It was coming, it was going to be severe, and when it landed Luis Suarez, Uruguay and Liverpool would have felt the body blow to some effect.
Suarez was expected to receive a severe punishment after it seemed like he had bitten Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in Uruguay's 1-0 win on Tuesday, and so it proved to be as FIFA, in an unprecedented move, decided to bang that gavel down to the strongest effect and give out a sentence of four months for Luis Suarez, four months in which he will not be able to take part in any football, while also banning the player from participating in nine official international matches.
The ban means Suarez will miss the rest of the 2014 World Cup leaving Uruguay to fight through in Brazil without their talisman, while the striker will also be out of Liverpool's lineup for the English Premier League until the end of October – something he is familiar with, having served a 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic, a ban which ran into the beginning of last season.
"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has reached a decision in the case related to Luis Suarez of Uruguay following an incident that occurred during the FIFA World Cup match between Italy and Uruguay played on 24 June 2014," FIFA said in a statement.
"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided that: The player Luis Suarez is regarded as having breached art. 48 par. 1 lit. d of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (FDC) (assault), and art. 57 of the FDC (an act of unsporting behaviour towards another player).
"The player Luis Suarez is to be suspended for nine official matches. The first match of this suspension is to be served in the upcoming FIFA World Cup fixture between Colombia and Uruguay on 28 June 2014. The remaining match suspensions shall be served in Uruguay's next FIFA World Cup match(es), as long as the team qualifies, and/or in the representative team's subsequent official matches in accordance with art. 38 par. 2a) of the FDC.
"The player Luis Suarez is banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four (4) months in accordance with art. 22 of the FDC.
"A stadium ban is pronounced against the player Luis Suarez in accordance with art. 21 of the FDC as follows: the player Luis Suarez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium during the period of the ban (point 3). The player Luis Suarez is prohibited from entering the confines of any stadium in which the representative team of Uruguay is playing while he has to serve the nine-match suspension (point 2).
"The player Luis Suarez is ordered to pay a fine in the amount of CHF 100,000.
"The decision was notified to the player and the Uruguayan FA today."
Uruguay, their player and their football association staunchly supported Suarez after the incident, accusing foreign media, especially British and European, of picking on the player, who has bitten players twice before.
The team will not take to this ban too kindly, and it will be a big surprise if the ban is not appealed by Uruguay. However, appealing the decision will not help Suarez to play Saturday's last 16 match against Colombia. Apart from missing the World Cup and a few other international matches for Uruguay, Suarez will also not be available for nine Premier League games and three Champions League matches for Liverpool, a huge blow for the Reds, who like Uruguay, rely heavily in their striker.
Liverpool will also need to make a decision on whether to stand by their player yet again, or cut their losses and see if there will be any takers in the transfer market – FIFA confirmed Suarez can transfer to another club during the ban period.
"Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch, and in particular not at a FIFA World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field," Claudio Sulser, chairman of FIFA Disciplinary Committee, said.
"The Disciplinary Committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suarez's guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated."