Soccer / Sports

Uruguay's Luis Suarez, gone from World Cup, promises: no more biting

SALVADOR, Brazil -- Uruguay's Luis Suarez, who has been suspended three times for biting opponents, said it will never happen again.

Again.

In 2010, while playing for Ajax in the Dutch Eredivisie, Suarez bit Otman Bakkal, then of PSV Eindhoven, on the shoulder. After Suarez was suspended, he apologized and promised to be better.

Fifteen months ago, while playing for Liverpool in the English Premier League, Suarez was suspended for gnawing on the arm of Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic. After he was suspended, he apologized and promised to be better.

And now, a week after biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during a globally televised World Cup game, drawing a four-month suspension from FIFA, Suarez issued a statement of apology and again promised that he's done biting other soccer players.

"I deeply regret what occurred," Suarez said in a statement posted on Twitter. "I apologize to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family. ... I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like (this)."

Without the suspended Suarez, who tied for the European scoring lead with 31 goals last season, Uruguay was bounced from the World Cup by Colombia. Back home, Suarez won wide support, with even the country's president, Jose Mujica, referring to FIFA as a "bunch of old sons of whores" and calling the suspension "fascist."

Suarez, apparently, disagreed.

"After several days of being home with my family, I have had the opportunity to regain my calm and reflect about the reality of what occurred during the Italy-Uruguay match," the Twitter statement began. "The truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me."

It was apparently a big day for apologies in soccer, with Dutch standout Arjen Robben saying he too was sorry for diving in his team's win over Mexico on Sunday. But just to be clear, he added that on the play that led to the game-winning penalty shot, he was definitely fouled.

"I must apologize," Robben said. "The one (at the end) was a penalty, but the other one was a dive in the first half. I shouldn't be doing that. That's awful."

FIFA said it would not sanction Robben for his actions or his confession.

The World Cup hopes of both Ghana and Cameroon were undone, in part, by players protesting over bonuses they were promised for qualifying for the tournament.

But Greece, which made it to the second round -- and then all the way to penalty kicks -- before being eliminated by Costa Rica, saw its players turn down their extra money, offering instead to donate it toward the construction of a new training center.

The team sent a signed letter to the Greek prime minister, Antonis Samaras, after qualifying for the second round of a World Cup for the first time in their history.

"We do not want extra bonus, or money. We only play for Greece and its people," Greek media reported the letter as saying.

"All we want is for you to support our effort to find land and create a sports center that will house our national team."

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