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The fallout from Fifa's record ban imposed on Luis Suarez continues with The Times reporting that Liverpool are "considering legal action" against the game's governing body.
The Fifa punishment, a result of the Uruguayan striker biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during Tuesday's World Cup clash, prohibits the 27-year-old Suarez from any football-related activity for the next four months and includes a nine-game international ban and a £66,000 fine.
It is the heftiest World Cup sanction ever handed down by football's governing body, and has been met with fury in Suarez's homeland.
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Wilmar Valez, the Uruguayan FA president, said that "it feels like Uruguay has been thrown out of the World Cup", while a Suarez's tearful grandmother told reporters on Thursday: "It's barbaric what they've done to him". Speaking from Suarez's hometown, Salto in north-west Uruguay, Lila Piriz Da Rosa added: "Everyone knows what they've done to Luis. They wanted him out of the World Cup. Perfect, they did it. They chucked him out of there like a dog."
Several hundred fans flocked to Montevideo's Carrasco international airport to show their support for Suarez when he arrived home from Brazil, but the player avoided the chanting supporters and was smuggled out to his home in the coastal resort of Solymar, about 20 miles outside the Uruguayan capital.
While Suarez will almost certainly lodge an appeal against his suspension, the Times reports that there is "anger" on Merseyside and boardroom sources have told the paper that the club "would explore the possibility of a lawsuit against Fifa over the decision to widen Suarez's punishment to club football".
Although the club have yet to make an official statement on the ban to their star player, other than Ian Ayre, the chief executive, saying they will wait until they have read the full Fifa report on the affair, Liverpool are reportedly furious with the sanction. The Times says they "particularly unhappy that an incident that occurred during a Fifa competition, for which Suarez had been released by his club, could result in suspension at club level".
Because of his bite – the third time in four years Suarez has bitten an opponent – Liverpool will be without their leading scorer last season for their first nine Barclays Premier League matches as well as three Champions League fixtures.
Meanwhile the Daily Mail reports that Suarez's lawyer will travel to Barcelona today "to meet Liverpool officials in the city". The ban imposed by Fifa doesn't preclude the South American transferring clubs and rumours have strengthened in recent weeks linking him with Barcelona. Taking its source as Spanish radio station Cadena COPE, the Mail says that Suarez's lawyer, Alejandro Balbi, will look to open negotiations between Liverpool and the Spanish club over a possible move.