sport

Diego: Suarez ban 'shameful'

Diego Maradona believes FIFA's four-month ban of Luis Suarez is 'shameful' and believes it is a politically-motivated decision.

Suarez will also be unable to play any football until October 26 after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the game between the sides on Tuesday.

Maradona declared his unconditional support for the controversial Uruguayan on his television show 'De Zurda' on Thursday, wearing a T-shirt bearing the message "Luis, we are with you".

"The FIFA sanction is shameful, they have no sensitivity towards the fans, they might as well handcuff him and throw him in Guantanamo," said Maradona, who himself was given a 15-month ban from football during the 1994 World Cup for testing positive for the banned stimulant ephedrine.

"The sanction on Luis is a way of punishing Uruguayan clubs for asking CONMEBOL (the South American confederation) for a fairer share of money. It hurts that they have cut short the career of a lad who is a winner. It's an excessive suspension, FIFA cannot talk about morals to anyone.

"Suarez didn't kill anyone. This is an unjust punishment."

Maradona also spoke to Uruguay's president Jose Mujica, who was waiting for Suarez at Montevideo airport, via video link.

Mujica suggested FIFA was punishing Suarez for reasons other than the aggression against Chiellini, which is the third time in his career he has bitten an opponent.

"We feel that this is an assault on the poor because this gang will never forgive him because he never went to university, he isn't educated, he grew up on the field, and he is a natural rebel and expresses his anger naturally," said the president.

"Here they add everything together but the boy really shouldn't be blamed for his reaction. It's a match and these things happen and then there's no need to look into every incident, because if we did that in every game we'd be playing five-a-side."