Suarez faces two-year ban as World Cup 'bite' sparks uproar

Jun 25, 2014
Jonathan Harwood

Uruguayan striker writes his name into World Cup infamy as he appears to bite Italian defender

Claudio Villa/Getty Images

He's done it again. Luis Suarez is in disgrace and facing a massive Fifa ban after appearing to take a bite out of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay's controversial win over Italy at the World Cup in Brazil.

His moment of madness came moments before Uruguay defender Diego Godin scored the 81st-minute winner that sent the Italians tumbling out of the tournament. The result may have been a shock, but it pales into insignificance compared to the uproar over Suarez's behaviour.

Fifa have opened disciplinary proceedings against the 27-year-old Liverpool striker, and if found guilty he could face a two-year international ban. His career could also be in tatters, with a big money move to Spain now unlikely, and Liverpool unlikely to defend the wayward striker through yet another controversy.

Incredibly it is the third time that Suarez has been accused of biting an opponent. He was banned for seven games in 2010 while at Ajax for biting a PSV Eindhoven player and in 2013 the Liverpool forward was handed a ten-game ban after he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic. That same season he was banned for eight games for racially abusing Manchester United player Patrice Evra.

If his World Cup ends in disgrace, as seems likely, it will not be the first time. He was red carded for a handball on the line against Ghana in 2010, a blatant foul that secured Uruguay's progress to the semi-finals, but saw him banned.

"The man-child who destroyed England’s World Cup hopes has a pathological problem and must pay for it with a minimum six-month ban from football," says Paul Hayward in the Daily Telegraph.

Suarez has written his name into "World Cup infamy" claims The Guardian. While The Sun describes him as an "animal".

The Uruguayan is "one of the most scintillating sportsmen on the planet", says The Times. "[But] it is a testament to the other side of this most paradoxical of modern-day athletes that one can say, without reservation, that he must play no further part in this World Cup."

TV pundits were equally forthright. Alan Shearer of the BBC branded Suarez "disgraceful and disgusting" and called on Fifa to "hammer him". Danny Mills called for "the longest ban in football ever".

Everton boss Roberto Martinez, working for broadcaster ESPN, said that Suarez "needed help". Another former player, Stan Collymore, who has battled depression, called for a "mental health evaluation" for the player.

Suarez's victim, Chiellini, called the Uruguayan a "sneak" and called on Fifa to have the "courage" to ban him.

For his part Suarez has tried to brush off the controversy, and there have been claims of a media witch hunt from within the Uruguayan FA. They and Suarez have until 5pm today to put their case to Fifa in Brazil.

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