Giorgio Chiellini on Luis Suarez bite: ‘He bit me, it’s clear, I still have the mark’
Luis Suarez shocked the World Cup with a new biting storm Tuesday as Uruguay sensationally dumped ten-man Italy out of the tournament with a dramatic 1-0 victory.
Uruguay captain Diego Godin rose high to thump home an 81st-minute header to settle a gritty Group D battle in Natal. The victory saw Italy knocked out in the first round for the second straight World Cup.
But Italy’s stunning exit was overshadowed by an incredible incident involving Suarez – already banned twice before for biting opponents – just moments before Godin’s winner.
Television replays showed Suarez appearing to attempt to sink his teeth into Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder in an off-the-ball incident.
Click here to visit The National’s World Cup 2014 landing page
Chiellini leapt to his feet to remonstrate with Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez, pulling his shirt off his shoulder to show the red marks.
Afterwards a disgusted Chiellini told Italian television: “He bit me, it’s clear, I still have the mark.”
“The referee should have blown his whistle and given him a red card, also because he was simulating,” added the Juventus player.
Close-up images of the incident appeared to show a red bite mark on Chiellini’s neck.
Uruguay’s veteran manager Oscar Tabarez pleaded ignorance of the incident.
“I didn’t see it. I’d like to see the images first,” he told a press conference.
Tabarez also suggested Suarez was being victimised by journalists.
“He is the preferred target for a lot of media,” Tabarez said.
Pressed on the issue, a visibly irritated Tabarez again refused to condemn Suarez.
“This is a football World Cup, it’s not about cheap morality.”
Fifa said it would study the referee’s report and the match video.
“We are awaiting the official match reports and will gather all the necessary elements in order to evaluate the matter,” Fifa spokeswoman Delia Fischer told AFP.
But other officials were quick to condemn Suarez.
“There is no doubt Luis Suarez is a fantastic footballer but once again his actions have left him open to severe criticism,” Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce told the BBC.
“There is no doubt that Fifa must investigate this incident very seriously and take whatever action is deemed necessary.”
If found guilty by Fifa disciplinary chiefs, the incident would almost certainly mean the end of the tournament for Suarez, painted as a villain at the 2010 World Cup for his deliberate goal-line handball which denied Ghana a famous quarter-final victory.
In November 2010 he was banned for seven matches by the Netherlands FA after biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal on the shoulder when he played for Ajax.
Suarez was dubbed “the Cannibal of Ajax” by Dutch media.
In April 2013, he was given a 10-match ban by the English FA after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a match at Anfield.
He was also banned for eight matches in 2011 for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
Italy, who had Claudio Marchisio sent off in the second half join a growing number of European sides on the World Cup scrapheap after the exit of Spain, England, Croatia and Bosnia.
In Group D’s other game in Belo Horizonte, Costa Rica ensured England’s miserable World Cup ended with a whimper after a 0-0 draw.
The result means Costa Rica win the group, unbeaten after three games, with Uruguay finishing as runners-up.
Costa Rica will play the runners-up from Group C in Saturday’s second round while Uruguay face the group winners.
The identity of their opponents will be confirmed later Tuesday in the final round of Group C matches.
Colombia need just a point against Japan in Cuiaba to secure top spot in Group C while Ivory Coast, who play Greece in Fortaleza, are favoured to join them.
A victory would guarantee the Ivorians a last 16 berth, whereas a draw would open the door to Japan, should they manage to beat Colombia.
Greece can still qualify by winning, but if Japan are also victorious, they would need to make up a difference of two goals.
Follow us on Twitter @SprtNationalUAE
Published: June 25, 2014 04:00 AM