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El Salvador players banned 6 and 3 games after biting U.S. players

El Salvador's Henry Romero has been suspended six games and Darwin Ceren three after they bit United States players in the Gold Cup quarterfinals, CONCACAF announced Saturday night.

Romero bit U.S. striker Jozy Altidore on the back of his shoulder and twisted his nipple before Cerin bit U.S. defender Omar Gonzalez in the second half of the Americans' 2-0 win Wednesday.

CONCACAF's disciplinary committee announced the sanctions just before the U.S. kicked off its semifinal against Costa Rica.

Asked for his reaction to the decision after the U.S. defeated Costa 2-0 on Saturday, Altidore responded: "Look, it's unfortunate. You don't wish bad on people, but I'm sure [Romero] can tell you, it was a wild play. It's something I'm sure he's not proud of."

The suspensions affect only "official matches," said CONCACAF, which did not specify the reasons for the ban.

El Salvador have already been eliminated from 2018 World Cup qualifying, so the players are likely to miss the next Copa Centroamericana or qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup when they begin in 2019. 

Uruguay's Luis Suarez was banned nine official matches after his infamous biting incident at the 2014 World Cup.

Romero plays his club football in El Salvador, while national team captain Ceren plays in MLS for the San Jose Earthquakes.

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