UK & World News
Suarez Defence Over Chiellini Bite Revealed
Luis Suarez has said he did not deliberately bite Italy's Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, claiming he "lost balance" and fell.
The Uruguay striker, who has been banned for nine international matches and from all football for four months over the attack, made the claims to Fifa's disciplinary panel.
"In no way it happened how you have described, as a bite or intent to bite," he wrote in Spanish, in a letter dated June 25.
"After the impact ... I lost my balance, making my body unstable and falling on top of my opponent.
"At that moment I hit my face against the player, leaving a small bruise on my cheek and a strong pain in my teeth."
Suarez made the submission to the panel, which met the day after Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 in a decisive group-stage match on Tuesday.
It will now form the basis of his appeal against the ban, which will force the Liverpool player to miss the first two months of the Premier League.
FIFA confirmed on Saturday that formal proceedings had been started to challenge the longest ban for a World Cup player in 20 years.
Despite that, the claims attracted ridicule on social media, with many questioning the 27-year-old's version of events.
Twitter user @unitedrant wrote: "There's crass stupidity, there's boundless ignorance, and then there's people who believe Luis Suarez' excuses."
Another user, @PhantomGoal, posted: "Suarez's defence is laughably bad. If you're actually offended or upset about it, cheer up. It's downright hilarious."
The seven-man Fifa panel which met on Wednesday evening to rule on the matter dismissed Suarez's argument.
The bite was "deliberate, intentional and without provocation," their ruling stated.
The ruling confirmed that referee Marco Rodriguez of Mexico acknowledged in his match report that he missed Suarez's bite, as did his two assistants and the fourth official.
"I haven't seen the incident because the ball was in another sector of the pitch," Rodriguez said.
Despite his apparent anger immediately after being bitten, Chiellini has issued a statement saying Suarez's punishment is "excessive".