José Mujica, the President of Uruguay, has slammed FIFA officials as “sons of bitches” after they banned national football team player Luis Suárez for biting an Italian opponent at the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
Suárez was hit with a nine-match ban from playing for Uruguay and a four-month ban from all football-related activity, as well as being fined CHF100,000 (£66,000/$113,000/€82,000), for biting Giorgio Chiellini.
The President leads national outrage at the sanction, with some questioning whether there was any bite at all.
“At FIFA, they are a bunch of old sons of bitches,” Mujica said as he welcomed home the national team that were knocked out of the World Cup by a loss to Colombia.
“They could have punished [him], but not with fascist sanctions.”
Mujica is then filmed mockingly covering his mouth before saying: “Publish it”.
Suárez has since issued an apology via his official Twitter account.
“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 on 24 June 2014,” he wrote.
“Independent from the fallout and the contradicting declarations that have surfaced during these past days, all of which have been without the intention of interfering with the good performance of my national team, the truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me.
“For this I deeply regret what occurred.
“I apologise to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family.
“I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like this.”
The Uruguayan Football Association is preparing to launch an appeal against the sanctions.
This article first appeared in Inside the Games and has been reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here.