The Liverpool striker was met by President Jose Mujica when he
landed at a military base next to Uruguay's main airport before
dawn, an air force spokesman said.
Mujica had joined hundreds of fans who gathered at the airport on
Thursday night to show their support for Suarez but they left after
a few hours when it became clear he had not yet left Brazil.
After his arrival on Friday, Suarez, his wife and other family
members were driven to a home he has in the small coastal town of
Soccer's world governing body FIFA ruled on Thursday that the
27-year-old star striker cannot play in Uruguay's next nine
competitive matches and suspended him from all soccer-related
activity for four months.
The punishment immediately ended his involvement in the World Cup in
Brazil, with Uruguay due to face Colombia in a round of 16 tie on
"He is totally distraught. He never thought the punishment would be
so severe," said Alejandro Balbi, a member of the Uruguayan Football
Association's board and Suarez's lawyer.
FIFA ruled that Suarez bit defender Chiellini during Uruguay's final
group match on Tuesday, as his side knocked Italy out of the
tournament with a 1-0 victory.
Suarez's ban is the longest ever imposed at a World Cup. It means he
is unlikely to appear in competitive matches for his country until
2016 and he will also miss the first two months of the Premier
League season in England.
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Although it was the third time Suarez has been banned for biting,
his team mates and most Uruguayans jumped to defend him, believing
the punishment was excessive.
"There are different standards. That's what infuriates and hurts us
most," Mujica said on Thursday night in an appearance on a TV show
hosted by former Argentine star Diego Maradona, who also said FIFA
had gone too far and was treating Suarez like a criminal.
Suarez had missed Uruguay's opening match of the tournament, a 3-1
defeat to Costa Rica, as he recovered from knee surgery but returned
to score both goals in the side's 2-1 victory over England.
(Writing by Kieran Murray; Editing by John O'Brien)
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