World Cup: Luis Suarez embroiled in new ‘biting’ storm

Posted at 3:24 PM, Jun 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-24 15:24:42-04

(CNN) — Luis Suarez may have bitten off more than he can chew this time.

Already banned twice in his career for biting an opponent, the Uruguay striker was seemingly at it again in his country’s key World Cup victory over Italy.

Just before Uruguay’s winning goal, the striker was embroiled in an off the ball incident with Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini with both men falling to the floor.

Television pictures showed Suarez dipping his head to butt Chiellini, but when the Italian defender eventually got up, he pulled down his shirt and appeared to furiously indicate that he had been bitten on the shoulder.

“It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off,” Chiellini told Rai TV following a 1-0 defeat that ensured Italy’s World Cup exit.

“It is clear, clear-cut and then there was the obvious dive afterward because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn’t have done,” added the Juventus defender.

The 27-year-old Suarez will now face a nervous wait to find out if FIFA, football’s world governing body, will take action retrospectively — given it was missed by the match officials – and suspend him for his side’s last-16 game.

But Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez insists he did not see the incident when he addressed the press in his news conference.

“I’d like to see the images,” he said.

“I didn’t see that. And if it happened the referee probably didn’t see it. So no I don’t have any more comments to make. We had more important things than this in a football match.”

Diego Godin’s 81st minute header secured victory for Uruguay against an Italian team which played the final half hour with 10-men after Claudio Marchisio was sent off.

But all eyes will be on Suarez following this latest controversy.

The Uruguayan, who plays his club football with Liverpool, was banned for 10 games in April 2013 after being found guilty of biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

He was also guilty of biting during his time in the Netherlands with Ajax where he was banned for seven games after leaving a scar on the collarbone of Otman Bakkal.

Suarez’s rap sheet is lengthy.

At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he deliberately handled the ball on the goal-line to deny Ghana a place in the semifinals of the World Cup.

He was sent off for his troubles but Ghana missed the penalty and Uruguay went on to finish third in the tournament.

The following year after his move to Liverpool, Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

He was fined $63,000 and banned for eight matches.

Last week, after scoring both goals in his side’s 2-1 victory over England, Suarez hit out at the British media after claiming he had been unfairly treated over his transgressions.

“Before the game people in England laughed about my attitude over the last few years,” he told reporters following the game.

“I want to see what they think now. I have dreamed of this moment.”

Suarez enjoyed a sensational season with Liverpool — scoring 31 league goals to help his club qualify for the Champions League.

He was voted Player of the Year by his fellow colleagues and also named as the journalists’ Player of the Year too — awards that also reflected a feeling that Suarez had put behind him his troubled past.

His participation in the World Cup had looked in danger when he suffered a knee injury in Liverpool’s final game of the season.

He was forced to undergo keyhole surgery and missed Uruguay’s opening game defeat by Costa Rica before making a near miraculous return in time to face England just five weeks after his operation, scoring both goals in the South American side’s 2-1 win.

Suarez will now have to wait to see if he is eligible to play in his side’s last-16 game on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

In the group’s other game, Costa Rica sealed top spot with a goalless draw against England.

Los Ticos, which won both of its previous games, will play its next game in Recife on Sunday.