(Associated Press)

On Thursday, FIFA suspended Uruguay striker Luis Suarez from all soccer-related activities for four months and banned him for nine international games after he bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in a World Cup group-stage match on Tuesday. It was the biggest punishment ever handed down for an on-field incident at the World Cup.

Now, Chiellini is coming to Suarez’s defense, the Guardian reports.

“Now inside me there’s no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suárez for an incident that happened on the pitch and that’s done. There only remain the anger and the disappointment about the match,” said Chiellini on his personal website. “At the moment my only thought is for Luis and his family, because they will face a very difficult period.

“I have always considered unequivocal the disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies, but at the same time I believe that the proposed formula is excessive. I sincerely hope that he will be allowed, at least, to stay close to his team mates during the games because such a ban is really alienating for a player.”

Chiellini wasn’t the only player who though FIFA went too far with its punishment of Suarez. Per the Guardian, Brazil striker Fred said the sanctions were “too severe” and “could end a player’s life.” And Argentina great Diego Maradona appeared on his television show on Thursday wearing a T-shirt that read “Lusito estamos con vos”: “Luis, we are with you.”

“The FIFA sanction is shameful, they have no sensitivity towards the fans, they might as well handcuff him and throw him in Guantanamo,” Maradona said on his show.

Washington Post readers disagree with the Suarez apologists, with 65 percent saying the punishment should have been longer in poll voting that is still ongoing.

In other Suarez news, poker brand became the first company to sever endorsement ties with the Uruguayan after the incident. Executives for Adidas, which also has an sponsorship deal with Suarez, have said they will not include him in any commercials for the remainder of the World Cup and are reportedly debating on his future with the athletic apparel brand,

More on the World Cup:

Watch fans across D.C. watch the World Cup

Luis Suarez is suspended for nine matches, barred for four months

Poll: Was Suarez’s punishment appropriate?

Distance traveled by World Cup teams

Klinsmann says World Cup scheduling has U.S .at disadvantage

Foreign fans add to World Cup’s Latin accent

U.S. Coach Klinsmann is mix of his native Germany, adopted California

Is FIFA doing enough to treat concussions in soccer?

CONCACAF teams are serving notice

Thousands of American soccer fans make Brazil feel like home

Round-of-16 bracket | Scores and schedule | Group standings