Uruguay's striker Luis Suarez, pictured at left, said in a statement on Twitter on Monday that 'I deeply regret what occurred,' and that 'The truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me.' (Matt Dunham / Associated Press)
Luis Suarez issued an apology to Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini for biting him during a match and vowed never to do it again.
The Uruguay striker said in a statement on Twitter on Monday that “I deeply regret what occurred,” and that “The truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me.”
Suarez was banned from soccer for four months after the incident, which occurred during Uruguay’s 1-0 win over Italy in their group-stage game in Brazil. He had denied wrongdoing in a statement to FIFA, saying he simply collided with Chiellini’s shoulder.
Suarez apologized to Chiellini and “the entire football family,” and said “I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like (this).”
Uruguay president has strong words for FIFA
Uruguay’s famously casual President Jose Mujica referred to FIFA as “bunch of old sons of whores” as he welcomed Uruguay’s team back from the World Cup on Sunday.
He also referred to FIFA’s stiff penalty on Uruguay’s star striker Luis Suarez as “fascist,” though he said that Suarez could have been sanctioned with a lesser sentence.
The president’s comments to the national television network reflect the mood in Uruguay, a small country that is proud of its outsized soccer accomplishments, including two World Cup championships.
Uruguayans overwhelmingly criticized FIFA’s ban of Suarez from nine national team games and four months for biting an Italian defender.
Robben sorry for dive but makes no promises
Arjen Robben said sorry for one first-half dive against Mexico. Don’t expect another apology from the Netherlands forward just for being himself.
Robben said he won’t change his playing style or personality after winning the decisive stoppage-time penalty in the Netherlands’ 2-1 win against Mexico.
Robben previously provoked a furor after Sunday’s second round match by telling told Dutch broadcaster NOS he had dived in a first-half incident, though not for the penalty when he was challenged by Mexico captain Rafa Marquez.
“I don’t change myself, that is my personality. I think it’s good,” Robben said Monday, appearing calm, smiling and relaxed at a team news conference.
The Dutch forward simply said he had been “very honest” in the television interview.
“Sometimes you are punished for honesty,” said Robben, acknowledging it had been “a stupid action” to fall without contact.
FIFA called for fair play on Monday, but declined to take any retrospective action for the dive or subsequent comments.
FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said the disciplinary committee only “will look into serious infringements.”
“We ask the players to play in the spirit of fair play,” Fischer said. “It’s up to the referees to manage a match.”
Asked if he feared disciplinary action from FIFA, Robben said: “Not at all. Why?”
Brazilian federation official sanctioned for shoving match
FIFA has suspended the spokesman of the Brazilian football confederation for one game over a confrontation with Chilean player Mauricio Pinilla on the sidelines during their match Saturday.
FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fisher said Rodrigo Paiva would be suspended for the quarterfinal match Friday in Fortaleza between Brazil and Colombia. He will be allowed to work for the team in the media briefing the day before.
Fischer says “he had received a kind of red-card suspension during the game.” She gave no details of other possible punishment and said the investigation was “on-going.”
Paiva and Pinilla got into a shoving match as the teams headed to the dressing room at halftime of the second-round match in Belo Horizonte. Pavia denied throwing any punches. Brazil advanced after a penalty shootout.