FOR all the opprobrium cast upon Luis Suarez for biting an opponent earlier in these World Cup finals, it has not stopped others from having a little nibble.
FIFA confirmed last night that the Uruguayan Football Association have appealed the ban imposed on the striker for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
The Uruguayan FA had until this Sunday to respond to the sanctions - which comprises a fourth-ban from all football activity - but were always expected to appeal, even though Suarez has since admitted his actions and apologised. The decision will rest with FIFA's appeal committee if the suspension is upheld, decreased or increased. Regardless of their decision, the striker from undergoing a medical this summer, with talks having started regarding a move to Barcelona.
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Chiellini has stated publicly that the ban imposed on Suarez is too severe, although his sympathy has not been universal. Pele, the Brazilian great, last night admonished Suarez further and insisted that FIFA should uphold their fourth-month ban to avoid similar incidents in the future,
"If he was not sanctioned in this way, then such incidents could be repeated," said Pele. "No player can do what Luis Suarez did. I believe that the punishment is fair. FIFA's decision is good and is correct because it sets an example."
The Brazilian - who won the World Cup on three occasions during his career - is confident that Suarez will recover from his latest ignominy. "He's a great player and he will bounce back," he added.
Pele was more effusive in his praise of compatriot Neymar. The forward will join his national side tonight in a quarter-final match with Colombia, with the hopes of the home nation on his shoulders. "I have been very happy for Neymar," Pele said. "He showed a lot of confidence and experience for his first ever World Cup."