FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Uruguay’s 27-year-old striker Luis Suarez after he reportedly bit Italy’s defender Giorgio Chiellini during last night’s World Cup match in Natal.
As the two competed for a free-kick, one minute before Uruguay’s game winning goal, Suarez launched his head towards Chiellini, seemingly biting him in the shoulder.
Though photographic evidence shows Suarez clearly holding his teeth in pain directly after the confrontation, and though Chiellini pulled down his jersey in an attempt to show the referee Suarez’s teeth marks, referee Marco Rodriguez took no action against the claim.
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While human biting might seem like a petty matter to some, human bites that break the skin have a high risk of infection. After dog and cat bites, human bites are the third most common type of bites seen in hospitals and clinics. They are often much harder to treat than animal bites, as human mouths carry a wide variety of germs.
For example, tetanus is easily spread via human bites, especially if either party does not have an up to vaccine record. This is just one of a host of germs that can be introduced by a human bite.
Since the incident was missed by the match referee, FIFA has asked Italy to produce any type of evidence against Suarez by Wednesday, 5 p.m. local time. Evidence can be presented in the form of audio or video recordings, reports from referees, material evidence or witness statements. FIFA will then announce their decision before Saturday’s Uruguay v. Columbia match.
If Suarez is found guilty, he will likely face a lengthy ban that would keep him out of the rest of the World Cup. FIFA’s disciplinary code states that a ban can last up to a maximum of 24 matches or two years. However, the longest ban in World Cup history was set by Italy’s Mauro Tassotti in 1994. He was banned for eight games after breaking Spain’s Luis Enrique’s nose with his elbow.
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Suarez has been banned earlier in his career for biting his opponents. He was suspended in 2013 for 10 matches after biting Chelsea’s defender Branislav Ivanovic, and he was suspended in 2010 for seven matches after biting PSV’s attacking midfielder Otman Bakkal.
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Content Sources: The Telegraph, Yahoo, News, Business Insider, The Independent and National Institutes of Health
Video Sources: 2014 Fifa World Cup