FIFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Liverpool and Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, after he appeared to bite Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during yesterday’s World Cup match.
The incident occurred towards the end of the game – which Uruguay incidentally won 1-0 to progress to the last 16 of the competition – and left Chiellini with what appeared to be teeth marks on his shoulder.
Suarez and the Uruguayan FA now have until 9pm (BST) to “provide their position and any documentary evidence they deem relevant”.
“FIFA can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the player Luis Suarez of Uruguay,” a statement from FIFA explained.
If found guilty, the 27-year-old faces the prospect of a 24 game ban, which would equal two years of international football, and break the record for the longest World Cup ban – currently eight games for Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for breaking Spain’s Luis Enrique’s nose in 1994 with an elbow.
Suarez spoke to Uruguayan television after the incident, and looked to defend his actions.
“These situations happen on the pitch, we were both just inside the area, he struck me in the chest with his shoulder and he hit me in the eye as well”, he said.
“These are things that happen on the pitch and you shouldn’t attach so much importance to them.
“I’m very happy to have qualified. We are taking each game as it comes, we know that we’re in a difficult situation, we’re at our limits now.”
Suarez has twice been banned for biting opponents in the past, most recently for an incident with Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, which saw him suspended for 10 matches by the FA.
Chiellini meanwhile tried to show the referee the bite marks on his shoulder during the game, and afterwards called on FIFA to take action.
He told Sky Italia: “Suarez has bitten me and the referee saw it, but then there is the need to have the courage to take decisions.
“We will see if there is the courage to utilise the TV images to ban him.”