(SportsNetwork.com) - The FIFA Disciplinary Committee suspended Luis Suarez of Uruguay nine matches following a biting incident that occurred during the World Cup match between Italy and Uruguay on June 24.
Suarez was also banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity for four months.
The suspension was handed down Thursday, just two days after the world watched Suarez bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.
FIFA launched an investigation, and an independent disciplinary panel confirmed the punishment ahead of Uruguay's round of 16 meeting with Colombia in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
The incident came in the 80th minute of Uruguay's 1-0 win when Suarez approached a back-tracking Chiellini, leaned into the Italian defender and appeared to bite down on his left shoulder.
Chiellini collapsed in obvious pain and Suarez fell to the ground next to him.
The moment came one minute prior to Diego Godin's header to win the match.
"Such behavior 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 on the field. 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 Code. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated," said Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.
Suarez has had two other biting incidents in the past.