RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — FIFA adviser Gerard Houllier says he feels sorry for Uruguay striker Luis Suarez.
Houllier, a former Liverpool manager, says "I feel sorry for what happened. I felt for my Liverpool friends there."
FIFA banned the Liverpool striker for nine Uruguay matches and four months from all football for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini. Suarez has appealed.
As a FIFA technical study group member, Houllier helps pick a 10-candidate list to be elected best player at the World Cup.
Houllier says Suarez could have been voted the top player had he not been banned. He says Uruguay "played four games and they won two with Suarez. And they lost two without him."