"While the sentence was widely applauded by the international media, it drew heavy criticism in Uruguay."
Brasilia, July 1 - Controversial Uruguay striker Luis Suarez Monday publicly apologised to Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini and vowed to never again bite an opponent.
The Liverpool forward was banned from all football-related activities for four months after being found guilty of biting Chiellini during Uruguay's 1-0 victory over Italy in their World Cup Group D match June 24, reports Xinhua.
The sentence followed bans of seven and 10 matches issued to Suarez for the same offence in 2010 and 2013.
Having shied away from an international media frenzy over the past week, Suarez broke his silence on Twitter Monday.
After several days of being home with my family, I have had the opportunity to regain my calm and reflect about the reality of what occurred, the statement said.
Independent from the fallout and the contradicting declarations that have surfaced during these past days, all of which have been without the intention of interfering with the good performance of my national team, the truth is that my colleague Giorgio Chiellini suffered the physical result of a bite in the collision he suffered with me.
For this I deeply regret what occurred. I apologise to Giorgio Chiellini and the entire football family. I vow to the public that there will never again be another incident like this.
Chiellini replied to the 27-year-old by urging FIFA to reassess the severity of the penalty, which also includes a nine-match ban from competitive international matches.
It's all forgotten. I hope FIFA will reduce your suspension, he said in a tweet to Suarez.
The Uruguayan Football Federation, which has launched an appeal against the ban, was not immediately available for comment Monday.
While the sentence was widely applauded by the international media, it drew heavy criticism in Uruguay.
The national team's captain, Diego Lugano, said Suarez's human rights had been breached while President Jose Mujica also voiced his opposition to the unjust punishment