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Football bans

Maradona, Luis Suárez, Cantona... the longest bans in history

1. Roberto Rojas. Life ban

In 1989, Chile keeper Roberto Rojas feigned injury when a flare was thrown onto the pitch during a World Cup qualifying match against Brazil. Television replays showed that the flare had not made contact with Rojas and the keeper subsequently admitted he had caused the facial injury himself with a razor blade he had put in his glove. FIFA banned Rojas for life (although it was eventually rescinded in 2001) and disqualified Chile from the 1990 World Cup.

Photo: PLACAR

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1. Roberto Rojas. Life ban

In 1989, Chile keeper Roberto Rojas feigned injury when a flare was thrown onto the pitch during a World Cup qualifying match against Brazil. Television replays showed that the flare had not made contact with Rojas and the keeper subsequently admitted he had caused the facial injury himself with a razor blade he had put in his glove. FIFA banned Rojas for life (although it was eventually rescinded in 2001) and disqualified Chile from the 1990 World Cup.

Photo: PLACAR

Update:

1. Roberto Rojas. Life ban

In 1989, Chile keeper Roberto Rojas feigned injury when a flare was thrown onto the pitch during a World Cup qualifying match against Brazil. Television replays showed that the flare had not made contact with Rojas and the keeper subsequently admitted he had caused the facial injury himself with a razor blade he had put in his glove. FIFA banned Rojas for life (although it was eventually rescinded in 2001) and disqualified Chile from the 1990 World Cup.

Photo: PLACAR

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2. Héctor Robles. One year

Héctor Robles took part in a 1993 friendly between his club, Paslestino, and Honduras. The Chilean defender attacked the referee and received a one-year ban from FIFA.

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2. Héctor Robles. One year

Héctor Robles took part in a 1993 friendly between his club, Paslestino, and Honduras. The Chilean defender attacked the referee and received a one-year ban from FIFA.

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3. João Pinto. Six months

João Pinto physically attacked referee Ángel Sánchez during a game between Portugal and South Korea at the 2022 World Cup. FIFA's disciplinary committee subsequently banned Pinto for six months based on the official's report, which stated that the Portugal forward had punched him in the ribs. The ban was reduced on appeal to four months.

Photo: REUTERS

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3. João Pinto. Six months

João Pinto physically attacked referee Ángel Sánchez during a game between Portugal and South Korea at the 2022 World Cup. FIFA's disciplinary committee subsequently banned Pinto for six months based on the official's report, which stated that the Portugal forward had punched him in the ribs. The ban was reduced on appeal to four months.

Photo: EFE

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3. João Pinto. Six months

João Pinto physically attacked referee Ángel Sánchez during a game between Portugal and South Korea at the 2022 World Cup. FIFA's disciplinary committee subsequently banned Pinto for six months based on the official's report, which stated that the Portugal forward had punched him in the ribs. The ban was reduced on appeal to four months.

Photo: KYODO

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4. David Navarro. Seven months

In a Champions League game between Valencia and Inter in 2007, defender David Navarro came off the bench to take part in a mass brawl that ended with both sides laying into each other. Navarro broke Inter player Nicolás Burdisso's nose with a punch and was then chased back to the dressing room by furious opponents. He was banned by UEFA from club football for seven months (later reduced to six) and by FIFA from international games, including friendlies, as well.

Photo: SERGIO PEREZ REUTERS

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4. David Navarro. Seven months

In a Champions League game between Valencia and Inter in 2007, defender David Navarro came off the bench to take part in a mass brawl that ended with both sides laying into each other. Navarro broke Inter player Nicolás Burdisso's nose with a punch and was then chased back to the dressing room by furious opponents. He was banned by UEFA from club football for seven months (later reduced to six) and by FIFA from international games, including friendlies, as well.

