Friday June 27 2014
Maradona: FIFA’s Suarez ban shameful

Diego Maradona has offered his support to Luis Suarez and hit out at FIFA: “They might as well handcuff him and throw him in Guantanamo.”

Suarez was yesterday handed a four-month ban from world football for biting opponent Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy in the closing fixture of Group D at the 2014 World Cup.

Appearing on his television programme to discuss the point, Maradona offered his support to the Liverpool player, whilst wearing a t-shirt with the message ‘We are with you, Luis’ written on it.

“The FIFA sanction is shameful, they have no sensitivity towards the fans, they might as well handcuff him and throw him in Guantanamo,” the Argentine legend commented.

“The sanction on Luis is a way of punishing Uruguayan clubs for asking Conmebol 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, the act of an incredible mafia.

During the programme, Maradona spoke to Uruguay President Jose Mujica on the issue, who responded: “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.”

Maradona replied to Mujica: “In this World Cup there have been much greater incidents than Suarez’s on Chiellini.”

Mujica, who earlier this week commented on the incident, agreed: “There’s no doubt about that, because we have seen all the games and this is a different punishment.

“This is the most indignant punishment. 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.”

Giorgio Chiellini reacted today to Suarez’s ban by also calling it ‘excessive’, whilst Suarez has lost one sponsorship deal with betting firm 888 Poker and will have a similar arrangement with Adidas reviewed after the World Cup.