Uruguay striker Luis Suarez is out of the World Cup after FIFA suspended him for nine games for biting an opponent. He was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs and banned from any football-related activity for four months.
Suarez was banned for nine international matches on Thursday after he was found guilty of biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay's final Group D match.
The Liverpool player was banned from any football-related activity for four months, during which time he will also not even be allowed to enter a stadium. The time-period ban means Suarez is not only out of the World Cup, but will also miss the first part of his club's campaign in the English Premier League.
"Such behavior 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," Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA disciplinary committee, said in a statement.
Suarez was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs (82,215 euros, $111,000), the equivalent of about one-third of a week's wages for the player.
The incident occurred in the 79th minute of Uruguay's 1-0 win over Italy in their final Group D match in Natal on Tuesday. Suarez had appeared to bite defender Chiellini in the shoulder while in the penalty area, just ahead of Diego Godin's headed winner for Uruguay, but the offence went unseen by the referee.
It is the third time Suarez has been in hot water for biting an opponent on the football field. Suarez was banned for 10 games after he bit Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match in April 2013.
The 27-year-old - who went on to become last season's Premier League top scorer and was voted Footballer of the Year by his peers - had previously been banned for seven games when he bit PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal on the shoulder in 2010.
rc/mkg (AFP, AP, Reuters)