World Cup 2014: FIFA Charges Luis Suarez for Biting Incident [Video]

FIFA has charged Luis Suarez for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in the World Cup.

FIFA has officially charged Uruguay’s Luis Suarez with biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in the teams’ World Cup match, a process that could lead to a suspension for Uruguay’s best offensive player.

“FIFA can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the player Luis Suárez of Uruguay,” the organization said in a statement.

If the panel finds Suarez guilty of assaulting an opponent, FIFA rules call for a ban of at least two matches up to a maximum of 24 months. A decision must be published before Saturday, when Uruguay plays Colombia in a round-of-16 match at Maracana stadium.

FIFA’s disciplinary panel “is responsible for sanctioning serious infringements which have escaped the match officials’ attention,” the governing body said in a statement.

“Any type of proof may be produced,” FIFA noted, including “reports from referees, declarations from the parties and witnesses, material evidence, audio or video recordings.”

The two players clashed in the 79th minute during Tuesday’s Group D game, which Uruguay won 1-0 to qualify for the last 16. Even though, there were clear teeth marks on Chiellini’s shoulder, the Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez did not spot the incident.

FIFA vice-president Jim Boyle said Suarez had let himself down again, according to the Associated Press.

“There is no doubt Luis Suarez is a fantastic footballer but, once again, his actions have left him open to severe criticism,” said Boyle, who is also chairman of the FIFA referees’ committee. “FIFA must investigate the incident seriously.”

The Liverpool forward, 27, has defended himself in an interview with Uruguayan television, saying: “These are just things that happen out on the pitch,” he said. “It was just the two of us inside the area and he bumped into me with his shoulder.”

Uruguay coach Oscar Washington Tabarez told reporters at the post-game news conference: “If it happened, the referee probably didn’t see it.”

Chiellini told Sky Italia after the game: “Suarez is a sneak and he gets away with it because FIFA want their stars to play in the World Cup. I’d love to see if they have the courage to use video evidence against him,” according to ESPN.

Uruguay’s captain, Diego Lugano, accused Italy of making the most of the incident and claimed the scars on Chiellini’s shoulder were old ones. “Chiellini is a bit of cry-baby and that does not sit well with me at all,” he said.

In 2010, Suarez, who’s nicknamed the “Cannibal,” was suspended as an Ajax player for seven games for chomping on PSV Eindhoven player Otman Bakkal. Last year, Suarez was suspended for 10 games as a Liverpool player for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

In Uruguay, the El Observador newspaper said that Suárez had done much to change his image over the last 10 months following

“But the operation on his knee, the World Cup and the goals against England turned out to be an explosive combination of emotions,” El Observador said. It said it hasn’t seen any proof that there was a bite, but said the incident was “enough for Luisito to become the bait for the British press.”

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