Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Suárez Allegedly Bites Opponent in World Cup Win

Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez is one of the world’s best soccer players and he demonstrates this often such as his two goals in his country’s win over England at the World Cup.  Occasionally, however, his dark side can get the better of him as he apparently showed in this afternoon’s victory by Uruguay over Italy.

In the eightieth minute of the deadlocked, must-win match for the Celeste, Suárez collided with Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini and both players went down.  Initially it seemed that Suárez head butted Chiellini who may have responded by elbowing the Uruguayan.  But TV replays and images the incident apparently showed that Suárez appeared to have bitten his opponent on or near the left shoulder.

Chiellini pulled down his jersey sleeve to show the apparent injury to match referee Marco Rodríguez of Mexico.  Yet Rodriguez, who had previously sent off Italian Claudio Marchisio for a dangerous tackle, did not foul Suárez or Chiellini.

Diego Godin scored the lone goal one minute later that would send Uruguay to the next round and eliminate the Azzuri.

It was ridiculous not to send Suarez off. It is clear, clear-cut,” said an irate Chiellini after the final whistle.

“Then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn't have done,” he added.

Suárez did not mention the incident with Chiellini but his coach did speak out.

“I would like to see it again”, admitted Óscar Washington Tabárez following the match.

“If something would’ve happened then the referee would’ve observed it.  Thus, there are no further comments that can be made,” mentioned El Profesor Tabárez.

Suárez is no stranger to controversy in soccer’s top tournament.  Four years ago he was red carded after he illegally handed the ball in the penalty area of Uruguay’s tied quarterfinal match against Ghana.  Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty kick and Uruguay would eventually win the game and move on to the semifinals.  (Los Charruas ended the tournament in fourth place). 

The twenty-seven-year-old has been suspended for seventeen games as punishment for biting opponents on three previous occasions while playing for clubs in the Netherlands in 2010 and England last year.  He was also suspended for eight games in 2011 for racially abusing Senegal-born French player Patrice Evra.

Although he escaped punishment from Rodríguez, Suárez will likely face a punishment from FIFA that could affect his future participation at the World Cup:
Since the referee did not punish him for Tuesday’s bite at the time, FIFA’s disciplinary panel can impose its own sanction. It is expected that it will begin an investigation promptly and mete out any punishment before Uruguay’s next game, a Round of 16 matchup in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday…
In this World Cup, Cameroon midfielder Alex Song was suspended for three matches for elbowing a Croatian opponent in the first round. His ban was of little merit, either; Cameroon lost that day and was eliminated from the tournament.
Today’s Suárez incident provided fodder for the Uruguayan division of McDonalds that invited the striker to come to one of their restaurants and “take a bite” out of a Big Mac:

In the other Group D match of the day, Costa Rica and England played to a scoreless tie.  Hence, los Ticos became the first CONCACAF side to win their World Cup group with an undefeated record.

Online Sources – BBC Sport; The Guardian; Teletica; The Latin Americanist; El Espectador

Video Source - YouTube user skynews

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