UK & World News

  • 24 June 2014, 20:01

Luis Suarez At Centre Of New Biting Controversy

Luis Suarez is at the centre of another biting controversy after he appeared to sink his teeth into the shoulder of an Italian defender at the World Cup.

The striker clashed with Giorgio Chiellini in the 79th minute of his country's Group D match, a game they won 1-0 to advance to the last 16.

Television replays showed Suarez moving his head towards Chiellini, who responded by swinging his arm.

The defender then chased the referee, showing him his shoulder, apparently insisting he had been bitten.

Despite the protests, the referee took no action.

Suarez fell to the floor holding his face in the aftermath and appeared to indicate he had hurt his teeth.

Fifa has announced it is investigating the incident and could choose to suspend Suarez, who served a 10-match ban last year for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

A spokesman said: "We are awaiting the official match reports and will gather all the necessary elements in order to evaluate the matter."

World football's governing body can hit players with retrospective bans of up to two years if its disciplinary commission decides there is a case to answer.

Speaking to Rai TV after the game, Chiellini said: "It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off.

"It is clear, clear-cut and then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn't have done."

Italy's coach, Cesare Prandelli, 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."

Suarez's coach refused to criticise his star striker, claiming he "is the target of certain sections of the press".

Oscar Tabarez said: "If we believe people are attacking him, as has happened in this press conference, then we're going to defend him.

"He's a vital player, a very important person to the group."

Before his move to Liverpool in 2011, Suarez was suspended for seven matches by the Netherlands football federation after biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal when he played for Ajax.

The striker broke English hearts last week when he scored both goals in Uruguay's 2-1 win over the Three Lions - a defeat that left Roy Hodgson's side on the brink of being knocked out of the World Cup.

England's exit was confirmed a day later when Costa Rica beat Italy 1-0. 

England's final game was against Costa Rica and it proved to be a drab affair, finishing 0-0. 

It means England finish bottom of the group, having picked up just one point and scoring two goals, their worst performance at a World Cup since 1958.