Luis Suarez is facing an abrupt end to his World Cup after FIFA announced it will investigate the Liverpool striker for allegedly biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.
Suarez is likely to face a lengthy ban that would keep him out of the rest of the World Cup – however far his country Uruguay progress – if he is found guilty.
The 27-year-old left teeth-marks on Chiellini’s shoulder after clashing with him at the end of Uruguay’s 1-0 win in Natal – where FIFA president Sepp Blatter was in attendance – that saw the South Americans qualify for the last 16.
A FIFA spokesperson said: “We are awaiting the official match reports and will gather all the necessary elements in order to evaluate the matter.”
FIFA’s disciplinary code sets a maximum ban of 24 matches or two years, but the longest ban in World Cup history was eight games for Italy’s Mauro Tassotti for breaking Spain’s Luis Enrique’s nose in 1994 with an elbow. Zinedine Zidane was given a three-match ban for headbutting Marco Materazzi in the 2006 final.
Suarez has twice been banned for biting opponents – for 10 matches in 2013 for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and in 2010 he was given a seven-game ban while playing for Ajax for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal.
Suarez threw himself to the ground after the incident holding his mouth – Chiellini claimed that was a dive.
Chiellini told Italian television station Rai TV: “It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off. It is clear, clear-cut.
“Then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn’t have done.”
Suarez refused to talk about the Chiellini incident and Uruguay closed ranks around their talismanic striker.
Uruguay skipper Diego Lugano said: “You couldn’t have seen it today because nothing happened. The worst of everything is the attitude of Chiellini.”
Defender Diego Godin grabbed the winner for Uruguay when he rose to nudge home a corner and seal a 1-0 win which sent the Italians home.