"He also pledged to never let an incident like this happen again."
Montevideo (Uruguay), July 3 - The head of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) has said he was working to reduce the penalties imposed on Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez for biting a rival during a Brazil World Cup match.
World football governing body FIFA's disciplinary committee suspended Suarez from playing in nine national team matches, banned him from any football-related activity for four months, and fined him $112,000, reports Xinhua.
Our objective is to have the penalties lessened and we are working on that, Conmebol's Uruguayan president, Eugenio Figueredo, told Sport radio.
I hope it's not that many games, he said of the number of matches Suarez has been banned from.
There's already a movement of people to reduce his penalties, he added.
Leaders of the Uruguayan Football Association have accused Figueredo of doing nothing to defend Suarez's interests.
Right now, I am defending Suarez 24 hours a day and for the moment the ban is for official Uruguayan national team games, not for friendlies or anything like that, he said.
If the ban from national team games holds, Suarez would miss the entire 2015 America Cup championship in Chile and part of the qualifying matches for 2018 World Cup in Russia.
According to Figueredo, the problem lies with the fact that the referees on the field didn't sanction Suarez on site, leaving football's regulatory agency to take action.
FIFA's 34 cameras detected what a trio of referees failed to detect, he said.
Suarez Monday apologised to Giorgio Chiellini, the Italian player he bit on the shoulder after the two collided, and to the football community at large.
He also pledged to never let an incident like this happen again.
It was thanks to Suarez that the team beat Italy 1-0 in the group phase to qualify for the round of 16. With Suarez banished from the team, Uruguay went on to lose 2-0 to Colombia and was eliminated from the World Cup.