Luis Suarez to fly home to Uruguay after being hit with record ban
Striker Luis Suarez will fly home to Uruguay later on Thursday having been hit with the biggest ban imposed at a World Cup after biting an Italy defender, the Uruguay FA told local media.
Uruguayans, who are largely incensed by the nine-match ban on their leading player, were preparing to welcome him back in the heart of the capital Montevideo.
The 27-year-old Suarez, who plays for English Premier League club Liverpool, was due to travel from Brazil to neighbouring Uruguay with his family, TV station Subrayado reported.
Soccer's world governing body FIFA earlier on Thursday ruled Suarez could not play in Uruguay's next nine competitive games and banned him from all football-related activity for four months.
The suspension ended Suarez's World Cup, and his lucrative off-field sponsorships are now in doubt. Uruguay play Colombia in a last-16 match on Saturday.