Giorgio Chiellini, the Italian defender whose shoulder bore teeth marks after a clash with Uruguay’s Luis Suarez during a World Cup match Tuesday, says FIFA’s four-month ban of Suarez is too harsh. Chiellini released a statement on his website saying his thoughts are with the star striker and his family.
FIFA, soccer’s governing body, announced its punishment Thursday, days before Uruguay was to play Colombia in the round of 16 Saturday. Now they’ll do it without their biggest star, who was also fined more than $100,000 over the incident.
Chiellini says he hopes Suarez will at least be allowed to interact with his teammates under a ban that forbids him from visiting a stadium.
He also said he has no “feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez,” describing the incident that shocked spectators as something that ended on the field. Chiellini added that he only feels “anger and disappointment” at Italy’s 1-0 loss to Uruguay that helped end their World Cup campaign.
In Uruguay, responses to Suarez’s action and punishment are intertwined with the country’s hopes to make its mark in this World Cup. As ESPN’s Wright Thompson writes, even the country’s president has defended the striker.