World Cup: 'Cannibal' Suarez charged for biting Chiellini
FIFA has charged Uruguay’s Luis Suarez for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during their Group D World Cup match on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, FIFA’s disciplinary committee opened proceedings against the Uruguay forward.
"FIFA can confirm that disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the player Luis Suarez of Uruguay," the world soccer body said in a statement.
FIFA said Suarez and the Uruguayan soccer association had until 5 p.m. Brasilia time (2000 GMT) on Wednesday to "provide their position and any documentary evidence they deem relevant".
If the panel finds Suarez guilty, he faces ban of at least two matches up to a maximum of 24 months.
Uruguay beat 10-man Italy 1-0.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said he did not see the incident, and complained that the forward was being persecuted.
"It seems there is this animosity toward him and he is being persecuted by past events," a visibly agitated Tabarez said when repeatedly being asked about the alleged bite. "There are people hiding behind the tree waiting for something to happen."
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Image: Luis Suarez reacts as Giorgio Chiellini indicates to the referee that he was bitten
Photographs: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Suarez not new to controversy
Liverpool's Suarez was banned for 10 games last year after biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match and in 2010 he was suspended for seven games for biting PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax Amsterdam.
He missed Uruguay's World Cup semi-final against the Netherlands four years ago after being sent off for a handball on the line that denied Ghana what would have been a match-winning goal in the final minute of extra time in a quarter-final match.
Although he was not cautioned by the referee on Tuesday, FIFA's rules allow the use of video or "any other evidence" to retrospectively punish players.
FIFA's disciplinary code sets a maximum ban of 24 matches or two years, but the longest suspension FIFA has imposed for an offence in the World Cup was eight games for Italy's Mauro Tassotti for breaking Spain's Luis Enrique's nose in 1994 with an elbow.
Uruguay could potentially play four more games in the tournament and it would be a surprise if Suarez were to be given a ban of a shorter duration.
Image: Giorgio Chiellini of Italy pulls down his shirt after being bitten by Luis Suarez (not pictured) as Gaston Ramirez of Uruguay looks on
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images