sport

Suarez returns to Uruguay

Luis Suarez has left Brazil and returned to Uruguay after being banned from all football for four months, with his lawyer insisting he will take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if necessary.

Suarez has also been suspended for nine international matches, starting with Saturday's last-16 clash with Colombia on Saturday, although the Uruguay FA have appealed against the ban, calling it "a completely exaggerated and abusive sanction".

Uruguay Football Association president Wilmar Valdez told chief news Reporter Bryan Swanson: "The player of course, Luis, is very upset - he is very upset about the situation.

"Right now he is looking into it with his family, if he should travel back to Uruguay, and in this case we are going to support him in everything.

"He is not just a football player, he is a human being and it is a very difficult situation for him - and as a human being and a football player he is going to have the full support of the FA and the Uruguayans without a doubt."

"We are looking at the case with the lawyer and we are going to look at our strategy. The situation is being disputed - it really isn't clear and there isn't definitive evidence that allows us to say that this kind of sanction can be applied. We are talking nine games, four months and a financial penalty - so to me it really seems like a completely exaggerated and abusive sanction.

"Fundamentally what we asked of (Sepp) Blatter are guarantees that FIFA as the world's football organisation do everything to make sure the rules are clear and the same for everyone - we are not saying that anyone is going after Uruguay or that anyone is going after Suarez - we are not against sanctions in behaviour that is really outside the rules, we are not against that. What we are wanting is that they are applied equally to all members."

The player's lawyer Alejandro Balbi said: \"We think the ban is extremely exaggerated and out of line. We will certainly take it to the court of arbitration for sport, and we could sue.\"

Jorge Barrera, a lawyer for the Uruguay FA said: \"We don't believe there are factual or legal arguments. We think there was a political criteria instead.\"

Suarez will also be unable to play club football until October 26, ruling him out of Liverpool's opening nine Premier League and three Champions League games - and he will not even be able to train with the rest of the Liverpool squad during that time.

The Premier League Player of the Year has also been fined just under 66,000, but the ban does not prevent him being transferred to another club.

Liverpool are taking specialist legal advice over what they see as an unprecedented incident before deciding on their next move regarding last season's PFA and FWA player of the year.

Chief operating officer Ian Ayre said the club will take their time before commenting on the ban, telling their official website: "Liverpool Football Club will wait until we have seen and had time to review the FIFA Disciplinary Committee report before making any further comment."

Balbi said that he will meet with legal representatives from the Merseyside club on Friday.

"Tomorrow we will meet in Barcelona with Liverpool's lawyers," he said.

Balbi also claimed Pere Guardiola, the agent brother of former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, will also be present at the meeting - something which will fuel claims Suarez could be set to move to the Nou Camp this summer.

Claudio Sulser, the chairman of the FIFA disciplinary committee, said the panel had taken into account all the factors in the case.

"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," Sulser said.

"The disciplinary committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suarez's guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the code. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated."

FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce backed the ban, saying: "I think the punishment that has been handed out to Luis Suarez is fully justified. Hopefully he will have learnt that this type of behaviour cannot be tolerated under any circumstances."