and Russia were the day ’s
casualties with all heading home.
Much of the talk in the last few days
has, however, been about bad behaviour
marring an other wise excellent
tournament and events took another
explosive turn today.
Uruguay ’s mercurial striker Suarez
was handed a nine-match ban by FIFA
— the biggest imposed at a World Cup
for biting Italy defender Giorgio
Chiellini during Tuesday ’s group match
and been suspended from any football-
related activity for four months.
“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,” soccer’s world
governing body said in a statement.
Uruguay ’s FA president Wilmar
Valdez said they would appeal, while
its government will meet to discuss
“options” relating to the ban, which
ends Suarez’s World Cup involvement
and forces him to miss the first two
months of the English season.
Suarez, voted England’s Footballer of
the Year after scoring 31 league goals
for Liverpool last term, has now been
involved in three incidents of biting
opponents, and one of racial abuse.
The latest ban means the 27-year-old
will have missed 34 matches in total as
punishment for those offences.
Coming two days before their team’s
last 16 match against Colombia,
many Uruguayans slammed the latest
sanction as exaggerated, hypocritical,
or even biased. Others, such as ex-
Brazil striker Ronaldo, were not so
“If my kids bite me they are punished
in the dark room with the big bad wolf:
that ’s the soccer equivalent,” he said.
Ghana’s preparations for their
Brasilia match with Portugal were
less than ideal. Before kickoff they
confirmed key midfielders Kevin-
Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari
had been suspended after they clashed
with coach Kwesi Appiah and a Ghana
Football Association (GFA) official.
Boateng was sanctioned following
“ vulgar verbal insults targeted at
coach Kwesi Appiah during the team’s
training session in Maceio this week,”
the GFA said.
Muntari’s punishment was handed
down after he punched an executive
committee member of the GFA. The
incident happened during a meeting
over unpaid money as senior players
rounded on team officials for not
keeping promises, a team source said.
Germany negotiated torrential rain
in Recife to ensure they topped group
G with a 55th minute Thomas Mueller
goal, the prolific forward collecting a
loose ball on the edge of the area and
superbly side-footing into the bottom
The Germans dominated the game
with Juergen Klinsmann’s team creating
very few chances and finished top of
the group on seven points, followed by
the US (4), Portugal (4) and Ghana (1).
Portugal talisman Ronaldo scored
his first goal of the tournament
against Ghana but the 2-1 result was
not enough to avoid an exit on goal
difference behind the US — which
might have been avoided had Ronaldo
converted three great chances.
Ghana’s John Boye sliced a cross into
his own net after 31 minutes to hand
Portugal the lead, before Asamoah
Gyan met a lovely Kwadwo Asamoah
cross 12 minutes into the second half.
The header marked his sixth World
Cup goal making him the highest-
scoring African in finals history. Both
sides then missed chances before
Ronaldo found the net in the 80th
In group H already qualified
Belgium beat South Korea 1-0 with
a 78th minute goal from defender Jan
Vertonghen, despite losing midfielder
Steven Defour to a 45th minute
red card after a needless, studs-up
challenge on Kim Shin-wook.
Korea’s defeat rounded off a miserable
tournament for the four Asian sides,
also including Australia, Japan and
Iran, who failed to muster a win
between them and all finished bottom
of their groups.
On a momentous night for Algeria,
the North Africans took second spot
after Islam Slimani’s powerful header
on the hour cancelled out Alexander
Kokorin’s superb sixth minute opener,
dumping Russia, who needed a win,
out of the tournament.
The group finished with Belgium on
nine points, followed by Algeria (4),
Russia (2) and South Korea (1).
It was the first time two African
sides had reached the last 16 with the
Algerians joining Nigeria in the second
Elsewhere, Argentina striker Sergio
Aguero’s World Cup looks to be over
after he suffered a muscle tear in
yesterday ’s 3-2 win over the Nigerians.
Brazil’s Neymar also did his best not
to add to the player headlines.
The forward won an appeal to have
the local June edition of Playboy
magazine, which claimed to feature an
ex-girlfriend, removed from the news
Big finish hear tens Tiger
PICTURE: Getty Images
Tiger Woods hits out of the bunker in today’s round of the Quicken Loans
National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.
FOOTBALL WORLD CUP
FIFA bites back
Germany, US and Algeria join Belgium in last 16
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