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Sports

Uruguay’s Suarez ‘bites’ Italian in World Cup game

© AFP: Chiellini shows his injury to Uruguay's Ramirez

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-25

Uruguay star striker Luis Suarez is under investigation by FIFA after he allegedly bit an Italian opponent towards the end of a match on Tuesday that saw Italy eliminated from the World Cup.

The “bite” took place in the Italian penalty area ten minutes before the end of the match. Immediately afterwards, Suarez seemed to fall on the ground, apparently feigning injury.

Suarez’s “victim” Giorgio Chiellini then furiously opened his shirt to show the referee where he claimed he was bitten.

No penalty was given to Italy, whose team were still complaining about the incident when Uruguay’s Diego Godin scored with an 81st-minute header to secure their 1-0 victory.

‘The obvious dive afterwards’

“It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off,” Chiellini told Rai TV after the game. “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.”

Suarez contested that version of events, however.

“Those are situations that happen on the pitch. We were both just there inside the area. He shoved me with his shoulder, and my eye got left like that also,” he said in reference to Chiellini’s mark.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said he did not see the incident, and complained that the forward was being persecuted.

“It seems there is this animosity toward him and he is being persecuted by past events,” a visibly agitated Tabarez said when repeatedly being asked about the alleged bite. “There are people hiding behind the tree waiting for something to happen.”

FIFA launches probe

After the match FIFA launched a probe into the allegation and Suarez, a Liverpool striker who has already been banned from playing twice for biting his opponents, could be hit with another lengthy ban.

FIFA’s rules allow the use of video or “any other evidence” to retrospectively punish players.

Uruguay could potentially play four more games in the tournament and it would be a surprise if Suarez were to be given a ban of a shorter duration, meaning his participation in the World Cup would finish if Fifa decides he broke the rules.

The incident set the world’s social media into meltdown and within minutes of the match ending #Suarez was one of the top-trending hash tags 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,” he wrote. “Surely Suarez didn’t bite someone again?”

“I’m genuinely gutted. I love watching him play more than any other player but he obviously can’t control himself.”

Suarez, England’s Footballer of the Year, scored both goals in Uruguay’s 2-1 victory over England having missed the opening match as he recovered from knee surgery, and until the incident had kept control of his temper during a bruising game.

Date created : 2014-06-25

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