World Cup

Suarez risks World Cup ban after Italy bite

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Uruguay's forward Luis Suarez (L) reacts past Italy's defender

Uruguay's forward Luis Suarez (L) reacts past Italy's defender Giorgio Chiellini during a Group D football match between Italy and Uruguay at the Dunas Arena in Natal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday. ¬† AFP ¬† 

By Agencies

Posted  Wednesday, June 25  2014 at  11:21

In Summary

Uruguayan players and team officials pleaded ignorance but the incident was captured clearly on television footage, making a ban almost inevitable.

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NATAL - Uruguay star Luis Suarez faces expulsion from the World Cup for biting another player as FIFA confirmed it had opened disciplinary proceedings against him on Wednesday.

Suarez, banned twice before for biting opponents, appeared to sink his teeth into defender Giorgio Chiellini on Tuesday during Uruguay's 1-0 win over Italy.

Uruguayan players and team officials pleaded ignorance but the incident was captured clearly on television footage, making a ban almost inevitable.

"FIFA can confirm disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the player Luis Suarez," FIFA said in a statement.

Suarez and the Uruguayan Football Association can submit evidence to investigators until 5:00pm (2100 GMT) on Thursday, FIFA added.

Suarez, who plays in the English Premier League for Liverpool, is one of the world's biggest stars, and could be banned for up to 24 games under FIFA rules.

He has already received long bans for biting during his club career as well as racially abusing Manchester United player Patrice Evra during a game in 2011.

The latest flashpoint in his occurred towards the end of Uruguay's Group D game with Italy.

Replays showed Suarez appearing to bite Chiellini's shoulder as the two players made contact in an off-the-ball incident.

Chiellini angrily remonstrated with Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez, pulling his shirt off his shoulder to show red marks on his neck.

Afterwards a disgusted Chiellini told Italian television: "He bit me, it's clear, I still have the mark."

"The referee should have blown his whistle and given him a red card," he added.

Suarez sought to play down the incident in comments to Uruguayan television, claiming Chiellini had barged him.

"There are things that happen on the pitch and you should not make such a big deal out of them," Suarez said.

 Tabarez 'didn't see' bite

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