It appears from initial video and photographic review that Liverpool and Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez has bitten an opponent for the third time now in the past four years during the FIFA World Cup match between Italy and Uruguay in Group D. This third incident came just minutes before Diego Godin headed home a cross to put Uruguay up 1-0 in the match. The Italians were eliminated from the tournament with the loss.
Suarez and Giorgio Chiellini, an Italian Defender, were tussling in the 18-yard box during the FIFA World Cup match, while the ball was out wide, when Suarez appears to bite the Italian on the shoulder. The Italian responded to the alleged bite with a swift elbow to the face of Suarez, who went down clutching his face and checking his teeth. In a photograph that NBC Sports shared and was originally on twitter by ITV Football (@itvfootball), there are clear bite marks on Chiellini’s shoulder, which he was trying to show the referee after the incident. Uruguay’s coach has said in the post-game press conference that he did not see the incident, and wants to wait until he sees the picture himself before commenting on the issue.
In the final group stage match of the FIFA World Cup for the Uruguayans Luis Suarez allegedly bit an opponent for the third time, but he has already received bans on two separate occasions prior to this incident. The first occasion was in 2010 when he bit Otman Bakkal, a midfielder of PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, during a match while Suarez was on the Dutch team Ajax. The Dutch Footballs Association gave Suarez a seven game ban for the incident, and earned the South American the nickname of “Cannibal of Ajax” to many in the Netherlands. Bakkal said after the biting affair that “Suarez needs to control his temper and nerve on the pitch,” and that he tries to wind up his opponents by “talking too much.”
After the first incident Suarez said that he had learned his lesson and that it was a one-time thing that would never happen again, but in April 2013 the South American bit again. This time he attacked Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea in an English Premier League game. The British media have been notoriously hard on Suarez became of his on the field decisions of biting, flopping, and other various infractions of the beautiful game. The Invanovic incident cost the player 10 games, making him miss the final games of the 2012-2013 Liverpool season and the first eight games of the 2013-2014 season, in which he eventually won Player of the Year honors.
Chellini whom Suarez allegedly bit today has said to the Italian media that “Suarez is a sneak” and that FIFA allow him to get away with such things, because they want their star player in the tournament. Many critics are already saying that Suarez will be banned from the tournament because of this incident. The bite on Giorgio Chellini that occurred today in the FIFA World Cup was the third biting incident and hopefully will be the last for a player with such quality, but irrational decision-making.
Commentary by B. Taylor Rash