Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By CAITLIN MURRAY
It seems Uruguay’s Luis Suarez will not get away with his third biting incident.
FIFA has charged Suarez with biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during Tuesday’s final Group D match, in which Uruguay defeated Italy, 1-0, to qualify for the knockout stages.
FIFA announced early Wednesday that its disciplinary panel had opened an inquiry to determine whether Suarez was guilty of assaulting Chiellini. Evidence will be presented by 6 p.m. eastern time Wednesday. Uruguay’s next match — its first of the knockout round — is Saturday.
Suarez would serve a minimum suspension of two games if found guilty, but could face a ban of up to two years, according to FIFA’s rules.
In the 79th minute of a then-scoreless final group stage match between Uruguay and Italy, Suarez appeared to dig his head into Chiellini’s shoulder and bite him. Chiellini pulled down his shirt to show Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez bite marks, but it was largely ignored and no card was given.
Italy, who had been down 10-men to that point after a red card in the 59th, conceded a goal two minutes later and eventually lost, 1-0. The result meant Uruguay will advance out of the group with Costa Rica as Italy goes home.
Chiellini did not mince words in his post-game reaction, telling reporters: “Suarez is a sneak, and he gets away with it because FIFA wants their stars to play in the World Cup.”
Suarez denied any wrongdoing, reportedly saying: “I had contact with his shoulder, nothing more.”
The video and photographic evidence, however, seems to give credence to Chiellini’s version of events — not to mention that Suarez has twice before been handed several-game suspensions for biting opponents during play.
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