Suarez receives four-month ban from all football

FIFA have handed Uruguay forward Luis Suarez a nine-match suspension and a four-month ban from all football-related activity.

The Liverpool star found himself in the all-too-familiar position of being under disciplinary scrutiny after appearing to bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini as Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 on Tuesday.

Uruguay's triumph secured their place in the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup.

However, their talisman is now set to miss nine competitive international matches, starting with Uruguay's last-16 tie against Colombia on Saturday, after being punished for his actions and will also be unavailable to his club Liverpool, unless he is successful with an appeal.

In addition, Suarez has been fined CHF 100,000 (Swiss francs) and will be prohibited to enter the confines of any stadium during his suspension.

Claudio Sulser, the chairman of FIFA's disciplinary committee, outlining the reasoning behind the sanction.

"Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch, and in particular not at a FIFA World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars of the field," said Sulser in a statement.

"The disciplinary committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suarez's guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the (FIFA disciplinary) code.

"The decision comes into force as soon as it is communicated."

Suarez will now miss the start of Liverpool's Premier League season, ruling him out of key games against the likes of champions Manchester City, Tottenham and Everton.

The 27-year-old was top scorer in the English top flight in 2013-14 with 31 goals as Liverpool fell agonisingly short of winning of the title.  

Suarez has twice previously received lengthy bans at club level for biting.

He first bit PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during his time in Holland with Ajax in 2010, and he then sunk his teeth into Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match last year.

After Tuesday's game, Chiellini claimed referee Marco Rodriguez saw the bite marks on his shoulder and urged FIFA to take action against Suarez, although the man at the centre of the flashpoint said he made no more than "contact with his shoulder" and suggested such on-field confrontations are nothing unusual.

News of Suarez's ban comes as his club future is uncertain amid speculation of reported interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona. FIFA have clarified that he is free to move under the terms of the punishment.