Photo: DANI CARDONA REUTERS

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4. David Navarro. Seven months

In a Champions League game between Valencia and Inter in 2007, defender David Navarro came off the bench to take part in a mass brawl that ended with both sides laying into each other. Navarro broke Inter player Nicolás Burdisso's nose with a punch and was then chased back to the dressing room by furious opponents. He was banned by UEFA from club football for seven months (later reduced to six) and by FIFA from international games, including friendlies, as well.

Photo: DANI CARDONA REUTERS

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4. David Navarro. Seven months

In a Champions League game between Valencia and Inter in 2007, defender David Navarro came off the bench to take part in a mass brawl that ended with both sides laying into each other. Navarro broke Inter player Nicolás Burdisso's nose with a punch and was then chased back to the dressing room by furious opponents. He was banned by UEFA from club football for seven months (later reduced to six) and by FIFA from international games, including friendlies, as well.

Photo: HEINO KALIS REUTERS

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5. Diego Maradona. Two months

Maradona was Argentina coach in 2009 and after sealing qualification for the 2010 World Cup invited the assembled reporters in his press conference to "suck me, and to keep on sucking me." FIFA banned Maradona from all football-related activity for two months.

Photo: ANDRES STAPFF REUTERS

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5. Diego Maradona. Two months

Maradona was Argentina coach in 2009 and after sealing qualification for the 2010 World Cup invited the assembled reporters in his press conference to "suck me, and to keep on sucking me." FIFA banned Maradona from all football-related activity for two months.

Photo: ANDRES STAPFF REUTERS

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5. Diego Maradona. Two months

Maradona was Argentina coach in 2009 and after sealing qualification for the 2010 World Cup invited the assembled reporters in his press conference to "suck me, and to keep on sucking me." FIFA banned Maradona from all football-related activity for two months.

Photo: PABLO PORCIUNCULA AFP

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6. Luisão. Two months

Luisão physically attacked a referee during a friendly in 2012 when playing for Benfica and was handed a two-month ban by the Portuguese Football Federation. This was later extended by FIFA to include international games.

Photo: Dennis Grombkowski Getty Images

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6. Luisão. Two months

Luisão physically attacked a referee during a friendly in 2012 when playing for Benfica and was handed a two-month ban by the Portuguese Football Federation. This was later extended by FIFA to include international games.

Photo: Dennis Grombkowski Bongarts/Getty Images

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7. Luis Suárez. Nine games and four months

Luis Suárez's now infamous bite on Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup cost the Uruguay international a FIFA ban of nine games for his country and a further sanction of four months without being able to take part in any football-related activity. The forward did not play again until late October, when he made his debut for Barça having signed from Liverpool that summer.

Photo: Captura TV

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7. Luis Suárez. Nine games and four months

Luis Suárez's now infamous bite on Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup cost the Uruguay international a FIFA ban of nine games for his country and a further sanction of four months without being able to take part in any football-related activity. The forward did not play again until late October, when he made his debut for Barça having signed from Liverpool that summer.

Photo: JAVIER SORIANO AFP

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7. Luis Suárez. Nine games and four months

Luis Suárez's now infamous bite on Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup cost the Uruguay international a FIFA ban of nine games for his country and a further sanction of four months without being able to take part in any football-related activity. The forward did not play again until late October, when he made his debut for Barça having signed from Liverpool that summer.

Photo: TONY GENTILE REUTERS

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7. Luis Suárez. Nine games and four months

Luis Suárez's now infamous bite on Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup cost the Uruguay international a FIFA ban of nine games for his country and a further sanction of four months without being able to take part in any football-related activity. The forward did not play again until late October, when he made his debut for Barça having signed from Liverpool that summer.

Photo: TONY GENTILE REUTERS

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8. Eric Cantona. Eight months

Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons claimed he had merely invited Cantona to "take an early bath" as he incurred the kung-fu wrath of the combustible Manchester United star. Other reports of the incident from people in the crowd said Matthews had actually shouted "Fuck off back to France, you French bastard!" Cantona was banned for eight months and seagulls and trawlers subsequently entered the football lexicon.

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