Luis Suarez avoids questions on newest bite controversy in post-match interview
Published 24/06/2014 | 20:25
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: