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Chiellini wants clemency for Suarez
Giorgio Chiellini wants FIFA to reduce Luis Suarez's four-month ban after the Liverpool striker apologised for biting him at the World Cup.
Suarez has been suspended from all football-related activity until the end of October for biting Chiellini in Uruguay's 1-0 win over Italy on June 24.
After reflecting on the incident in his Montevideo home for the last few days, Suarez decided to release a statement on Monday apologising for his latest indiscretion.
The statement, entitled ''My apologies to Chiellini'', was published on Suarez's Twitter account.
The last part of the statement read: "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.''
Within an hour of the tweet being posted, Chiellini accepted Suarez's apology.
''.@luis16suarez It's all forgotten. I hope FIFA will reduce your suspension,'' the Juventus defender responded on Twitter.
The Uruguayan football association (AUF) has vowed to appeal the record ban and Liverpool are also considering their options.
In a bizarre twist to the tale, Uruguayan president Jose Mujica chose particularly colourful language to express his dismay at the length of the punishment, which also came with a £65,000 fine.
Mujica, who had said previously that Suarez was being punished by FIFA because of his humble background, continued his verbal assault at a reception for the Uruguay team after they returned home from the World Cup following their 2-0 defeat to Colombia in the last 16.
Asked by a journalist what his lasting memory of the World Cup would be, Mujica said: ''FIFA are a bunch of old sons of b*****s.''
The president then covered his mouth to feign shock at what he had just said, but when asked by the journalist if he wanted to rectify his comments, he responded: ''Publish it.''
Mujica then conceded that Suarez deserved to be punished for his bite, but criticised the severity of the ban.
''They could have punished him, but not given him this fascist ban,'' added Mujica.
FIFA refused to respond to the president's remarks.
Suarez's club future is now up in the air following his third biting incident.
Barcelona are keen on signing the striker for a reported fee of £85million.
The Catalan club have already spent 42million euros (£33.6 million) to sign midfielder Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla and goalkeepers Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo from Borussia Monchengladbach and Real Sociedad respectively, but pocketed around £30million in the sale of Cesc Fabregas to Chelsea.
Barca vice-president Javier Faus says the club's finances are in rude health, hinting perhaps that a deal for Suarez could be possible.
''In the last three years Barca have been earning money and reducing their debt at a large rate and are stronger financially,'' he said.
''We can realise all the sporting challenges and signings our coaches and sporting director want.''