Uruguay will appeal the “excessive” and “disproportionate” four-month Luis Suarez ban amid reports they’ll boycott the World Cup.
The striker was handed the nine-match international ban, with four months out of all sporting events, after he was caught on camera biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
“We are preparing our appeal now, we have three days to do it,” Uruguay FA President Wilmar Valdez told reporters.
“It is an excessive decision and there was not enough evidence and I have seen more aggressive incidents recently.
“It is a severe punishment. I don’t know exactly which arguments they used but it is a tough punishment for Suarez.
“It feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup. We all know what Suarez means to Uruguay and to football around the world - not having Suarez would be a loss to any team.”
There are reports Uruguay could even attempt to boycott their Round of 16 game with Colombia if the ban is not revoked on appeal.
Minister of Tourism and Sport Liliam Kechichian called the punishment “disproportionate” and said they had to “now help the human being Suarez.”
Ex-Lecce forward Ernesto Javier Chevanton is one of those calling for a boycott.
“This ban is an enormous disgrace. Who said he bit his opponent? Many things can be said about those images,” he told TMW.
“Evidently the condemnation around the world is all envy. Suarez is among the best players in the world and we left Italy and England out, while Brazil are afraid we’ll give them a repeat of 1950.
“I think the players should leave the World Cup out of solidarity for Suarez. We need to send a strong signal, because it all looks as if it is being set up to help Brazil win the tournament. Suarez is being persecuted.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!