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Suarez's suspension limited to 1 match

July 3, 2010
Associated Press

Luis Suarez
Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty ImagesUruguay's Luis Suarez swats away a header by Ghana's Dominic Adiyiah at the end of extra time Friday with the score tied 1-1.

JOHANNESBURG -- FIFA has suspended Uruguay forward Luis Suarez for one match for his deliberate handball to deny Ghana the winning goal in the teams' World Cup quarterfinal match.

FIFA's disciplinary committee ruled Saturday that Suarez was guilty of "denying the opposite team a clear goal-scoring opportunity" as it imposed the one-match suspension.

The penalty means Suarez will be out when Uruguay meets the Netherlands in the semifinals on Tuesday, but would be available for the final if his team advances.

After Suarez's goal-line handball in the last minute of extra time at Soccer City on Friday, Ghana forward Asamoah Gyan missed the ensuing penalty kick and time ran out with the score tied at 1-1. Uruguay won the penalty shootout that followed, 4-2, to advance.

Suarez's actions spurred debate about sportsmanship, and whether he should be given a more stern penalty.

Uruguay Coach Oscar Tabarez said earlier Saturday that Suarez should be allowed to play in the tournament final if Uruguay gets there.

"It's not my business. The disciplinary committee will look at it," Tabarez said Saturday. "But I think it [a two-match ban] would be extremely exaggerated."

"I think [calling him a cheat] would be too far-fetched and too twisted," he added.

Suarez, who has three goals in the tournament, said it was "complicated" to be ejected from a World Cup game.

"But the way in which I was sent off -- truth is, it was worth it."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press