Luis Suarez bites again
Sports history is full of athletes biting their opponents, but the Uruguayan striker seems to be making a habit of it.PT2M14S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3asjm 620 349 June 25, 2014
RIO DE JANEIRO: Uruguay star Luis Suarez could be facing a lengthy ban after he was charged by FIFA for allegedly biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.
FIFA said early Wednesday that its disciplinary committee has opened proceedings against Suarez.
If the Liverpool striker - already banned twice before for biting - is found guilty of assaulting an opponent, FIFA rules call for a ban of at least two matches up to a maximum of 24 months.
Italy's Giorgio Chiellini displays his shoulder showing apparent teeth marks. Photo: AP
FIFA asked the team to present evidence by 5pm Wednesday and a decision must be published before Saturday, when Uruguay play Colombia in a round-of-16 match.
Uruguay captain Diego Godin headed home an 81st-minute goal to secure a 1-0 in a gritty Group D battle that saw Italy eliminated in the first round for the second straight World Cup.
But Italy's stunning exit was overshadowed by an extraordinary incident involving Uruguay and Liverpool star Suarez -- already banned twice before for biting opponents -- just moments before Godin's winner.
Suarez Photo: Getty Images
Television replays showed Suarez appearing to attempt to sink his teeth into Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder in an off-the-ball incident.
Chiellini angrily remonstrated with Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez, pulling his shirt off his shoulder to show red marks.
Afterwards a disgusted Chiellini told Italian television: "He bit me, it's clear, I still have the mark."
"The referee should have blown his whistle and given him a red card," he added.
Suarez sought to play down the incident to Uruguayan television, claiming Chiellini had barged him.
"There are things that happen on the pitch and you should not make such a big deal out of them," Suarez said.
Uruguay's veteran manager Oscar Tabarez pleaded ignorance of the incident.
"I didn't see it. I'd like to see the images first," he told the post-match press conference.
Tabarez also suggested Suarez was being victimised by journalists.
"He is the preferred target for a lot of media," Tabarez said.
Pressed on the issue, a visibly irritated Tabarez refused to condemn Suarez. "This is a football World Cup, it's not about cheap morality."
But despite Suarez's comments, video evidence of the incident appears damning.
FIFA said it would study the referee's report and the match video.
"We are awaiting the official match reports and will gather all the necessary elements in order to evaluate the matter," FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said.
But other senior officials wasted no time in condemning the striker.
"There is no doubt Luis Suarez is a fantastic footballer but once again his actions have left him open to severe criticism," FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce said. "FIFA must investigate this incident very seriously and take whatever action is deemed necessary."
FIFA executive committee member Michel D'Hooghe told the BBC: "This is really a serious case for our disciplinary commission."
If found guilty by FIFA disciplinary chiefs, the incident would almost certainly mean the end of the tournament for Suarez, lambasted during the 2010 World Cup for his deliberate goal-line handball which denied Ghana a famous quarter-final victory.
In November 2010 he was banned for seven matches by the Netherlands FA after biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal on the shoulder when he played for Ajax.
Suarez was dubbed "the Cannibal of Ajax" by Dutch media.
In April 2013, he was given a 10-match ban by the English FA after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a match at Anfield.
He was also banned for eight matches in 2011 for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.
Italy, who had Claudio Marchisio sent off in the second half join a growing number of European sides on the World Cup scrapheap after the exit of Spain, England, Croatia and Bosnia.
In Group D's other game in Belo Horizonte, Costa Rica ensured England's miserable World Cup ended with a whimper in a 0-0 draw.
The result meant Costa Rica win the group, unbeaten after three games, with Uruguay finishing as runners-up.
Costa Rica will play Group C runners-up Greece on Saturday after they scored a last-gasp 2-1 win over Ivory Coast to scrape into the last 16.
An injury time penalty from Georgios Samaras clinched victory for the Greeks.
Colombia wrapped up qualification for the last 16 with another impressive win, destroying Japan 4-1 in Cuiaba as Juan Cuadrado, James Martinez and Jackson Martinez (2) scored, with Shinji Okazaki the lone scorer for Japan.