Uruguay players and media hit out at 'hypocritical' English and Giorgio Chiellini over Luis Suarez bite
Uruguayan players and media have launched scathing attacks on the "hypocritical" English press and Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in light of Luis Suarez's bite on the player.
Chiellini was left with visible teeth marks on his left shoulder after clashing with Suarez late in Uruguay's 1-0 World Cup victory over Italy, a result that saw the South Americans reach the knockout stage and the Europeans eliminated.
Fifa have launched disciplinary proceedings against the Liverpool striker, which could result in Suarez receiving a long suspension having been banned previously for two other biting incidents.
The Uruguayan reaction has included a number of excuses used in defence of Suarez, including:
- Chiellini is a "snitch" trying to deflect attention away from Italy's elimination.
- Suarez's mouth inadvertently fell into Chiellini's shoulder / Chiellini thrust his shoulder into Suarez.
- the British media have "exaggerated the incident" and are untrustworthy after celebrating the country's 1966 World Cup win with "a goal that wasn't a goal".
- pictures of Chiellini's shoulder showing fresh bite marks are actually of an old scar.
After the match Uruguay's captain Diego Lugano criticised the behaviour of Chiellini. "I’ve just watched the TV images and I didn’t see anything," he said. "What I saw was a struggle and a photo of Chiellini which showed an old scar. You have to be stupid to imagine that scar is recent, very stupid.
"If Chiellini spoke about that after the match then he broke every dressing room code and I never thought an Italian would be such a snitch off the pitch. It would have been more manly to accept defeat and correct mistakes made.”
The Uruguayan media followed his lead by claiming TV images and photographs were "inconclusive". El Observador wrote: "It could be a mole on his shoulder. That’s the lines along which Uruguay will be mounting their defence. There’s no proof Luis definitely bit him.”
The leading Uruguayan broadcaster Tenfield took that view a step further, claiming the controversy had been exaggerated by the English media. "In our view, the TV images are not clear and you can’t see Suarez biting Chiellini’s shoulder," they said.
"What you can see is Suarez stumbling after his jump for the ball, falling after hitting the shoulder of the tall Italian player with his face and ending up hurt as well, while Chiellini too falls to the ground with evident signs of pain because of the impact.
"It would be good if these English people that are worried and are pushing to have Suarez suspended can explain how they won the World Cup in 1966 with a goal that wasn’t a goal, one that bounced in front of the goal line after hitting the underside of the crossbar.”
Suarez, for his part, played down the significance of the incident. "These are things that happen on the pitch and we don’t have to give them so much importance," he said. "We were both in the area, he thrust his shoulder into me.”