Uruguay’s striker Luis Suarez says he did not deliberately bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.
World football’s governing body Fifa imposed a four months ban and nine international matches suspension on the 27-year-old for biting Chiellini during their final group match on Tuesday, 24 June, 2014.
The Liverpool striker outlined his defence in Spanish in a letter dated June 25, one day before an independent disciplinary committee passed their final verdict, stating he lost his balance in the tangle with the defender.
“In no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite,” Suarez wrote.
“After the impact … I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent. At that moment I hit my face against the player leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth.”
However, the seven-man Fifa panel judged the player’s action as “deliberate, intentional and without provocation”.
Uruguay has in the meantime lodged their intention to appeal and have until Sunday to submit a full written appeal document.
Suarez has now returned to his homeland and missed his country’s second round match against Colombia on Saturday.
Fans gathered outside his home to show their support and the player has thanked them for being there for him.
He tweeted: “Hello everyone. I’m writing this message to say thank you to everybody for the support and affection I’ve been receiving. My family and I are very grateful for it.
“Many thanks for being by my side and I want everyone to support my teammates today in the game against Colombia.”