Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was at the centre of another biting storm this morning and could face a two-year ban after appearing to sink his teeth into the shoulder of Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the teams’ decisive World Cup Group D game.
Suarez and Chiellini clashed in the Italian penalty area 10 minutes from the end of the match and the furious Italian pulled open his shirt to show the mark to the referee.
Agency photographs show what appear to be bite marks on his shoulder.
The Italians were still complaining about the incident when Uruguay captain Diego Godin scored with an 81st-minute header to secure a 1-0 win that sent them into the second round and eliminated Italy.
At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Suarez also found himself in the middle of controversy. That time it was over an intentional handball that prevented a Ghana goal. He was given a red card and suspended for a match.
In Tuesday’s incident in Brazil, the referee didn’t issue a card, although Suarez was called for a foul on the play. FIFA could still review the play and issue further punishment.
He also defended his star striker. “Suarez, besides the mistakes he might have made, is the preferred target of certain media,” Tabarez added.
Suarez was banned for seven matches by the Netherlands football federation in 2010 after biting PSV Eindhoven player Otman Bakkal in a league match when he played for Ajax.
After moving to Liverpool, he bit Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in 2013 and was banned for 10 games.
FIFA can sanction players with bans of up to two years if its disciplinary commission decides there is a case to answer.