Belfast Telegraph

Players' union joins Suarez row

The international players' union FIFPro has questioned why Liverpool should be affected by Luis Suarez's four-month ban from all football for biting an opponent.

FIFPro has called for FIFA to address that issue and said that the sanction on the striker should have included "serious treatment" to help Suarez deal with his problem - his attack on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini was the third time in four years that he has bitten an opponent.

The union said Suarez's 'right to work' was also being infringed.

Suarez and the Uruguay FA are appealing against the sanctions, which include a nine-match international suspension.

FIPro said in a statement: "This is a very serious matter, as reflected by the sanctions imposed by FIFA's disciplinary committee.

"The sanction will be reviewed and FIFA will have to focus especially on the accumulation of sanctions including a four-month ban from all football activity.

"The fact that Suarez is prohibited from working for a long period must be addressed as it directly infringes his right to work. Also the fact that Liverpool FC is affected needs to be an important issue.

"Luis Suarez should receive all the support he needs to deal with any off-field issues he may be experiencing at this time. This means that the focus should be on the rehabilitation and serious treatment of the player.

"FIFPro believes that treatment must be a part of any sanction.

"Luis Suarez deserves all the support he needs including legal support in the appeal case in order to achieve a reduction of the sanctions."

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