Suarez in another biting storm
Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was at the centre of another biting storm after appearing to sink his teeth into the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the teams’ decisive World Cup Group D game on Tuesday.
Suarez and Chiellini clashed in the Italian penalty area 10 minutes from the end of the match and the furious Italian pulled open his shirt to show the mark to the referee.
Reuters photographs show what appeared to be bite marks on his shoulder and pictures also showed Suarez sitting on the ground holding his teeth immediately after the incident.
Uruguay's forward Luis Suarez (L) reacts past Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini during a Group D football match between Italy and Uruguay at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 24, 2014. Photo: AFP
Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez, during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal June 24, 2014. Photo: Reuters
The Italians were still complaining about it when Uruguay captain Diego Godin scored with an 81st-minute header to secure a 1-0 win that sent them into the second round and eliminated Italy. “It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off,” Chiellini told Rai TV. “It is clear, clear-cut and then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn’t have done.”
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez did not see the incident. “I’d like to see the images,” he told a news conference. “I didn’t see that. And if it happened the referee probably didn’t see it. So no I don’t have any more comments to make. We had more important things than this in a football match.”
FIFA rules allow the use of TV footage to punish players for incidents unseen or unpunished by match officials.
Liverpool’s Suarez was banned for 10 games last year after biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League game and in 2010 he was suspended for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax Amsterdam.
Source: Business Insider/ Fox Soccer
His latest indiscretion sent the world’s social media into meltdown and within minutes of the match ending # Suarez was the top trending hashtag on Twitter.
A tweet from former Liverpool striker Michael Owen was typical of a wave of reaction from former players and pundits: “Tell me I’m seeing things. Surely Suarez didn’t bite someone again?,” he wrote. “I’m genuinely gutted. I love watching him play more than any other player but he obviously can’t control himself.”
Italy, who needed only a draw to progress, looked comfortable until they had Claudio Marchisio sent off for a foul on Egidio Arevalo Rios after an hour.
THESE THINGS HAPPEN
Luis Suarez on Tuesday shrugged off accusations that he bit Italian opponent Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup saying “these things happen.”
The Uruguayan star did not explicitly confirm or deny that he bit the Italian in the match in Natal. But he told Uruguayan television that Chiellini had barged him during their clash in his country’s 1-0 victory that took Uruguay into the World Cup last 16.
“These are just things that happen out on the pitch. It was just the two of us inside the area and he bumped into me with his shoulder, and that’s how my eye got like this as well,” he told Channel 10 television pointing to his eye.
“There are things that happen on the pitch and you should not make such a big deal out of them.”
FIFA has said it is investigating the alleged bite. Suarez has twice been banned in the past for biting opponents.
Suarez said he was “very happy” that Uruguay had qualified. “We take it one match at a time. We know it is a tough situation, we are being pushed to the limit,” he said.
- AFP, Reuters, Fox Soccer