Saturday 20 December 2014

Luis Suarez avoids questions on newest bite controversy in post-match interview

Published 24/06/2014 | 20:25

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 avoided the controversy of his latest alleged biting incident as he hailed Uruguay's march into the World Cup knockout stages.

Suarez could face retrospective action from FIFA following a 79th minute off-the-ball clash with Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Television replays and photographs appeared to back up Chiellini's claims he had been bitten by Suarez, who served a 10-match ban for a similar offence last year.

Defender Diego Godin grabbed the goal Uruguay required two minutes later when he rose to nudge home a corner and seal a 1-0 win in Natal which sent the Italians home.

Suarez said in quotes carried by the Spanish newspaper El Pais: "I was relaxed because I knew we'd have chances. And then came the goal.

"Uruguay is celebrating, we have qualified and now we are going to celebrate this moment because next we have to start thinking about our next opponents.

"The truth is that the team worked incredibly hard and we deserve it.

"After making a bad start to the group against Costa Rica, the best we deserved was this and we showed that we deserve to stay in this World Cup.

"The heat was incredible and we were worn out."

For Chiellini, who made his upset known immediately, there was no doubting what had gone on.

Speaking to Gazzetta, he said: "The disparity in judgement has been evident. Marchisio's sending off was ridiculous but more so the fact that Suarez wasn't sent off. There's the will to protect champions but... The referee should have shown him a red card. There's a clear simulation after, a clear sign that he had done something that he wasn't supposed to.

"The gesture is clear. Referees document themselves on players and Suarez has a very clear history. The referee has given a clear address, he hasn't spoken throughout the game. These are episodes that condition. The only way they could have hurt us was from set pieces and so it was.

"There will be talk of failure but I would something to say about it. We are not happy with how things have gone but we were the only ones to deserve to progress to the next round."

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".

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli - who went on to resign - 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."

Chiellini said it was "ridiculous" that Suarez had not been sent off while Italy's Claudio Marchisio was for a high foot on Arevalo Rios.

Chiellini, who showed the referee the bite marks, said: "The disparity in judgement has been evident.

"Marchisio's sending off was ridiculous but more so the fact that Suarez wasn't sent off.

"There's an inclination to protect star players but the referee should have shown him a red card."

Jim Boyce, Britain's FIFA vice-president and head of FIFA's referees committee, expressed major 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."

Here is some of the reaction the incident has sparked on twitter:

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

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