Suarez back with Uruguay; ends biting ban from World Cup

March 23, 2016

Luis Suarez is no longer banned from competing in international matches. (Yonhap file)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Uruguay striker Luis Suarez is set to make his comeback to international soccer on Friday, almost two years after being banned for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup.

His team faces Brazil in a key World Cup qualifier in the northeast Brazilian city of Recife, part of a region at the epicenter of the outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus Zika.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez says the Barcelona star is sure to “have many things going on in his head” after his long absence.

Four other matches are set for Thursday: Ecuador vs. Paraguay, Bolivia vs. Colombia, Chile vs. Argentina and Peru vs. Venezuela.

Ecuador leads South American qualifying with 12 points, three points ahead of Uruguay and five in front of Brazil, Paraguay and Chile.