Uruguay forward Luis Suarez has apologised for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the FIFA World Cup, vowing never to repeat the action.
Suarez was handed a four-month ban from all football-related activity and suspended for nine international matches after sinking his teeth into Chiellini's shoulder in Uruguay's final group match in Brazil last Tuesday.
The Liverpool striker, who has twice bitten opponents in the past, initially denied wrongdoing in a statement to FIFA and Uruguay's coach, Oscar Tabarez, accused the English-speaking media of blowing the incident out of proportion.
However, a statement from Suarez on Monday saw the 27-year-old admit his guilt and promise never to bite another player again.
"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," read the statement.
"Independent from the fallout and the contradicting declarations that have surfaced during these past days, all of which have been without the intention of interefering 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 apologize to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family.
"I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like (this)."
Suarez's apology comes after Uruguay were knocked out of the World Cup, courtesy of a 2-0 defeat to Colombia on Saturday.
The disgraced attacker had twice received lengthy suspensions at club level for biting prior to his most recent transgression.
He bit PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during his time in Holland with Ajax in 2010, and then did likewise to Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match last year.
Chiellini, Suarez's latest victim, has labelled FIFA's four-month ban as "excessive" but it remains to be seen whether it will be reduced, with the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) having confirmed their intention to appeal.
In the wake of the apology from Suarez, Chiellini took to Twitter, writing: ".@luis16suarez It's all forgotten. I hope FIFA will reduce your suspension."
Fan diary: Treasuring the FIFA World Cup’s™ endearing underdogs
Being on the ground in Russia and moving among the eclectic mix of supporters and locals provides plenty of lessons about the natural order of world football. One, as a lively Sunday night at the official Fan Fest in Kazan demonstrated, is that Brazil remains beloved despite r
Opponent Watch: Denmark coach's insight into van Marwijk
Denmark’s assistant coach has some unique insights into the Socceroos after working under Bert van Marwijk as one dedicated Peru fan goes to extraordinary lengths to attend the FIFA World Cup™. Plus France’s coach speaks about Antoine Griezmann’s influence on the team as he lo
How Arzani is embracing FIFA World Cup™ challenge
At just 19, Daniel Arzani is the youngest player at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. Having already enjoyed a breakout Hyundai A-League season, earned individual honours with the NAB Young Footballer of the Year award and earning a spot in Russia, the youngest member of the Socceroos
France defeat has bolstered belief: Sainsbury
The Socceroos may have been ousted by France on Saturday night, but defender Trent Sainsbury says the 2-1 defeat against Les Bleus has only fortified belief among the Australian squad. Australia's vice captain was immense at the back for Bert van Marwijk's side in their Group