UK press welcomes Suarez ban

Luis Suarez (AFP)
Luis Suarez (AFP)

London - Luis Suarez's "unprecedented" four-month ban from football for biting was harsh but justified, the British press, which the striker has accused of conspiring against him, said on Friday.

Suarez, who plays for Premier League club Liverpool, will no longer be Uruguay's star player in the 2014 Soccer World Cup after football body FIFA banned him from "football-related activities" for biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during a Group D game on Tuesday.

The ban will also prevent Suarez from playing or training with Liverpool until the four months are up - and the British press speculated that his notorious reputation could damage his career.

The Guardian noted the ban was an "unprecedented move" by FIFA's disciplinary committee, calling it a "hefty sanction" that would prevent Suarez from entering football stadiums as well as from playing.

"He'll blame other people, of course. He always does. The English media, the Italian media, the Italian players, the world and his wife," wrote the Mirror's chief sports writer Oliver Holt, saying ultimately only Suarez himself was to blame.

But Holt called the ban "desperately harsh on Liverpool" and "a brutal blow to the club's hopes of improving on the wonderful season they have just had."

The Sun speculated that the incident could knock 20 million ($34 million, 25 million euro) off Suarez's value if Liverpool decided to sell him, while The Daily Telegraph said Suarez "paid dearly for his biting shame".

The Guardian's front page was dominated by a snarling close-up of the player with his mouth open and large teeth bared, alongside the headline "Biter bit: Suarez banned for four months".

"Suarez out of World Cup...and Liverpool" said the Daily Star front page, with a picture of a morose Suarez giving a thumbs up sign.

The Daily Mail's Martin Samuel argued that the ban was hard on Liverpool, but that "punishment does fit this crime."

The papers also made the most of the opportunity for puns. "Snap judgement: FIFA throws book at Suarez" read the Independent's front page, while The Sun ran the headline "Gnaw mercy".

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