Tuesday 23 December 2014

FIFA executive hits out as Suarez set to be banned and booted out of World Cup

Published 24/06/2014 | 18:46

Giogio Chiellini's shoulder following Luis Suarez's bite
Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez of Uruguay reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Uruguay at Estadio das Dunas
Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez, as Uruguay's Gaston Ramirez approaches during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal
Uruguay's Diego Godin (top R) celebrates his goal against Italy during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal
Uruguay's Luis Suarez (L) and Martin Silva (R) hug their teammate Diego Godin (not visible) after he scored a goal against Italy
Uruguay's Luis Suarez (R) argues with first assistant referee Marvin Torrentera of Mexico during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match against Italy at the Dunas arena in Natal
Italy's Mario Balotelli (top) fouls Uruguay's Alvaro Pereira (6) as they fight for the ball during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal
Italy's Mario Balotelli (9) and Uruguay's Cristian Rodriguez (7) battle for the ball during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal
Uruguay's Luis Suarez, right, and Italy's Andrea Barzagli (15) challenge for the ball during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal
Uruguay's Diego Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez (top R) and Italy's Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli watch Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon deflecting the ball during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal
Uruguay's Luis Suarez fights for the ball with Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal
Italy's Andrea Pirlo fights for the ball with Uruguay's Martin Caceres during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal
Italy's coach Cesare Prandelli (R) speaks to Mario Balotelli during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match againt Uruguay at the Dunas arena in Natal
Italy's Mario Balotelli jumps on top of Uruguay's Alvaro Pereira during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal
Uruguay's Diego Godin (L) and Italy's Ciro Immobile fight for the ball during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal
Italy's Leonardo Bonucci, left, tackles Uruguay's Luis Suarez during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal
Uruguay's Luis Suarez (R) fights for the ball with Italy's Andrea Pirlo during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal
Italy's Mario Balotelli reacts as he receives a yellow card from referee Marco Rodriguez of Mexico during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match against Uruguay at the Dunas arena in Natal

Luis Suarez has described his bite on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini as "nothing" and something that "happens in football".

Speaking to Spanish sport newspaper AS, Suarez said: "They are things that happen in football, but it was nothing. We're all footballers".

Reports from the UK tonight say that Liverpool will discuss the latest Luis Suarez outrage during crisis trans-Atlantic talks between the club's American owners and manager  Brendan Rodgers within the next few hours.

The development is further bad news for the striker who is facing an abrupt end to his World Cup after FIFA announced it will investigate the him for allegedly biting Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during the teams' crucial clash earlier his evening.

Suarez is likely to face a lengthy ban that would keep him out of the rest of the World Cup - however far his country Uruguay progress - if he is found guilty.

Northern Ireland man Jim Boyce,  head of FIFA's referees committee, expressed concerns about Suarez's actions.

He said: "I have watched the incident several times on television. There is no doubt Luis Suarez is a fantastic footballer but, once again, his actions have left him open to severe criticism.

"FIFA must investigate the incident seriously and take whatever disciplinary action deemed necessary."

The 27-year-old left teeth-marks on Chiellini's shoulder after clashing with him at the end of Uruguay's 1-0 win in Natal - where FIFA president Sepp Blatter was in attendance - that saw the South Americans qualify for the last 16.

A FIFA spokesperson said: "We are awaiting the official match reports and will gather all the necessary elements in order to evaluate the matter."

FIFA's disciplinary code sets a maximum ban of 24 matches or two years, but the longest ban in World Cup history was eight games for Italy's Mauro Tassotti for breaking Spain's Luis Enrique's nose in 1994 with an elbow. Zinedine Zidane was given a three-match ban for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the 2006 final.

Suarez has twice been banned for biting opponents - for 10 matches in 2013 for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic and in 2010 he was given a seven-game ban while playing for Ajax for biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal.

FIFA's disciplinary code allows action to be taken retrospectively via video evidence even if the incident has been seen by the referee.

Article 77 of FIFA's disciplinary code states the disciplinary committee is responsible for "sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match officials' attention" and "rectifying obvious errors in the referee's disciplinary decisions".

Suarez threw himself to the ground after the incident holding his mouth - Chiellini claimed that was a dive.

Chiellini told Italian television station Rai TV: "It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off. It is clear, clear-cut.

"Then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn't have done."

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli confirmed he had seen the bite-marks.

He said: "I didn't see Suarez biting him but I saw the bite-marks on his shoulder but the referee's assistants were so busy they didn't see anything.

"It's a shame, it's a real shame that it turned out like this."

After his two goals beat England on Tuesday, Suarez made reference to the criticism he had faced over his bans for biting Ivanovic and racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

He said then: "Before the game too many people in England laughed about my attitude over the last few years.

"This is a very good time for me. I want to see what they think now."

However, Suarez refused to talk about the Chiellini incident and Uruguay closed ranks around their talismanic striker.

Uruguay skipper Diego Lugano said: "You couldn't have seen it today because nothing happened. The worst of everything is the attitude of Chiellini."

Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez claimed Suarez was a target for sections of the media but said he had not seen a replay of the incident.

Tabarez said: "If it happened then I think the referee had to have seen it first. I didn't see the incident and I don't want anyone to speak for me about it.

"Suarez, in addition to errors that he may have made, is a target for certain sections of the media.

"If we believe people are attacking him, as has happened in this press conference, then we're going to defend him," he said. "He's a vital player, a very important person to the group."

Was it a bite? Judge for yourself here:

People, like Ireland international Shane Long, Manchester United's Michael Carrick and Olympic silver medallist Kenny Egan, have been reacting to the incident on twitter:

View the story "Twitter reacts to Luis Suarez' alleged bite on Giorgio Chiellini" on Storify

Promoted articles

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport